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Professor Emeritus appointments

Understand the criteria and procedure for conferment of a title of Professor Emeritus.

Code Of Practice

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Approval date
19 Mar 2024
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Conferment of titles

In accordance with University Ordinance 8.4 (f), Senate has responsibility for the conferment of the title of Professor Emeritus or Honorary Professor, Reader or Lecturer, or such other title.

Professor Emeritus


1) The title of Professor Emeritus may be conferred on any professor of the University of Bath on or after retirement in recognition of services to the University based upon the following:

a) a professor, who has served at least 15 years at the University including at least 5 years as a professor, or who has been a professor at the University for at least 10 years, will normally be offered the Emeritus title and status (unless there are compelling reasons not to award)

b) any professor retiring from the University may be offered the title and status of Emeritus if they can demonstrate a sustained significant contribution to the University as an academic leader

c) they will not hold a contract of employment with the University on or after retirement (for example, in respect of any part-time engagement). The title may not be conferred until any contract of employment between the professor and the University has ended

d) they do not already hold a similar title from another institution.

2) As stated in Ordinances 28.1, the title is awarded at or after retirement from the University, normally by the next Senate meeting after the retirement (if it is not done before). In exceptional circumstances, Senate may confer the title of Professor Emeritus on a Visiting Professor whose attachment to the University has ended. The conferment of the title is on an unpaid basis (although payment is permitted on an independent consultancy basis for a specific project/activity).


3) Upon receiving a resignation notice from a professor, Human Resources will contact the professor to confirm if they are retiring (defined as drawing their pension). If they fulfil criterion 1a), Human Resources will confirm this to the appropriate Dean and the Vice-Chancellor, who have an opportunity to consider if there are compelling reasons not to award the title.

4) If a retiring professor does not fulfil criterion 1a), Human Resources will inform the appropriate Dean of Faculty/Head of School and the Head of Department, who following consultation with senior colleagues may propose the conferment of the title. In the case of a Dean of Faculty/Head of School retiring, Human Resources will inform the Vice-Chancellor.

5) A proposal for the conferment of title of Professor Emeritus will be submitted to the Vice-Chancellor by the Dean of Faculty/Head of School. The proposal will state how the nominee meets the criteria set out above and the date from which the title is to be conferred. The proposal will be considered by the Vice-Chancellor who will provide a recommendation to Senate. For clarity, a recommendation not to award the title will also be reported to Senate in order for it to make the final decision.

6) The recommendation of the Vice-Chancellor will normally be considered at the next available meeting of Senate.

7) This title is an honour in the gift of the University. There is no appeal process in the event that the University decides not to confer the title.


8) A Professor Emeritus is a Member of the University (as defined by Section 2 of the Statutes of the University).

9) A Professor Emeritus:

  • will be eligible for membership of the University Library and a University of Bath User Account

  • will be eligible for membership of the sports facilities of the University

  • will have the use of the recreational and social facilities of the University

  • will be eligible to stand for election as a member of Court in the under section 13.1 (e) of the University Statutes

  • may be invited by the Dean of Faculty/Head of School to continue to contribute to the academic work of the University and other activities as appropriate, including supervision of undergraduate and postgraduate taught projects subject to the approval of the Faculty/School Board of Studies

  • may be appointed by the Doctoral College Board of Studies on an annual basis to supervise research students provided they are not the lead supervisor

  • may, where the funder allows, be named as a Co-Investigator or Consultant in research grant or contract applications

  • will have access to shared facilities such as hot desk, printing/copying, fax and telephone to assist them in their work for the University where necessary (subject to approval by the Dean of Faculty/Head of School)

  • may receive publications from the University and invitations to attend ceremonial occasions/events of the University.

10) There is no entitlement to membership of any University body or to the exercise of any administrative or executive function.

11) A Professor Emeritus is not entitled to office space and/or any other facilities/resources other than those stated at paragraph 7 above. However, an individual case for access to office space and/or any other facilities/resources may be submitted in writing to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor via the Dean of Faculty/Head of School for approval. This case must set out the specific requirements for office space/facilities/resources, together with the purpose of and period of the proposed use.

12) A Professor Emeritus shall have the same privileges as a Professor of the University for all purposes of courtesy and at ceremonial occasions/events to which they are invited.

13) Any further benefits or privileges granted on an individual basis to an Emeritus Professor by their Head of Department will be subject to annual review.

Revised by Senate, 7 February 2018


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