Employment of academic faculty after reaching retirement age: an asset or a burden?–Ariel University as a case study

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This study centers on public policy concerning the retirement age in Israeli academia. The purpose of this study is to analyze the justification for the existing policy on this issue that allows academic institutions to end the employment of faculty when reaching the legal retirement age. The research method is based on analysis of the research and teaching data for 485 senior faculty members at Ariel University in Israel, which constitutes a case study. The research findings show on one hand higher research output among faculty who have passed the retirement age versus those who have not reached retirement, and on the other lower mean teaching evaluation scores received by faculty above retirement age that those received by younger faculty. The research conclusions determine that reaching retirement age does not necessarily affect the professional output of faculty or justify their removal from the academic institution. Even if the teaching capabilities of older faculty members are negatively affected over the years, their contribution to the academic institution is mostly influenced by their scholarly output, positive impact on the institution's image, and not inconsiderable contribution to it, deriving from their considerable experience that is utilized for supporting and directing younger faculty. Therefore, a possible conclusion is that faculty members who have reached retirement age constitute an asset rather than a burden for the academic institution. Hence, the findings question the justifications for the public policy implemented in Israel in this area and call for its reexamination.

Original languageEnglish
JournalStudies in Higher Education
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Higher education
  • academic faculty
  • life expectancy
  • public policy
  • research output
  • retirement age


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