Professional Development

Emeritus Award Guidelines


Emeritus (or, at the request of the faculty member so named, Emerita) status may be conferred upon retirement from the University of South Florida (USF) to faculty and to senior administrators as recognition of sustained contributions to the University and, for faculty nominees, their respective disciplines, according to the guidelines below.

Foundational Principles

  1. By conferring the Emeritus status, the University of South Florida recognizes that the retiring faculty member has normally been at USF for a minimum of 10 years and remains a member of the university community (exceptions may be requested for candidates with compelling circumstances). Therefore, the recommendation that a retirement would lead to the Emeritus status must be grounded in an objective review of the entirety of the retiree's academic portfolio. 
  2. The Emeritus title is not granted automatically to all retirees and is intended for those whose holistic academic contributions are notable and can be demonstrated on the basis of verifiable criteria.
  3. Faculty members and senior administrative officers who hold the rank of at least Associate Professor, Associate Librarian, Director, Assistant Dean, or Assistant Vice President who have had a major professional impact in their field, have maintained a record of sustained, distinguished, and honorable contributions in their assigned duties during their careers at USF, and who have demonstrated collegial interactions in their professional endeavors, are eligible to request Emeritus status. 
  4. Within the umbrella of the campus wide policy on the conferral of Emeritus status embodied in this document, USF recognizes the diversity of disciplinary models of scholarship and therefore lodges the responsibility for evaluation of the appropriateness of the Emeritus status in each case in the department and college with which the faculty member is associated.
  5. The title of Emeritus may be removed by the Provost/Executive Senior Vice President for USF Health for actions that demean or harm the university. Emeriti faculty retain the rights and responsibilities of academic freedom.


  1. “Retire” means to terminate service from the university and immediately receive full retirement benefits under any approved university retirement plan.
  2. “Faculty” includes: tenured faculty members holding the rank of professor or associate professor; library professional staff holding the ranks of librarian or associate librarian; USF Health faculty holding the rank of professor or associate professor; and central administrative officers, deans and directors, if they also hold regular faculty status.
  3. “Honorable service” means that the faculty or staff member was not terminated for violation of university policy. Honorable service includes permanent disability sick leave.
  4. “Department/School” means a department, school, or any equivalent academic entity in units that are not organized in traditional departments. This may include colleges without formal departmental or school structure.


Faculty members to whom the Emeritus status is granted will retain their rank at the time of retirement followed by the designation “Emeritus.” Presidents, Vice Presidents, Provosts, Deans, and Directors (of Centers or Programs) may retain at the time of retirement their last administrative title followed by “Emeritus or Emerita.”


  1. Emeritus status is granted by the President of the University in coordination with the Provost, and upon the recommendation of the Chair/Director of the department/school from which the faculty member is retiring and the endorsement by the Dean of the College and the Provost or the Executive/Senior Vice President of USF Health, as appropriate. Colleges without departments/schools should specify in their governance documents a process by which recommendations are made to the Dean.  
  2. The process is launched by a letter from the retiring faculty member indicating an interest in holding the Emeritus title, or by a nomination letter from any faculty member in the department/school. Although later applications will be considered, the process normally begins during the faculty member’s final semester of full employment and will be submitted to the Provost’s Office or the USF Health Office of Faculty and Academic Affairs, as appropriate, no later than one month before the end of that semester. It is expected that each department/school will develop its own procedures to ensure faculty input in reaching the recommendation that the chair/director will then write and submit to the Dean.
  3. The Department Chair/Director must forward the nomination letter to the Dean accompanied by a letter in which the Chair/Director endorses, or fails to endorse, the recommendation for granting Emeritus status. 
  4. The Chair’s/Director’s letter should be accompanied by the candidate’s curriculum vitae.
  5. The Dean, Provost, or the Executive/Senior Vice President of USF Health is free to conduct a separate evaluation and to reach a decision regarding the candidate that may deviate from the Chair's/Director's or Dean's recommendations. Either the Dean, Provost, or the Executive/Senior Vice President of USF Health may consult with an appointed faculty body in reaching a final decision.
  6. The Dean will then forward recommendation letter and application packet to the Provost or Executive/Senior Vice President of USF Health, as appropriate. Deans should consult with the Regional Chancellors to determine concurrence with the recommendation if the faculty member being nominated is housed on a branch campus. Concurrence or lack thereof should be reported in the Dean's letter.
  7. Letters should briefly evaluate the candidate's record as a faculty member and indicate why, or why not, the person should be awarded Emeritus. This should include a statement regarding the candidate's contributions to the university, the discipline, the profession, and student learning, in keeping with the Foundation Principles set out above, and should reflect an objective appraisal of the nominee's academic portfolio using discipline-specific metrics where appropriate. Ideally, it will, where appropriate, specify metrics that are relevant to the candidate's academic profile (e.g., publications, awards, citation counts, discipline-specific indicators of the candidate's impact within the profession).
  8. Faculty members have the right to withdraw their nomination if they so choose.
  9. Appointments to emeritus status shall be reported through appropriate channels to Human Resources for personnel changes.
  10. Emeritus status removal procedures occur when the Provost/Executive Senior Vice President for USF Health consults with the Dean/Chair in the relevant Department/School and/or College and members of the Faculty Council of the respective College. Examples of just cause include, but are not limited to, moral turpitude, commission of a felony, and academic misconduct, including scientific misconduct. The Provost or Executive/Senior Vice President will notify the title holder, in writing, of any decision to remove the Emeritus title. The title holder may appeal the removal decision, in writing, to the President of the University within one month of receiving the Provost's or Executive/Senior Vice President for USF Health's written notification. 

Benefits for Emeritus Faculty

  1. Emeriti faculty enjoy all benefits accorded retired faculty at USF. These include:
    • At the discretion of the Chair/Director and on the basis of available resources, access to departmental resources, including office and laboratory space, and such other departmental resources normally made available to faculty.
    • Being issued a retired faculty member identification card.
    • Faculty privileges at the library.
    • Maintaining a USF e-mail account and access to the internet, subject to vendor licensing restrictions.
    • Being listed in the university directory.
    • Eligibility for membership in the USF Club and the Campus Recreation Center.
    • Eligibility for purchase discounts on items sold at USF, subject to availability and external vendor contracts.
    • Eligibility for discounts for recreational facilities, athletic events, and other performances and exhibitions.
    • Purchase of semester or year-long parking decals.
  2. In addition, Emeriti faculty, at the present time, are accorded special privileges. These include:
    • Being issued a complimentary Emeritus faculty ID card by going to the USF Card Center.
    • Assuming continued engagement with the department, being listed on the individual’s home department’s website. [Note: Departments may choose to list any retired faculty who remain actively engaged in the life of the department.]
    • Participation in faculty meetings and departmental committees, subject to individual department’s bylaws.
    • Being granted free one-day parking in the Faculty/Staff lots on an as needed basis, subject to any university regulations concerning use of this privilege. Daily permits may be obtained at the Campus Information Center by presenting an Emeritus faculty ID card. A free (to Emeriti) permit will be issued, allowing for parking in any green lot.
    • Participation in academic processions (graduations, convocations, etc.) in a position of honor.