Emeritus Status: It's a Matter of Honor, Especially When It's Denied

Emeritus Status: It's a Matter of Honor, Especially When It's Denied 2

Photo by Michael Williamson, The Washington Post, Getty Images

The Board of Trustees of the U. of Illinois emphatically rejected emeritus status for William Ayers, who in the 1960s and 70s, before joining the faculty on the Chicago campus, was a member of the Weather Underground.

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close Emeritus Status: It's a Matter of Honor, Especially When It's Denied 2

Photo by Michael Williamson, The Washington Post, Getty Images

The Board of Trustees of the U. of Illinois emphatically rejected emeritus status for William Ayers, who in the 1960s and 70s, before joining the faculty on the Chicago campus, was a member of the Weather Underground.

Robert G. Natelson had been retired from the faculty of the University of Montana Law School for more than a year when he learned in June that his former colleagues had voted to deny him emeritus status.

The title, reserved for "meritorious faculty members" with at least 10 years at the university, carries few tangible benefits. It isn't a guarantee of office space or research money. There isn't even a campus organization for emeriti faculty. It is simply a title.

But for Mr.