Original Publication
Open Access

Ensuring the Vitality of Senior and Emeritus Faculty: A Leadership Development Workshop

Published: November 4, 2015 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.10267

Included in this publication:

  • Instructor's Guide.docx
  • Engaging Senior and Emeritus Faculty.pptx
  • 1. Senior Faculty Case.pdf
  • 2. Preretirement Faculty Case.pdf
  • 3. Emeritus Faculty Case.pdf
  • 4. Senior and Emeritus Engagement Offerings Template.pdf
  • 5. Senior and Emeritus Engagement Offerings Sample.pdf
  • 6. Program Evaluation Form.pdf
  • 7. References.pdf

To view all publication components, extract (i.e., unzip) them from the downloaded .zip file.

Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications.


Introduction: Data from the Association of American Medical Colleges reveal that the average age of medical school faculty has been steadily climbing over the past 2 decades. It is more critical than ever for academic medical centers to consider how best to engage and ensure the vitality of their senior faculty. Since there is very little published literature confronting these needs in academic medicine, this workshop was designed to help academic leaders address the topic. Methods: This face‐to‐face workshop is designed to be 2 hours long. It could be shortened if all of the didactic information was presented first and then participants were divided into three groups with each group working on one of the cases. Following the casework, the facilitators would need a longer debrief period so each group could provide a summary of their case and present their discussion. The ideal faculty to learner ratio is 1:6‐10. Results: Although few attendees submitted formal program evaluations, the workshop was well received when offered at the authors’ institution. The response on the program evaluation was very positive. All of the participants who completed a program evaluation agreed or strongly agreed with all of the Likert questions. This included participants agreeing or strongly agreeing with statements such as “The information presented in this program was useful to my professional work,” “As a result of this workshop I am better prepared to develop and encourage senior and emeritus faculty in my academic unit,” and “I would recommend this workshop to a colleague.” In addition, attendees were able to identify things that they planned to act upon in their future work. Discussion: Given that our faculty are aging and we will see a large number of retirements in the coming years, the presenters plan to continue to refine and offer this workshop on a regular basis. Over time, more program evaluation data will yield a better understanding of the needs of our academic leaders and how to assist them in ensuring the vitality of senior and emeritus faculty.

Educational Objectives

By the end of the workshop, learners will be able to:

  1. Appreciate the later career-stage progression of senior faculty through preretirement, retirement, and postretirement.
  2. Recognize and reflect upon the unique concerns, challenges, and strengths of senior and emeritus faculty.
  3. Discuss ways to support and engage senior and emeritus faculty at their institution.

Author Information

  • Megan Palmer, PhD: Indiana University School of Medicine
  • Julie Welch, MD: Indiana University School of Medicine
  • James McAteer, PhD: Indiana University School of Medicine
  • Emily Walvoord, MD: Indiana University School of Medicine

None to report.

None to report.


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  2. Center for Workforce Studies. 2013 State Physician Workforce Data Book. Association of American Medical Colleges Web site. https://www.aamc.org/download/362168/data/2013statephysicianworkforcedatabook.pdf. Published November 2013.
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  6. Stearns J, Everard KM, Gjerde CL, Stearns M, Shore W. Understanding the needs and concerns of senior faculty in academic medicine: building strategies to maintain this critical resource. Acad Med. 2013;88(12):1927-1933. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/ACM.0000000000000010
  7. University Leadership Council. Addressing Generational Change With Senior Faculty Members. Washington, DC: Advisory Board Company; 2012.
  8. Zeig MJ, Baldwin RG. Keeping the fire burning: strategies to support senior faculty. In: Groccia JE, Cruz L, eds. To Improve the Academy: Resources for Faculty, Instructional, and Organizational Development. Vol. 32. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass; 2013:73-88.


Palmer M, Welch J, McAteer J, Walvoord E. Ensuring the vitality of senior and emeritus faculty: a leadership development workshop. MedEdPORTAL. 2015;11:10267. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.10267