I caught an interesting discussion on the PBS News Hour last night about the aging of the workforce in academia.

Here they discussed the various viewpoints on whether aging college faculty should go on working into their 70s rather than move on and allow younger people to become university teachers.  Having worked in academia for over 25 years myself, I believe I have the right to put in my two cents on this topic.

I agreed more with the only female professor in this piece, who said that there are so many advantages to the university, if older faculty members decide to move on to other endeavors past age 65 or 70.

Unfortunately our culture is such that we offer our elders few alternative ways to contribute besides their jobs, and so it has become an all or nothing sum game.  These elder professors can see no other way to feel useful and important if they should decide to retire from their university.  I find that unfortunate.

I was pleased to find that universities are starting to offer courses to elder professors in how to best make the transition from workplace to retirement, for those who cannot imagine their lives without their jobs.