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December 8, 2012

Retirement could change for some IU officials

Effect at IU Southeast unclear, spokeswoman says

KOKOMO — Many high-ranking administrators at Indiana University would be allowed to work past the school’s current mandated retirement age of 65 under a proposed new policy that one official said better reflects current careers.

A Board of Trustees committee voted unanimously Thursday to endorse raising the retirement age to 67 for the university president along with vice presidents and deans at the school’s largest campuses in Bloomington and Indianapolis, The Herald-Times reported.

The overall change was recommended to recognize that many people want to work a longer career and are capable of doing so, university counsel Jacqueline Simmons said. The policy also aligns IU with Social Security standards, she said.

The full Board of Trustees was expected to vote on the change during a meeting Friday afternoon at IU’s Kokomo campus.

Erica Walsh, public relations specialist at IU Southeast, said school officials had only found out about the vote Friday morning. She said they had not determined how the extension on retirement age would affect their chancellor, Sandra-Patterson Randles.

Ryan Piurek, IU director of communications, did not return phone calls for an explanation of the vote and how it affects regional campuses by press time.

A similar retirement policy at Purdue University forced Michael Wartell to step down as chancellor of the Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne campus this summer after turning 65 even though the IPFW Senate supported his desire to stay in the position.

The revised Indiana University retirement age policy exempts vice chancellors and deans at IU’s five regional campuses around the state. Simmons said that was done for pragmatic reasons.

“We’ve found that it’s just more difficult to recruit really great people at the regionals,” she said. “If they want to stay on, we want to keep them.”

The revised policy setting the standard retirement age at 67 covers 14 vice presidents and 37 deans in Bloomington and Indianapolis. They can be granted a waiver from the policy by the university president.

The president of the university also can receive a waiver from the mandatory retirement age from the Board of Trustees.

— Staff Writer Jerod Clapp contributed to this article.

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