Emeritus Professors

Approving Authority:
President and Vice-Chancellor
Date of Approval:
9 November 1998
Last Amended:
March 2015
Contact Officer:
David Gleeson, Academic Promotions Manager.

Conferring of the Title Emeritus

The title Emeritus may be conferred on Professors and other superior officers exiting the University where it is considered the award of the title would be appropriate having regard to the recipient’s status and service to the University.
All Professors who exit their position (eg. retirement, resignation, redundancy) may be considered for award of the title Emeritus by the Emeritus Professor Committee.  This consideration can occur up to six months prior to the last day of duty, with effect immediately after this date. Furthermore, a nomination may also be put forward in the period up to twelve months after a Professor has left the University. No nominations however will be considered after this period of time unless exceptional circumstances exist and approval for consideration is given by the Vice-President and Deputy Vice- Chancellor (Academic).
Apart from the Dean of the Faculty, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) or another Deputy Vice-Chancellor immediately may also propose an exiting Professor.
The essential element in bestowing the title Emeritus Professor is distinguished service to academic work and the development of the University. Although outstanding scholarly performance in a particular discipline would reinforce the committee’s judgement that the exiting Professor has contributed to the academic work of the University, this in itself is not normally sufficient for conferring the title.
The Dean is requested to provide to the Emeritus Professor Committee nomination letter (see Pro Forma Nomination Letter) which outlines the main achievements of the nominee along with a current curriculum vitae. In writing the nomination letter the Dean may refer to the specific objective criteria
The person upon whom the title Emeritus Professor has been conferred is regarded as having the academic rank of Professor for all purposes including ceremonial occasions.
The holder of the title Emeritus Professor receives no remuneration and does not exercise any of the normal administrative functions associated with the title Professor.  For example, an Emeritus Professor is not a member of the Academic Board or any Faculty but the holder is a member of the University and is invited to all those occasions, ceremonies and functions to which a Professor could expect to be invited.


Human Resources administer procedures for the award of the title Emeritus Professor.  The composition of the Emeritus Professor Committee is as follows:
  • Vice-President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Presiding Member
  • President of the Academic Board
  • Vice-Chancellor's nominee
  • Three Professors of the University nominated by the DVC (Academic) in consultation with the President of the Academic Board
  • In establishing the committee, gender and a discipline balance must be considered
 The conferring of the title Emeritus shall be approved by the Vice-Chancellor and in doing so the Vice-Chancellor will ensure that any nominee recommended for the title of Emeritus will have adhered to what we value as a University as defined in the Blueprint to Beyond: Strategic Intent document.

Emeritus Professor - Specific Objective Criteria

  • Research Recognition: National and international recognition of research and publication record
  • Learning and Teaching Contribution: curriculum development and learning and teaching contributions
  • Leadership Contribution: contributions and leadership as a Head of School or Department
  • University Leadership and Engagement Contribution: contributions to the School, Faculty and UNSW over a sustained period of time
  • Wider Community Engagement Contribution: service contributions to the discipline, the profession, the University and the wider community
    • Professor Engagement Contribution: service contributions that are above the level of what is expected of a Professor at UNSW
    • Staff Development Contribution: leadership and contributions to staff development