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CategoryHuman Resources
Approved byCouncil
Date Policy Took Effect12 August 1997
Last approved revision11 September 2017
SponsorDirector, Human Resources
Responsible officerManager, Promotions and Remuneration, Human Resources


To set out the criteria and procedure for the award of the title of Emeritus Professor.

Organisational scope

The Policy applies to professorial staff.


  1. Summary

    1. The title of Emeritus Professor shall be conferred by the Council on the recommendation of the Vice-Chancellor.
    2. Conferment of the title shall be restricted to those Professors who are deemed to have made a distinguished contribution to teaching and research in their chosen academic field, and in service to the University in general.
    3. Proposals to modify the criteria for conferring the title of Emeritus Professor shall be considered by the Council on the recommendation of the Vice-Chancellor, after taking advice from the Senate.
  2. Eligibility for the Award of the Title

    1. To be considered for the award of the title of Emeritus Professor, the nominee will have permanently retired from regular continuous employment and hold the title of Professor at the time of retirement. In exceptional cases, such as where a Professor resigns to take up a distinguished public position, they may be eligible for consideration upon resignation rather than upon retirement.
    2. Nominees being considered for the title will have ten years' continuous service as an academic employee with the University.
    3. Nominees who have had breaks in service may be considered for the award of the title of Emeritus Professor if they have had a continuous association with the University during the period of the break.
    4. Awarding of the title will be initiated by the University and should not be considered as a natural consequence of meeting the eligibility requirements.
  3. Criteria for the Award of the Title

    1. The Emeritus appointee will have continued to meet the expectations for a professor at the University of Otago through to the time of their retirement , including:
      1. showing leadership in fostering excellence in research, professional practice, teaching, and service
      2. having an outstanding record of scholarly and professional achievement in their relevant discipline area and/or their profession
      3. making a significant contribution to the wider community (locally, nationally and internationally) in a manner consistent with the sphere of influence of their academic discipline
      4. having the respect and esteem of their colleagues within the University and within their discipline
      5. contributing to the life of the University with distinction.
    2. When considering the award of the title the decision-makers will consider whether the evidence provided meets the above criteria. It will be considered as a whole.
  4. Procedure for the Award of the Title

    1. At the time of approval of retirement of a Professor, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, in consultation with the Dean or Head of Department, shall consider whether the Professor should be nominated for Emeritus status in accordance with clauses 2 and 3 above.
    2. Where the Pro-Vice-Chancellor considers the criteria for the award have not been met, they will discuss the case with the Vice-Chancellor, who will determine whether a nomination should be made to the Staffing Advisory Committee”.
    3. On request, Human Resources will provide information on the retiring Professor's service as it relates to eligibility for the title.
    4. Nomination for the title is made by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor to the Staffing Advisory Committee. The nomination must include:
      1. nomination letter which states the home department and discipline
      2. curriculum vitae
      3. short biography
    5. The Staffing Advisory Committee considers whether the nominee meets the criteria and advises the Vice-Chancellor accordingly.
    6. The Vice-Chancellor considers the nomination and may submit a recommendation to the University Council.
    7. Where Council approves the award of the title of Emeritus Professor,
      1. the Registrar and Secretary to the Council writes to the retiring staff member to advise of the award
      2. Human Resources will record the Emeritus Professor's status.
  5. Entitlements and responsibilities

    1. The University provides to Emeritus Professors ongoing use of the University Staff username and ID card, and in association:
      1. use of the Professor's existing personal University of Otago email account
      2. Library services as for academic staff
      3. access to the University travel insurance scheme
      4. access to the University of Otago Staff Club
    2. Emeritus Professors are expected to comply with all University policies and regulations that apply to their ongoing association with the University.
    3. The Department is responsible for ensuring that Emeritus Professors are informed of University policy changes that may affect them.
    4. The Department may provide facilities and support to Emeritus Professors where appropriate.
    5. Emeritus Professors are listed in the University Calendar.
    6. On any ceremonial or official occasion Emeritus Professors rank in precedence before Professors in the University but after holders of honorary degrees of the University.
    7. The Council of the University retains the right, at its discretion, to withdraw the award of this title if it considers that the individual is not acting in the spirit of the appointment or brings the University into disrepute.

Related policies, procedures and forms

Contact for further information

If you have any queries regarding the content of this policy or need further clarification, contact:

Dan Wilson
Manager, Promotions and Remuneration
Human Resources

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