The hiring of new faculty members could decline by more than 30 per cent as a result of the new amendment to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, a recent study by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) reports.
The new law raises the minimum age for involuntary retirement from 65 to 70, a move that some educators say might force colleges to lay off younger professors to keep their faculties and budgets balanced. Experts add that because the older, tenured professors usually receive higher salaries than their younger colleagues, schools may also have to freeze hiring.
Although the new law goes into effect on January 1, Congress granted colleges and universities a three-and-one-half-year grace period to study implications for young Ph.D. holders, who would be in the academic job market.
The new law will probably have "some effect" on new hiring policies for Harvard, Dean Rosovsky said yesterday. He added, however, that the effect at Harvard would be "relatively slight."