UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO RETIRED FACULTY ASSOCIATION

MINUTES OF OCTOBER 17, 2001, MEETING

 

The Annual Fall Meeting of the Retired Faculty Association was held on Wednesday, October 17, 2001, in the West Glenn Miller Ballroom of the University Memorial Center at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

   

President Mary Bonneville called the meeting to order at 10:00 a. m. and welcomed all members and guests.

 

The minutes of the Annual Spring meeting of the RFA on April 18, 2001, were approved as presented.

 

Recognition of Deceased Members.  Mary Bonneville read the names of faculty members and administrators and spouses who had died since the April 18, 2001, meeting.   Those memorialized were listed in the packet previously mailed to the membership.

 

President's Report.  RFA President Mary Bonneville reported on the following items: 

 

(1)   The new RFA office will be located on the "garden level" of the university president's office.  President Hoffman and her Chief of Staff, J. D. Beatty, have been very helpful to the RFA, arranging for space and office equipment including files, a computer, and a telephone. Rita Weiss will help plan an "open house" and reception to celebrate the office when it is "up and running" in the near future. 

 

(2)   The RFA will be announcing the first two graduate student awards before the end of this calendar year.  The winning students, one at UCD and the other at UCHSC, will be invited to report on their work at the RFA's 2002 Spring Meeting.  The RFA has already received more than $1300 donated to the awards fund.  At the end of a two-year trial period the Executive Committee will evaluate the success of the awards program and decisions will be made about the future of the program and appropriate ways to fund it. 

 

(3)    Members were reminded to fill out the RFA's "Staying in Touch" forms, in order that friends and colleagues can maintain communications.  If members have misplaced forms that were included in mailings, forms are available on the RFA's web site: http://www.colorado.edu/RetiredFaculty/  

 

(4)   The RFA's Executive Committee routinely meets from 1:00 - 2:30 on the third Friday of the month in MCD Biology, Room A1B60.  If any members have special interests, news, or ideas that they would like to present to the Executive Committee, they are encouraged to do so. The next meeting will be in November. 

 

(5)   The RFA needs volunteers to keep the list of deceased members current. Volunteers may peruse newspaper obituary columns and other sources to accomplish this task. 

 

(6)   It is the policy of the RFA to keep faculty retirees on the membership roll for one year without payment of dues.  The Executive Committee will soon consider offering free memberships to those who are eighty and older. 

 

(7)   The RFA is pleased that Bill Tetlow, formally of ITS, has agreed to be the new Webmaster for http://www.colorado.edu/RetiredFaculty/

 

(8)   Katherine Harris was introduced as the RFA's helper.  

 

(9)   The Spring Meeting is set for the third Wednesday in April, 2002.  The speaker will be Jonathan Van Blerkom who will talk about stem cells and cloning.

 

Treasurers and Membership Reports.  Miles Olson presented both the Treasurer's and membership reports. 

 

(1)   Members were referred to page 8 of the mailing packet for this meeting. Taking into account last Spring's luncheon as well as the $1600 to be paid out for graduate student awards, the balance in the treasury is about the same as last year's at this time. 

 

(2)   As of September 1, 2001, the RFA counted 598 members.  However, that total is inflated because it includes 147 retirees with complimentary memberships.  Paid memberships for next year (retirees, spouses and partners of spouses, and surviving spouses and partners) plus 12 complimentary memberships bring the total to 356 members.  The reports were approved as presented.

 

 Reports From Committees and Representatives.

 

(a)     Faculty Personnel Committee.  Mary Bonneville referred members to Joan McConkey’s report on page 7 of the packet distributed for this meeting.  The report was approved without additions or amendments.

 

(b)     Faculty Council.  Larry Morse announced there was no report from Faculty Council.

 

 

(c)     Boulder Faculty Assembly.  Members were also referred to page 7 of the packet for the report on the BFA.  The report was approved without additions or amendments.

 

(d)     Ombudsperson.  Bob Fink reported the following: 

 

(1)               Since the Spring meeting he has had 23 consultations with retirees, most of them seeking information and not reporting problems.  Over half of the retirees wanted information about benefits and retirement issues.  Some inquired about archiving their papers.  One retiree expressed a concern about identity theft from materials sent out by the university that include personal information along with the retiree's name and address.

 

(2)               By January of 2002 it should be possible to set up electronic fund transfer (EFT) for payments of insurance premiums.  Also in January, it should be possible to mail order 90 day prescriptions for drugs through Great Western. (The Health Sciences Center is no longer allowed to fill such prescriptions for patients of physicians not connected with the HSC.)  Retirees will receive notices in the mail informing them exactly when EFT and mail order prescription services will be available. 

 

(3)               Two faculty retirees, Dorothy Moore (last known address in Texas) and Mary Martin (last known address in Sterling, Illinois),need to be contacted concerning important matters.  Bob Fink requested that RFA members get in touch with him if they know where either of these retirees might be found.

 

 

(e)     UBAB.  Stuart Schneck reported the following: 

 

(1)    There have been big increases in supplemental insurance premiums.  The monthly charge for a single retiree is now $63.80; for a retiree and spouse the charge is $236.67.  The charges would be even higher were it not for the intervention of President Hoffman who increased the contribution of the university to insurance premiums, reducing single payer payments by 15% and couples' payments by 5 or 6 per cent.  As high as these payments are, they are the best deal available. 

 

(2)    RFA members now have a "dedicated human being" at Great Western to respond to any insurance problems at CU  Her name is Kristina Morgan, and she can be reached at  303-305-0914.  For general information about plans offered at CU, interested persons may also call 1-800-858-5744. 

 

(3)    Great Western's supplemental insurance does cover emergency care out of the country.  Policyholders are strongly urged to call the phone number listed on their insurance cards within 72 hours after the emergency care has been delivered.  From personal experience, however, Stuart Schneck reported that Great Western is somewhat flexible on this requirement. 

 

(4)    In answer to questions concerning alternative plans to Great Western's: two options exist: 

 

(a)    Although some retirees have signed up with Kaiser,  Kaiser rates have gone up to the extent that UBAB  no longer looks favorably on the Kaiser plan. 

(b)    It is now possible to roll over medical savings accounts from year to year.  As more physicians' groups set up their own insurance plans, this option may become increasingly attractive.

 

(5)    Dental coverage under the supplemental plan remains the same.  However, the rate for this year has increased 10% over last year's rate.

 

(6)    The Benefits Office is happy to try to answer any questions that retirees may have.

 

Nominations and Elections.  RFA Vice President Carl Kisslinger began by expressing thanks to Miles Olson for all the work he has done as Treasurer and membership record keeper.  The Vice President then presented the following nominations for RFA offices:

Treasurer - Pat Magette

Ombudsperson - Bob Fink

The nominees were elected unanimously.

 

Appointments.  Carl Kisslinger announced the following appointments:

Assistant Secretary for Membership - Stewart Strickler

                                    Liaison to UCHSC - Anne Harrison

Program Committee - Carl Kisslinger, Chair; Mary Bonneville; Court Peterson

 

On behalf of the RFA Carl acknowledged the fine job done by Julie McKie in setting up the RFA web site, and welcomed Bill Tetlow as the site's new web master.  Carl also appealed to the membership to get the word out about the existence of the web site in order that members may enjoy better communications with each other and with the RFA.

 

New Business.  The following items of new business were considered: 

 

(1)   Court Peterson referred the members to motions amending the RFA's By-Laws, presented on page 10 of the mailing packet.  Motion #1 sets the terms of offices through the calendar year. 

1.       Motion #2 clarifies language regarding the election of RFA representatives to other university bodies. 

2.       Motion #3 legitimizes the appointment of RFA members by the President, with the approval of the Executive Committee, as assistants to officers elected by the membership. 

3.       All motions passed unanimously.

 

(2)   Jerry Peterson, President of Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa on the UCB campus, appealed for help from those members of the RFA who are also members of Phi Beta Kappa.  Alpha Chapter needs people to participate at all levels.  Because the chapter has a large endowment, no dues are required, and money is available for fellowships and other scholarly endeavors such as lecture programs.  The next event on the Boulder Campus will be December 2nd in the Glenn Miller Ballroom of the UMC.  At that time 130 new members will be initiated into Phi Beta Kappa.  Those interested in more information can use either of two e-mail addresses:  Peterson@spectr.Colorado.edu  or  PBK@Colorado.edu

 

(3)   Mary Bonneville reported briefly on a project now being undertaken by the Faculty Council's Committee on Women.  The purpose of the project is to improve the atmosphere for women on campus.  Retired faculty women who have felt the lack of adjustments in benefits when salaries were raised may find this to be a project in which they would like to become involved.  Bob Fink will work with Mary to present the concerns of retired women to the Faculty Council's Committee on Women and also to the Boulder Faculty Association's Committee on Women.

 

(4)   Mary Bonneville presented a short list of issues which will be placed before the RFA's Executive Committee in the near future: 

 

(a)    Free RFA memberships for retirees over 80 will be proposed at the next Executive Committee meeting. 

(b)    A few complaints have been received about the cost of the luncheon.   The Executive Committee   welcomes other ideas for meetings.

(c)    The Executive Committee would like to hold some smaller meetings for members in Denver.  It was suggested that the RFA arrange bussing so that members from Boulder could travel together to a meeting site in Denver. Donna Bogard, a recent retiree from UCD, enthusiastically endorsed the idea of Denver meetings and invited Boulder members to attend an upcoming concert on the Denver Campus commemorating Pearl Harbor.

 

(5) Carl Kisslinger said there will be a review of the criteria for continuing RFA awards to graduate students.  This review will include contacts with the chancellors, at which time the RFA will have the opportunity to underline the Association's interest in all four campuses.

 

(6) By acclamation the RFA passed a Resolution of Congratulations honoring the CU scientists, Eric Cornell and Carl Wieman, who share the 2001 Nobel Prize in physics.

 

(7)              J. D. Beatty, President Hoffman's Chief of Staff, spoke to the RFA on several topics.      

 

a.       He announced that as of today the new RFA office has a computer and a sign on the door. 

 

b.       The RFA has expressed interest in learning about the activities of retired faculty at other institutions. At Iowa State University   some retirees have taken advantage of the "Seniors College," which offers travel programs featuring expert guides.  Retired faculty have also taught classes -- some proving so popular that undergraduates have asked permission to attend. Drawing on his own experience as a member of the Iowa State English faculty, Beatty speculated that the active volunteering by retired faculty at ISU may be related to the fact that few competing activities are available in Ames, Iowa. 

 

c.       Responding to the question, "What is your job?"  Beatty said he informs the President and helps her organize her schedule.  He also tries to answer questions and solve problems in an appropriate and timely manner.  The main difficulty confronting planning at CU today is the reduction of funding for capital projects due to the downturn in the economy.

 

d.       In response to the question, "Should the system office be [more centrally located] in Denver?"  Beatty replied that the current Board of Regents is not in favor of a move.  At the present time President Hoffman spends about three days a week working in Denver.

 

(8) The next meeting of the RFA is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, April 17, 2002. (Changed to Wednesday, April 24,2002 –ed note)

 

The meeting was adjourned at noon.

 

At the ensuing luncheon, University President Elizabeth Hoffman treated RFA members and guests to an interesting and thought-provoking talk.  The title of her presentation was "Lifelong Learners."

 

Respectfully submitted, Katherine Harris, Recorder