Five faculty enroll in semi-retirement program

By Zac Farber

This fall five faculty members will teach through the Macalester Senior Faculty Employment Option, a program designed as a semi-retirement for professors between the ages of 58 and 70.The program, started in 1994, allows professors who have taught for at least 10 years at Macalester and at least 15 years in total to work for up to four years or until they reach the age of 70. Participating professors receive half the pay of a full-time professor and undertake a “reduced workload,” Provost Diane Michelfelder said.

“MSFEO faculty,” Michelfelder said, “are expected to be active scholar-teachers and contributors to the campus community just like any other faculty.”

Professors Francoise Denis, Jack Weatherford, Richard Molnar, Lynda LaBounty and Leland Guyer will be opting into the program in the fall.

Five entrants are more than has been seen in recent years; from 2005 to 2007, there were only three entrants into the program. But there are currently 10 faculty members participating in the program, and Dean of Students Laurie Hamre said she remembers years before 2005 when there were more than five entrants.

Psychology professor Jack Rossmann’s 43-year career at Macalester culminated in his 2007 retirement after three years teaching part time through the program.

“Participating in MSFEO,” he said, “gave me the opportunity to cut back on my teaching and other Macalester responsibilities while still feeling that I was part of the academic community at Macalester.”

Rossmann involved himself in extracurricular activities he did not have time for as a full-time professor.

“I did some consulting for the Spencer Foundation in Chicago”-a philanthropic organization that has given away $250 million in grants-“developed a radio program for Minnesota Services for the Blind (as a volunteer), spent more time with my grandchildren and played a bit more tennis.”

While he said he felt involved in the psychology department, he noted that he did not participate in department meetings and he had fewer advisees.