not currently employed in education,
but a majority (69 percent) have done
some work in education during their
retirement, usually in part-time, consulting, or interim roles.
Retired presidents (65 percent) are
sought out for advice by other executives in community colleges. Data show
that of those who have worked in
retirement, 72 percent worked as consultants, 20 percent worked as interim
presidents, and 22 percent worked in a
college or university.
Some respondents (45 percent) indicate that they have worked outside education. No pattern emerges from their
responses, but, clearly, opportunities
exist for engagement in fields closely
aligned to education for those who seek
part-time or interim employment.
the past year. The primary motivators
for trips were either to tour or to visit
More than 75 percent of retired
presidents say volunteering is either
important or very important to their
well-being, and they donate their time
and skill to community organizations,
education, and church.
Almost 90 percent of respondents
indicate that they spend three hours or
more each month in volunteer activities, and 58 percent spend more than
seven hours a month engaged in such
activities. Just 26 percent of presidents
say that they average three hours per
week in volunteer activities. Given the
value that retired presidents place on
volunteer activity, the actual volunteer
hours are relatively few.
ately before their departure. The trend
clearly is to inform all stakeholders well
in advance of departure and to collaborate on a plan for a smooth transition.
By virtue of their office, presidents
are planners, and data clearly indicate
that the vast majority did not enter
retirement without serious preparation. Almost 90 percent said they began
their planning at least two years prior
to retirement; 56 percent began planning five or more years before retirement. Planning focused primarily on
finance (98 percent), but a high
percentage also focused on lifestyle
issues, such as living location (68 percent), travel (63 percent), and relationships (54 percent). To a smaller degree,
retired presidents gave thought to
volunteer activities ( 35 percent) and to
work opportunities ( 29 percent).
While retired presidents understandably are less than happy about their
current financial standing, an overwhelming majority think they planned
well and made the right decisions to
secure their financial futures. But they
also indicate that if they had it to do
over, they would have nuanced their
employment contracts to provide more
favorable retirement benefits.
A majority of respondents (58 percent) felt they could have planned more
to identify professional opportunities
and possible volunteer activities. While
financial issues loom large prior to
retirement, work and volunteer opportunities become increasingly important
As presidents leave their work life
behind, personal health and recreation
increase in importance. In retirement,
presidents as a group report that they
maintain their health by paying attention to nutrition, exercise, and weight,
and 92 percent report that their health
has either improved or stayed the
Almost unanimously, presidents
agree that the chief benefits of exercise and physical recreation are the
sense of well-being, general health, and
increased energy. Presidents also like
the social interaction and the structure
exercise and recreation give to the day.
More than 80 percent of the retired
presidents say travel is important or
very important to their retirement
satisfaction. Reflecting that value, 96
percent of presidents say they have
taken at least one non-work-related
trip in the past year, and 56 percent say
they have taken at least four trips in
In a series of open-ended questions,
retired presidents were asked what
they wish they had known prior to
retirement and what advice they would
offer to those considering retirement.
Though some presidents were pleased
with their planning, others felt they
could have been more prepared for the
significant life change and the challenges associated with it.
Some presidents took time to
articulate with enthusiasm how much
they enjoy retirement. Another group
of presidents focused more on the
challenges associated with retirement,
challenges they perhaps did not sufficiently anticipate. These challenges
were primarily related to the use of
time and the search for meaningful
activities as they moved from a high-profile leadership role into retirement.
Retirees wished they had given more
thought to how they would fill their
“By virtue of their office, presidents are planners, and data clearly indicate that the vast majority did not enter retirement without serious preparation. ”
The majority of presidents (54 percent)
do not live in the community of the college from which they retired, and more
than 74 percent are no longer active
in the college. Those presidents who
are active in their colleges most often
cite work for the college foundation.
Respondents generally are likely to
move physically from their college
communities and, by a wider margin,
do not participate in the life of the
college except for marginal roles in
their college foundations.
Most respondents (72 percent) are