Dean of the Faculty

VI. The Responsive Campus

6.3 Community Facilities

The faculty will undergo demographic change over the coming decade, with a bulge in retirement and commensurate bulge in hiring. This change will affect a wide range of practices and policies and change the distribution of faculty across career stages.

Many of our new colleague will have younger families who will need access to childcare services. The present scarcity of satisfactory childcare facilities puts the College at a disadvantage in recruiting and retaining first-rate faculty and staff. Although the Committee has chosen to take no position on faculty benefits, we do urge that the College provide substantially increased resources for the provision of childcare.

The spate of anticipated retirements and the influx of a relatively large cohort of junior faculty will also create new challenges for the faculty in sustaining a sense of its own corporate identity. For an interim period, at least, there are likely to be fewer faculty in mid-career with the institutional experience and flexible family commitments to devote themselves to administrative tasks. This is another reason that the time may have arrived for the College to consider establishing new spaces or programs to encourage formal and informal collegial interaction, especially across faculty cohorts.

Finally, senior faculty who are ready to retire may find themselves unwilling to do so, because of the difficulties associated with relocation and the limited facilities available at Amherst for emeriti to continue their scholarly work. We urge further exploration of how emeriti faculty can be provided with ongoing study space.