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Teaching Gerontology, October 2010
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Thursday, 21 Sep 2017

Teaching Gerontology, October 2010

In this issue:

- Working Longer and Social Security
- Aging Means Business
- Aging Boomers
- AGHE Awards
- The Making of Corporate U.
- Intergenerational Service Learning
- Web Sites to See


"Working Longer Will Help Social Security"

How many times have we seen this claim announced: "If Americans chose to work longer, it would cut Social Security's shortfall."

Sounds plausible, but it's an urban legend.  Social Security benefits are provided at the "normal" age (currently 66), but you can take benefits as early as 62, although with a substantial reduction. Similarly, you can delay taking benefits (up to age 70) and each year you delay, you get higher benefits for the rest of your life.

Either way, Social Security is designed to be "actuarially fair." That is, for the Social Security system, based on average life expectancy, it makes no difference whether people start collecting benefits early (62) or late (70): total lifetime benefits are calculated to be the same (on average, of course, not for individuals).

Thus, if many aging Boomers decide to work longer and collect benefits later, they may be helping themselves, even helping the economy.  But they won't be affecting Social Security finances at all.  The way to "cut Social Security's shortfall" would be to raise the "normal" retirement age to, say, 68-- which is another way of cutting benefits and a way to save money and reduce the shortfall.  Whether that's a good idea, compared, say, to raising taxes, is a subject worthy of debate.  But let's have the real debate, not false reassurance that "working longer will help Social Security."

For an overview on issues related to "Raising Social Security's Retirement Age" see: http://ntserver2.geron.org/t/59543/395346/3328/0/


The Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) is seeking nominations for major awards:

The MILDRED M. SELTZER DISTINGUISHED SERVICE RECOGNITION honors colleagues who are near retirement or recently retired. Recipients are individuals who have been actively involved in AGHE through service on committees, as elected officers, or have provided leadership in one of AGHE's grant-funded projects. For those eligible for this recognition nominations can be submitted to Dr. Kelly Niles-Yokum at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Nominations are due October 27.

The ADMINISTRATIVE LEADERSHIP AWARD honors administrators on AGHE member campuses who have made exceptional efforts in support of gerontology or geriatrics education. Nominees should be administrators above the level of everyday program operation, such as Deans, Provosts, or Presidents.

Nominations for both awards are due by Oct. 27, 2010.

Letters of nomination for the Adm. Leadership Award should be sent to: Dr. Kelly Niles-Yokum, Awards Committee Chair, Behavioral Sciences Department, 441 Country Club Road, York College of PA 17403.

Email packets can be sent to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

For questions about awards, contact Dr. Niles-Yokum (717) 815-6477 or e-mail her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . More information about these awards can be found on the AGHE web site (deadline is revised).

Nominations for the AGHE DISTINGUISHED TEACHER HONOR are due by Tuesday, November 30, 2010.

The Distinguished Teacher Honor recognizes persons whose teaching stands out as exemplary, innovative, of impact, or any combination thereof. The winner will provide a highlighted teaching lecture at AGHE's annual meeting. Self-nominations are not permitted.

Those nominated must be willing and able to attend the 2011 AGHE Annual Meeting and Educational Leadership Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio and present a teaching lecture.

Full-time faculty members at an AGHE-affiliated institution with a minimum of five years of teaching experience are eligible to be nominated for this award.

For more information, visit the Distinguished Teacher Honor page at www.aghe.org


"[Higher Education] is… trying to remake itself. When endowments at the richest universities dropped by 25 percent to 30 percent, gifts declined, and states faced bankruptcies, the
costs of business as usual became too great. All the obvious steps have been taking place: cutting staff and programs, canceling capital investments and delaying maintenance projects, renegotiating debt, holding back increases in salaries and financial-aid packages.

Deferred maintenance, however, has crippling consequences because the costs tend to escalate over time. The shift to part-time faculty members, already under way during the last
two decades, is accelerating, and almost no one knows the consequences. The use of cost/profit measurements to decide what should be offered as education or what kind of research should be done, already commonplace by the 1990s, is even more intense, just as the goal of greater equity for students seems to be diminishing. The fact that approximately 45 percent of entering college students fail to graduate, with even higher percentages of minority students and students from low-income families, is disheartening. That students
are learning much less than they ought to is troubling. Technology has made all forms of education less placebound and more borderless, raising questions about the future for many institutions and opening up entrepreneurial opportunities. Adult students interested in vocational training are essential customers of higher education, perhaps even more so than the once-traditional age group of 17- to 22-year-olds."

(From "The Making of Corporate U.: How We Got Here" by Marvin Lazerson Chronicle of Higher Education (Oct. 17, 2010).


The Foundation for Long Term Care has completed a series of free on-line educational modules on the concept of Intergenerational Service Learning, which can be helpful for
promoting civic engagement for elders.  Available at: http://ntserver2.geron.org/t/59543/395346/3330/0/


BIOLOGY. "Human Aging: Biological Perspectives" is a web site that can help faculty who teach courses emphasizing biological aspects of human aging. See the web site at:

RETIREMENT.  The NY Times "Retirement" Guide is a source of many useful ideas for teaching: http://ntserver2.geron.org/t/59543/395346/3332/0/

BUSINESS. See "Managing Transitions in an Aging Society: What Should Business Students Know" by Eric Brucker, at: http://ntserver2.geron.org/t/59543/395346/3333/0/

This electronic newsletter, edited by Harry (Rick) Moody, is published by the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE) and co-sponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs at AARP. The information expressed in this newsletter was not composed by AGHE or any member of its staff. To submit items of interest or request subscription changes, contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Association for Gerontology in Higher Education
1220 L Street, NW, Suite 901, Washington, DC 20005
202.289.9806 • This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it • www.aghe.org

"Used with Permission"