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Handbook of Operating Procedures

Appointment to Emeritus or Emerita Positions

Policy Number: 50


Appointment to honorary faculty positions


Faculty members

Date Reviewed:
March 2023
Responsible Office:
Office of the Executive Vice President & Chief Academic Officer
Responsible Executive:
Executive Vice President & Chief Academic Officer


The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston ("University") considers the naming of faculty members to Emeritus or Emerita status a highly selective institutional honor. Members of the faculty who are named to such positions represent those exhibiting the highest academic, research and service standards as well as a record of service to the University that stands out among their peers.

Emeritus/Emerita titles confer lifetime academic appointments to faculty members who held the rank of Professor or Associate Professor and demonstrated individual distinction in teaching, research, and/or service during their period of active employment at the University. Emeritus/Emerita titles are only in effect during the faculty member’s retirement from the University.

The awarding of an Emeritus/Emerita title is without salary and is approved by the President on the recommendation of the Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer ("EVP/CAO") for the following titles:

  • Dean Emeritus/Emerita,
  • Chair Emeritus/Emerita,
  • Professor Emeritus/Emerita,
  • Associate Professor Emeritus/Emerita

The Board of Regents will only consider the following title for approval:

  • President Emeritus/Emerita

Once appointed, Emeritus/Emerita faculty are expected to remain willing to assist and advise the University as requested, especially in their area of competence. Emeritus/Emerita title status does not obligate the University to provide office or laboratory space. Space may be assigned at the discretion of the dean or the department head.

Holders of Emeritus/Emerita titles will be granted the following privileges:

  • Membership (without vote) in the department, participation in departmental meetings, and membership (without vote) in the general faculty;
  • Eligibility to serve on graduate student and other committees subject to the approval of the dean;
  • Listing in the University directory;
  • Use of the campus mail service, within University policies;
  • Access to department and/or University resources as specified at the time of the award of the Emeritus/Emerita title, commensurate with level of activity, and subject to change by the dean or the department head, dependent on departmental/university needs; and
  • Those privileges accorded to retired faculty.

The EVP/CAO is responsible for guiding the process of appointment to Emeritus or Emerita titles at the behest of the President. The EVP/CAO is responsible for ensuring compliance with the University's policies on such appointments.


A. Selection

Each school shall establish procedures that govern selection of and recommendations to the President for individuals to hold Emeritus/Emerita positions. The procedures shall include the appointment of a standing committee or the use of an existing standing committee (e.g., the school’s Faculty Appointment, Promotion and Tenure Committee) charged with assisting the dean in evaluating candidates. Candidates for Emeritus/Emerita titles may be recommended by the department chair and/or the dean.

The dean of the school that is recommending a candidate will forward a letter to the EVP/CAO outlining the justification for the appointment and the internal review process used. The EVP/CAO will ensure that University policy for honorific appointments is followed and set a timetable for review of the candidate.

The EVP/CAO evaluates recommendations, paying particular attention to the nominee’s credentials and the needs of the school or the University. If approved,  the EVP/CAO or designee prepares a letter of recommendation for the President. Emeritus/Emerita titles are not in effect until the President grants approval.

B. Appointment

On approval by the President, the EVP/CAO will send the candidate a letter of appointment on behalf of the President. The letter of appointment will include the effective date of the appointment and the specific title being bestowed.

C. Return to Work

Emeritus/Emerita titles are only in effect during the faculty member’s retirement from the University. If an Emeritus/Emerita faculty member returns in any capacity at the University (other than as a volunteer), the appropriate dean’s office must notify the EVP/CAO who will initiate steps to suspend the faculty member’s honorific title until his or her retirement resumes.


    • Office of the Executive Vice President & Chief Academic Officer
    • 713-500-3062