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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  2015  /  March 2015  /  Keeping the furrow ploughed

Keeping the furrow ploughed

Thoughts on retirement from Alan Gilbert

Keeping the furrow ploughed

Emeritus Professor Alan Gilbert offers some thoughts on retirement:

What happens, you may think, to those who used to work in the department and have since retired? They clearly do not cease being academics, although they no longer get paid a salary or have their own office, and have to subsist on their meagre pensions.

Retired academics also usually continue to plough some kind of intellectual furrow. In my case, the last year has seen the publication and/or preparation of papers on urban management, Latin American suburbs, rental housing policy worldwide, rental housing in Latin America, the insanity of offering poor people housing for nothing, and the transfer of urban policy initiatives between countries.

My travel has been limited by health problems (and UCL’s failure to offer conference grants or even insurance to those in their third age!). However, nice people in Quito, Paris and Delft have offered the means for me to get to their conferences, so life has not been wholly sedentary. Medellín would have been added to the list but for illness - the real downside of getting old.

Moral to colleagues: Stay young, stay poor, and enjoy giving your lectures!


Alan Gilbert

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