Managing an Aging Higher-Ed Workforce

Shelves of books

by Lisa Cook, Academic Impressions

As more faculty, administration, and staff approach retirement age, institutions must be ready to address the challenges that accompany an aging workforce. Most have already addressed financial planning, but many still struggle with other aging workforce concerns such as mental health issues, budgeting for an increase in disability accommodation requests, and how institutions can create possibilities for retirement that allow employees to exit gracefully.

We talked to Susan Wheeler, University Counsel at James Madison University, to learn what institutions should be considering. Wheeler advises institutions to:

  1. Develop procedures to help support faculty suffering from mental health issues, and to define next steps if an intervention is not successful.
  2. Budget for increased employee ADA accommodations.
  3. Shape retirement or emeritus status plans to allow employees to maintain a relationship with the institution, thereby creating more possibilities for retirement.

1. What Can Institutions Do When Aging Employees Have Mental Health Issues?

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Want to dig into this issue more deeply?

Academic Impression and Susan Wheeler have addressed this and other challenges of managing and supporting an aging workforce further in a recent webcast with Wheeler. You can purchase a recording here.