Termination of Service


Notice of intention to resign from the faculty should take the form of a letter to the President of the College. For resignation effective at the end of an academic year, notice is expected not later than March 1. If the resignation is to become effective before the end of the academic year, at least three months’ notice is required. In the event these notification requirements pose difficulty for the faculty member, the administration will consider waiving them if necessary to meet the individual’s needs. If the requirements cannot be waived without undue disruption of the College’s program, and the faculty member insists on terminating service early, such action will be considered a breach of contract.


There is no mandatory retirement age at Berea College.

Upon the request of the faculty member, the opportunity is available to reduce gradually one’s teaching and related responsibilities as one approaches retirement. Such arrangements, which involve salary reduction, take into account individual wishes and institutional needs. Since these circumstances may vary from one person or program to another, arrangements are negotiated on an individual basis.

Tenure ends when a faculty member either (a) retires completely or (b) elects to take partial retirement with responsibilities that are one-half or less of a normal teaching load.

In order to be considered a retiree, when leaving the College the employee must be 55 years of age or older, have completed at least ten years of service to the College, and have no plans for employment elsewhere.

Faculty who retire from the College with at least ten years of service are granted emeritus or emerita status at the time of retirement. Faculty with emeritus/a status seeking to continue scholarly work after retirement may request to the Dean of Faculty ongoing access to campus resources for a two-year period after retirement, and such periods can be renewed. The granting of such requests will be done on a case-by-case basis and will depend on the nature of the request and the availability of the requested resources.

Separation Due to Institutional Circumstances

Separation of a faculty member, whether on tenure or term contract, is also possible as a result of the following circumstances:

  • Demonstrated severe financial exigencies of the College.
  • Significant reduction or discontinuation of the academic department in which the faculty member does most of one's teaching.

Such circumstances are different from the conditions specified for dismissal for cause and, unlike the latter, do not reflect adversely on the individual’s performance. Consequently the considerations and procedures applicable to dismissal for cause do not apply.

Termination due to either of these circumstances is to be demonstrably bona fide, and to be undertaken only after every reasonable effort has been made to deal with the matter in other ways, including placement of the teacher in another suitable position within the College. If the appointment of a tenured teacher is terminated for either of these reasons, the vacated position is not to be filled for at least two years, unless the previous incumbent has been offered reappointment and declined.