A large and growing group of individuals -- the seniors -- is being chased out of our factories, our offices, our classrooms, our boardrooms, and in fact out of all aspects of active professional life. Although America is aging, and the mean age creeps up inexorably, institution after institution has programs designed to get rid of any gray heads with many years of experience and faithful service and replace them with younger, cheaper, and often part-time employees.

AT&T, IBM, and other big-business names are downsizing. One of their powerful pruning tools is to coax old-timers into retirement with seemingly attractive retirement packages. Many of these strategies have succeeded, leaving factories and offices devoid of workers over 55 years old.

The urge to de-age the work force has reached the universities. Using the same tactics as industry, academe is offering early-retirement schemes that lure senior faculty into nonproductive lives. As a...

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