UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO RETIRED FACULTY ASSOCIATION

MINUTES OF APRIL 20, 2005 MEETING

 

 

The annual Spring meeting of the University of Colorado Retired Faculty Association was held on Wednesday, April 20, 2005 in the University Memorial Center, Boulder Campus, room 235.

 

President Charles Howe called the meeting to order at 10 AM and welcomed all members and guests in attendance.  He read the names of our recently deceased colleagues and a moment of silence was observed.  The following names were added to those listed in the agenda materials:

 

Frances R. Bascom, Physical Therapy, UCB

William Lawrence Boyette, Theater and Dance, UCB

K. Leone Hemenway, wife of Myrle Hemenway, Education UCB

Michael Kalk, Special Education, UCB

Douglas C. Mohr, Chemistry UCB and NCAR

 

The minutes of the Annual Fall meeting of the RFA, October 20, 2004 were approved.

 

President Howe gave the president’s report.  He referred the members to his column in the current Newsletter.  He reported on the Tea Time talk, held at the Academy March 15, at which Professor John Lymberopolis spoke on the Athens Olympics, 2004. He encouraged members to attend future Tea Time Talks.

 

Pres. Howe introduced Neil Ashby, our new Webmaster, to the group. He is keeping our website up-to-date. Much useful information members might want to know is kept current on the website.  The address is www.colorado.edu/RetiredFaculty/.   

 

Pres. Howe noted that the CURFA serves the needs of retired faculty from all four campuses (still treating UCD and Health Sciences Center (HSC) as two separate campuses). The Executive Board's hope is to have active groups on each campus. The HSC already has an active retiree organization.  Dr. Bill Marine, president-elect of that organization and liaison member of the CURFA Board, addressed the group. He explained that the organization has been going about 10 years, has 100 dues-paying members, has four meetings and one luncheon a year.  They appreciate the increasing contact with the CURFA . Johann Stoyva, CURFA vice-president, serves as an additional link. They have a website (www.uchsc.edu/rfa/) with a link to the CURFA website.   Franz Roehmann spoke about the Denver campus.  At present there is no separate retired faculty organization on the Denver campus. On May 16 there will be a luncheon sponsored by the provost to discuss organizing one.  Pres. Howe said that there is activity underway to organize a retirees group on the Colorado Springs Campus.  Richard Blade, who was unable to attend this meeting, is working to get an active group going and is a liaison member of the CURFA Board for Colorado Springs campus..

 

Pres. Howe next introduced the new Director of University Budgets, Robert Kohrman (who is replacing Jim Topping) , who reported on the University financial outlook.  His talk covered 3 main topics.  1.  The Higher Education Budget Environment: These are difficult times, for example the percent of the State budget allotted to higher education went from 20% in 1990 to 11% in 2005, while student enrollment has increased by over 40,000 students;  2.  The College Opportunity Fund.  This is the new voucher program in which each resident student is assigned $2400 that goes to the University of his/her choice. It is not essentially a subtraction from the student’s tuition bill. If, for example, the tuition fee is $4000, then the student pays $6400 but will get a rebate from the state of  $2400.  and 3: The Fiscal Year 2006 Budget Outlook:  It is essential that the Ballot Initiative [HB 1194], which allows the State to keep all of the revenue collected above the TABOR limit, estimated to be $3.1 Billion, be passed.

 

Stuart Schneck, CURFA member who serves on UBAB, addressed the group about Medicare Discount Drug cards. He apologized for not getting the information out before January, 2005, but said that even with this delay, it is likely that people on the Great West HealthCare (GWH) Supplement program could still save money using these new cards.  But retirees need to do their own calculations.  They would first make a list of their medicines and then find out the GWH discounted price at their pharmacy, which cards are accepted at their pharmacy and what the corresponding Medicare discounted price for those cards is at the pharmacy, and the price of the discount cards.  Prof. Schneck distributed to the group a useful handout which explains the calculations and gives examples. However, starting in 2006 the discount card program completely changes and there will be a plan called “Medicare D”, which we are told will blend well with the GWH supplementary program. He also informed the group about a website that gives comparison for hospitals with respect to heart attacks, heart failure and pneumonia.  There is a link to this site on the Medicare website:  www.medicare.gov.

 

Prof Schneck then introduced Mark Stanker, Director of Payroll and Benefits, who addressed the group. PBS is now preparing for the open enrollment (April 25- May 27) for the next insurance cycle, which will be 12 months, starting July 1.. Materials will be sent out shortly.  This will be an “active enrollment” period. Unfortunately, with this new calendar, we don’t yet know the exact out-of-pocket premium, since this depends on the employer contribution, which won’t be definite until the Long Bill is passed in May.   This information will be sent out as soon as it comes available.

 

For the reports of various representatives and officers,  the members were directed to materials in the second mailing they received.  This did not include Franz Roehmann’s report so he now reported to the members about the Faculty Council Personnel Committee.  It has worked in close conjunction with Mark Stanker, concerning benefits.  They’ve also discussed the one-sixth rule on alternative compensation, the variation in benefits on the different campuses, and the topic of “disabilities” vs. “diversity”.

 

Prof. Robert Fink, our ombudsperson, reported to the members.  Jack Kelso is our associate ombudsperson.  There were 16 contacts since the last meeting, including two concerning benefits issues, two regarding retirement issues and two regarding other policy issues.

 

Oliver Ellsworth added to his written report on the Faculty Council.  There were two more meetings, in March and in April.  A plan was approved for the Faculty Council to investigate tenure. President Elizabeth Hoffman addressed the April meeting and gave high praise to the fine system of faculty governance we have at CU.

 

Past President Carl Kisslinger addressed the group. He first presented the CURFA budget report, since Treasurer Rudy Schattke was out of town.  The CU president’s contribution of $5000, increased from $1500, has been of great help. As of April 15 we have $7561 as cash on hand. However, the UMC charges for this meeting, including the luncheon, and some smaller expenses have not yet been paid.   He reported on the Graduate Student Awards Endowment fund.  As of April 14 we have $20,630, net of awards for 2004-2005. $1800 has been donated since January and $8245 during this fiscal year.  He is concerned that only about 60 members (out of roughly 500 members) have contributed so generously.  We hope for broader participation.  We need at least $25,000 by the end of the year to create an endowment.  Prof. Kisslinger has been invited to attend the meeting of the HSCRFA on May 10, to describe the awards program and solicit the support of HSC retirees not in CURFA. The Health Sciences Center is one of the major beneficiaries of these awards..

 

Prof. Kisslinger introduced Jamie Gillen of the Department of Geography, who is this year’s Boulder campus graduate award winner. His general area is Urban Culture Economies in Viet Nam. His thesis advisor is Tim Oakes.  His talk was entitled Non-Western Entrepeneurialism: Negotiating Cultural Contradictions in Tourism in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam. He gave a very interesting presentation, dealing with how in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) they strive to develop trade and tourism, while making it compatible with Vietnamese culture. 

 

The meeting adjourned at 11:30 AM and was followed by a  punch and conversation” break  outside room 235.  The buffet luncheon began at12:15.  This was followed by a delightful jazz program presented by Bill Clark and members of the Claim Jumpers, from University of Colorado at Denver.  

 

Respectfully submitted, Richard Roth, Secretary.