requesting emeritum status

MSU deeply appreciates the many years of loyal service and creative contributions of its retired faculty and academic staff. The university considers them a continuing important resource for the institution. The Emeritum title awarded to faculty, academic staff, and administrators at time of retirement signals honor and accomplishment. It also provides certain rights and privileges such as continued participation in academic ceremonies, events, and governance. Bearing the Emeritum title is not simply a word on a piece of paper - rather, it conveys the continued and sustained esteemed connection to Michigan State University.

Emeritum status may be awarded to faculty, academic staff and administrators who officially retire from MSU. Emeritum status is not granted automatically; it is requested and reviewed through an approval process using the Emeritum Request Form. If granted, the MSU HR system will reflect Emeritum status on the individual's official employment record. However, individuals may choose to use the term “Emeritus”, “Emerita” or “Emeritum” in describing their designation. Visit the page, Awarding Emeritum Status, in the Faculty Handbook for the full policy. 

For more information on retirement and helpful information on preparing to retire from MSU, visit the webpage Preparing to Retire from MSU

  1. The individual must be a faculty, academic staff or administrator who will be officially retiring from the University with retiree status.
  2. If a person is not eligible to retire from MSU, but has had substantial time working at MSU, a request may be made by submitting a formal letter to their supervisor. The request must be supported by their supervisor, major administrative unit head and the Office of the Vice Provost and Associate Vice President for Faculty & Academic Staff Affairs (FASA). That request must be considered by the University Committee on Faculty Affairs (UCFA) and approved by the President. If approved they will be granted emeritum status, but it does not affect or change the individual’s retirement eligibility.
  3. College of Law faculty, academic staff and administrators - For purposes of granting “emeritum” status only, the employment start date with the former Michigan State University College of Law will be used to determine emeritum eligibility only for those faculty, academic staff and administrators who transitioned their employment to the University on January 1, 2020.
  1. Three to six months prior to the expected retirement date, the employee initiates and completes the Emeritum Request Form  and sends it to their supervisor (e.g., chairperson/school director, director). Note: Administrators requesting emeritum status for themselves who are deans or executive managers must also attach a formal letter of request outlining their accomplishments at MSU.
  2. If the supervisor supports the request, they affirmatively check the box on the form indicating their recommendation. They sign the form and forward it to the Major Administrator Unit Head (e.g., dean, vice president, vice provost, provost).
    Note: The key factors for a supervisor to consider when making a recommendation is whether a) the employee received serious discipline, b) the serious discipline process has been initiated, c) dismissal proceedings have been initiated, d) an investigation is underway, or d) a policy violation has been alleged or established. It is expected that most employees will receive a positive recommendation, and that supervisors will not withhold a positive recommendation unless there was evidence of any of the above factors. The above factors are not an automatic exclusion from consideration; each circumstance is case-specific. Nevertheless, if any of the above factors are met, it requires the institution to consider further whether to grant Emeritum status. The Faculty Academic Staff Affairs (FASA) office advises supervisors to consult the FASA office if they do not recommend the granting of emeritum status. 
  3. The dean/MAU Head reviews the request. If they endorse the request, they sign the form indicating their endorsement.
  4. The dean/MAU head or unit designee sends the fully completed Emeritum Request Form to the Office for Faculty Academic Staff Affairs for review and approval 3-6 months prior to the retirement effective date at .
  5. FASA reviews the request taking into consideration all of the factors outlined in step #3.  Barring serious concerns, emeritum will be approved.
    • Note: One would expect that situations where there has been serious misconduct will be few. The exception is that most faculty,academic staff, and administrators have not been engaged in serious misconduct and thus, the intent is that the great majority would be approved for this title. 
  6. If approved, FASA will send a letter of approval for the emeritum designation and appreciation to the employee, supervisor, MAU head with a copy to the HR Academic Operations team and the Provost. MSU HR will add the determination letter to the official MSU employee record. Employees will have the option to attach this approval to their EBS retirement form when submitting if they have not already submitted their EBS retirement form.
  7. Once HR Academic Operations receives approval, they will process the emeritum action on the employee record effective the day after retirement.
  8. Important Note : An employee's request to officially retire is done via the Retirement form process and must be initiated/followed for an employee to officially notify MSU of their retirement from MSU. Steps 1-7  detailing the emeritum request process will not complete the retirement process.

If at any point during the process a faculty or academic staff member is not recommended, supported, or determined to receive emeritum status, the faculty/academic staff member member must be notified and may file a written appeal within 30 days of the decision to the University Committee on Faculty Affairs (UCFA). If UCFA determines the appeal has merit, the relevant documents will be forwarded to the provost who will make the final decision.  

Please note that administrators do not have an appeal process.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • For faculty and academic staff the “emeritum” designation is appended to the rank held at the time of retirement.
  • For administrators (vice presidents, associate vice presidents, deans, associate/assistant deans, chairpersons/school directors, etc.) the “emeritum” designation is appended to the most senior administrative title held at the University, even if not held at the time of retirement.
  • The emeritum designation is not normally awarded for administrative titles held on an “acting” or “interim” basis. 

No. See Rights and Privileges of Emeritum Status noted above. Special arrangements would need to be considered for additional access.

You will complete one Emeritum Request Form to apply to receive emeritum status. Add both the administrative title and rank on the request form, Both the administrative title and rank will be considered at the same time.