A Cambridge spokeswoman said university policy is for professors to retire from the position, once held by Sir Isaac Newton, in the year they reach age 67, Britain's Telegraph newspaper reported Friday. Hawking will continue his work, however, as Emeritus Lucasian Professor.
"The post is retiring but Hawking isn't," the spokeswoman told the newspaper. "Nothing will change. It is merely a formality."
Hawking, who is almost completely paralyzed by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is one of the world's leading experts on black holes, gravity and the origins of the universe. He has held the post at Cambridge since 1979.