Emeritus/Emerita Status

Emeritus status is an honorary designation conferred upon retirees to recognize their contributions and accomplishments over their university careers. Requirements include completion of ten or more years of distinguished service at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and permanent employee status at the University of Wisconsin–Madison with eligibility to receive an annuity from the Wisconsin Retirement System.  Emeritus status is available to academic staff, university staff, and faculty.

Further information is available at:


  • Emeritus/emerita status is limited to faculty, academic staff, limited appointees and university staff retiring after ten or more years of distinguished service at the University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • University staff may be granted emeritus/emerita status in their final classification.
  • Faculty holding limited appointments may be granted emeritus/emerita status in their faculty appointment
  • Academic staff may be granted emeritus/emerita status in their academic staff appointment
  • Limited appointees may be granted emeritus/emerita status in their limited appointment, but not in their academic staff back-up appointment
  • Individuals granted emeritus/emerita status who have held a concurrent senior administrative title of dean or higher may, upon recommendation of the provost, be granted emeritus/emerita status by the chancellor for the administrative title also
  • Be (or have been) a permanent employee of the University of Wisconsin–Madison who is eligible to activate an annuity from the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS)

Process for Obtaining Emeritus/Emerita Status

Recommendations for emeritus/emerita status for retiring faculty, limited appointees, academic staff, or university staff usually begin at the division level through the executive committee (faculty only, not required for staff) and proceed through the dean’s office, OHR and finally the Chancellor’s Office.  The division chair or university/academic staff’s supervisor should work with the employee to gather the required materials listed below and then send them to the Executive Assistant to the Dean of School of Pharmacy:

  • A narrative summary citing the professional accomplishments and record of university service of the retiring faculty or university/academic staff;
  • Expected date of retirement (copy of retirement letter);
  • Current CV for tenured/CHS faculty requests

If the employee holds a tenured or affiliate appointment in another department, please confer with that department directly to coordinate the recommendation.  Recommendations may be submitted throughout the year.

Dean’s Office Procedures

  • Upon receipt of all required documentation from the division chair, the Executive Assistant to the Dean of School of Pharmacy will add the emeritus status request to the Executive Committee agenda for review and vote.  Review by the Executive Committee is not necessary for staff requests.  The remaining steps are the same for faculty and staff requests.
  • The packet of materials, which includes a cover letter from the dean, the narrative, retirement letter and CV will be emailed to Donna Seelye, OHR.
  • If approved, the Chancellor’s Office will send the retiree an acknowledgement letter with copies to the division chair/supervisor, SoP HR, and the Dean’s Office.  Please note that the approval process may take 2-3 months.
  • OHR (Donna Seelye) will enter the appointed emeritus staff into HRS as POIs (Persons of Interest).  POI is sufficient to be in the campus directory and get them their special access on campus.  Entry in HRS automatically puts the emeritus title in the campus online directory and notification is sent to UW Transportation Services.
  • A copy of the award letter will be placed in the SoP Administrative Shared Drive (O:) by the Executive Assistant to the Dean.  SoP HR ensures letter is placed in personnel file.

Note:  The Emeritus designation will only appear in the employee’s title (for a rehired annuitant appointment in HRS) if the person retired as a tenured faculty member.

Privileges Specific to Emeritus/Emerita Status

Receive a Certificate of Recognition signed by the President of the Board of Regents, the Chancellor, and either the Secretary of the Faculty, the Secretary of the Academic Staff, or the Secretary of the University Staff.

  • Automatically be added in HRS as having emeritus/a status; UW–Madison identification cards must be retained to use the university libraries, recreational and other facilities.
  • Retain listing in UW–Madison electronic directory.
  • Automatically retain WiscWorld (Internet) privileges and continue to have access to specific DoIT services and products. For more information, please see: https://kb.wisc.edu/helpdesk/page.php?id=80907
  • Receive a value pass through one of the Transportation Services offices once each fiscal year, which allows free parking 24 times per year in garages with the new access and revenue control gate system.
  • Receive a reduced cost city bus pass.  Note: this privilege is reviewed annually by UW Transportation Services and is subject to change without notice.  Contact Transportation Services to obtain the bus pass.

For a brochure explaining the privileges of retirement and Emeritus status, please see http://www.ohr.wisc.edu/apo/policies/Retirement%20Brochure.pdf