Academic Policy  1475.10

Emeritus Status: Board of Trustees Resolutions

Emeritus status is an honorific title given to individuals for their long/exemplary service. To propose emeritus status for retiring faculty, an initial vote of the departmental faculty or personnel committee should be taken. Then, for faculty or staff, it is necessary to prepare a resolution consistent with the following guidelines to be submitted to the Board of Trustees for approval. Resolutions should be prepared and submitted by a chairperson or other supervisor of the retiring person to the dean or director of the unit in which they are employed. The resolutions are to be sent to the Chancellor’s Office for Athletics, the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs’ office for all academic units (through the dean’s office), the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration for units reporting to that office, and the Vice Chancellor for University Advancement for units reporting to that office. The Vice Chancellor forwards the resolution if approved for Board of Trustees action in a timely way to ensure consideration before the effective date of the resolution (retirement).

Dean Emeritus Guidelines

A request for Dean Emeritus status is an honorary title and application must be made to the Provost. The dean must have served at least one full five year term and must be stepping down from a deanship in good standing. Preference will be given for deans retiring from the University. The college where the dean served will prepare a resolution and it will be sent to the Provost, who will present it to the Executive Committee for their recommendation. Following approval by the Executive Committee, the resolution will be submitted to the President of the System for approval by the Board of Trustees.

Information Gathering

A board resolution recommending a retiring faculty or staff member for emeritus status should include these facts:

  • full name and preferred name (Jonathan B. “Trey” Smith, III)
  • current title, department, college, and field of specialization
  • dates of employment (joined 1969, promoted 1974 and 1988, retiring 1996)
  • degrees earned and where
  • career path which led to the University (if relevant or desired)
  • career high points (major awards, highest accomplishments, et al)
  • formal emeritus title recommended and effective date
  • An address for the retiring faculty or staff member needs to be provided for the mailing of the resolution.

Writing Style

In drafting a board resolution, it is important to remember the following:

  • The speaking voice is that of the Board of Trustees, not the college, department, or institution (They are all mentioned in the text.).
  • Resolutions and proclamations typically use the most formal styles of address (Dr., Professor, Mr., Mrs., Ms., The Honorable).
  • Brevity is desirable, especially since the finished resolution likely will hang in a frame (3/4 of a page or less is a good length).


Here are the basic building blocks:

  • WHEREAS,—about 4-6 of these, each containing facts about the honoree. Each statement is closed with a semicolon and the word and. The last WHEREAS statement ends with a semicolon only.
  • UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS THAT—precedes a statement of the board’s intentions and ends with a period.
  • BE IT ALSO RESOLVED THAT—(rarely necessary) states further action in addition to the main point of action and ends with a period.
  • FURTHERMORE,—allows the board to state instructions for the recording and distribution of this document and ends with a period.

Reformatted for Web October 2, 2014