Letter to Professors Emeriti About Email Accounts Upon Retirement 20.05.2024

Letter to Professors Emeriti About Email Accounts Upon Retirement 20.05.2024

Professors Emeriti Network. We walk what we talk.

 Letter to Professors Emeriti to Support the Retention of the University Email Accounts of All Professors Upon Retirement

Dated 20/05/2024

The document Retention of university email addresses of higher education teachers after retirement. A Statement Paper was published on December 27, 2023.  The Professors Emeriti Network now wishes to update these published remarks and to expand our audience to those who have the power to address the issues we raised there.  We now believe that losing a university email account is a bigger problem than we thought three years ago when we started working on this problem. In a long-lived society, in fact, it will only become more significant as the environment becomes increasingly digitized. The availability of information technology to access e-services is critically important not only for younger generations but also for seniors 55+.

The problem does not affect all retired professors equally.  In fact, some Professors Emeriti are not even aware that a problem exists because their access to university technology has not changed since they left the university. They do not realize what is happening to some of their non-emeriti retired colleagues. Other Emeriti know about the problem but do not want to deal with it, content simply to enjoy the privileges that they themselves have retained.

After retirement, however, some unfortunate non-emeriti professors do lose their university email privileges. They may become aware of the problem only gradually, when they discover that they lost access to the range of e-services that they were used to when fully employed. Often no one had warned them about the consequences of the email account cancellation. This may be because only some universities publish their policies regarding the continued use of the university email accounts after retirement. When affected retirees recognize the problem, they are sometimes embarrassed to request keeping their account and resign themselves to their fate because they think that nothing can be done.

This is unfortunate since it increasingly seems that this practice is neither a “small thing” nor just “pensioners just being overlooked.” Rather, it is something more serious that won’t go away on its own. Some observers even perceive here a form of “digital agism” or “digital discrimination.” See, for example, the article Digital discrimination: Addressing ageism in design and use of new and emerging technologies.

But maintaining the university email accounts of all retired faculty would provide community benefits.  It would promote (a) community engagement on campus by retirees, and (b) intergenerational teaching-learning sessions which would include mentoring, enhancing scholarly publications, and the development of innovative programs.

Professors Emeriti have an obligation to raise these concerns. It is only fair that, in the interests of the many retired colleagues who do not bear the title of Emerita/Emeritus, we call on university administrations to stop canceling university email accounts of non-emeriti professors when they retire. Indeed, we are not asking anything for ourselves since we have indeed retained our former access to university information technology.  As a result, we understand its critical importance for those retired faculty who wish to remain active. Moreover, we salute those universities that already maintain university email accounts of all retired faculty and consider those institutions truly age-friendly.

Therefore, we kindly invite the university executives to become sensitive to this problem and, if necessary, to take steps to make the universities more age-friendly. Universities taking such steps will become an even more important component of the silver economy. We invite professors emeriti to support this initiative and join the group of Supporters.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely yours,

Professors Emeriti Ethical and Legal Aspect Group

Dr. Lucija Čok, Professor Emerita, Former Rector, University of Primorska, Slovenia

Coordinator, Professors Emeriti Ethical and Legal Aspect Group (since November 8, 2021), Professors Emeriti Network



Dr. Luigi Campanella, Professor Emeritus, Department of Chemistry, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy, Past General Secretary, European Association of Professors Emeriti – EAPE & Chairman, Ethics Committee, General Secretary, EAPE Italy



Dr. Jože Gričar, Professor Emeritus, University of Maribor, Slovenia, Secretary, Professors Emeriti Network, Secretary, eSeniors 55+ Network, Secretary, Using Digital Technologies for Active Aging Initiative



Dr. Carole-Lynne Le Navenec, Associate Professor Emerita, University of Calgary, Canada,

Previous program Director, University of Calgary Retirees Association (UCRA), Board Member and Chairperson of their Later Life Learning Committee, College and University Retiree Associations of Canada – CURACEditor, Academic For LifeUniversity Affairs



Dr.Dr.Hc Heinrich C. Mayr, Professor Emeritus, Former Rector, Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, Austria, Application Engineering Research



Dr. Gregory M Sadlek, Professor Emeritus/Dean Emeritus, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences – CLASS, Cleveland State University, OH, United States of America


Dr. Walter Archer, Professor Emeritus

University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Secretary, College and University Retiree Associations of Canada – CURAC

Book Review Editor, Canadian Journal of Higher Education


Walter Archer


Dr. Ágnes Bene, Assistant Professor

Department of Gerontology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Debrecen, Hungary


Ágnes Bene


Dr. Kathryn L. Braun, Professor of Public Health and Social Work

Barbara Cox Anthony Endowed Chair on Aging, Thompson School of Social Work & Public Health, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, United States of America

President, Active Aging Consortium Asia Pacific


Kathryn L. Braun


Dr. Patricia Brownell, Associate Professor Emerita of Social Service

Fordham University, New York City and Emerita Scholar, Ravazzin Center on Aging, United States of America


Patricia Brownell


Dr. Kenneth D. Craig, Professor Emeritus of Psychology

University of British Columbia, Canada, Director of the BC Pain Research Network


Kenneth D. Craig


Dr. Mihály Fónai, Professor

Department of Social Sciences and Social Work, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Debrecen, Hungary


Mihály Fónai


Dr. Peter Glavič, Professor Emeritus
University of Maribor, Slovenia

Member, Engineering Academy of Slovenia

Contact Person: Age-Friendly University Global Network

Peter Glavič


Dr. Gloria Gutman, Research Associate and Professor Emerita

Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


Gloria Gutman


Dr. Damir Kalpić, Professor Emeritus

University of Zagreb, Faculty of Electrical Engineering sand Computing, Department of Applied Computing, Zagreb, Croatia

Member, Croatian Academy of Engineering



Damir Kalpić


Dr. Lawrence H. NItz, Professor

Department of Political Science, The University of Hawaii at Manoa, United States of America

Director, Manoa Political Internship Program


Lawrence H. Nitz


Bridget Penhale, Associate Professor/Reader Emerita

School of Health Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom


Bridget Penhale


Dr. Bernhard Schrefler, Professor Emeritus
Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, University of Padua, Italy

Bernhard Schrefler


Dr. SHIN Gyonggu, Professor Emeritus

Jeonnam National University, Gwangju, South Korea

Director, Gwangju International Center


SHIN Gyonggu


Gaetano Thiene, M.D., Professor Emeritus of Cardiovascular Pathology

University of Padua, Italy



Gaetano Thiene


Dr. Tamás Vertse, Professor Emeritus

Department of Applied Mathematics and Probability Theory , Faculty of Informatics, University of Debrecen, Hungary


Tamás Vertse

Supporters List to be updated.

Age-friendly universities where retired professors keep their email accounts


Age friendliness refers to the attitudes, behaviors and messages of the community towards older people. An inclusive society appreciates and shows respect for the elderly and encourages older people to participate more in their city’s social, civic and economic activities. Age friendliness, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), refers to creating an environment that enables and supports individuals in different aspects of life as they age, fostering life satisfaction and personal well-being.

A university that ensures its professors that they can continue to use the university’s information technology after retirement is an age-friendly university.

Links to ePublications (articles, papers, reports) dealing with the retention of the university email account of all retired university professors are published. This is a contribution to the exchange of best practices.


Is a university age-friendly that cancels the email address of professors upon retirement? ChatGPT 24/05/2024.

Is it ethically correct that a university does not allow a professor to use the university email account after retirement? ChatGPT, April 3, 2024.

Third National Benefits Survey (2023) of Curac/Arucc Member Colleges and Universities. Daniel Sitar, Robert Drummond, Paul Marantz, Kent Percival. College and University Retiree Associations of Canada – CURAC, Benefits Committee, March 2024: 21.

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