UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO RETIRED FACULTY ASSOCIATION

MINUTES OF OCTOBER 20, 2004 MEETING

 

These minutes were approved at the business meeting of the Retired Faculty Association, April 20, 2005.

 

The annual Fall meeting of the University of  Colorado Retired Faculty Association was held on Wednesday, October 20, 2004 in the University Memorial Center, Boulder campus, room 235.

 

President Carl Kisslinger called the meeting to order at 10 AM and welcomed all members and guests in attendance.

 

President Kisslinger read the names of our recently deceased colleagues.  The following names were added to those listed in the agenda materials:

Hugo Rodeck, C.U. Museum Director and Professor of Natural History,

Richard E. Morehouse, Library, UCB,

Harold M. Anderson, Education, UCB,

Lucille E. Fry, Library UCB,

Elmer Lauer, Chemical Engineering, UCB,

Rosalie Wagner,  wife of Charles Wagner, Chemical Engineer, UCB.

 

The minutes of the Annual Spring meeting of the RFA, April 28, 2004 were approved.

 

President Kisslinger gave the president’s report.  The principal items are summarized in the current Newsletter.  One general concern is how to better serve retired faculty from all the university campuses.  We are an all-university organization, but geographic separation makes this difficult. Howe and Kisslinger have initiated contact with UCCS and are encouraging close ties with UCDHSC.  The implications of the recent merger is a topic for further discussion at this meeting..  Eventually, one model might be for the RFA to serve as an umbrella organization for more-or-less autonomous retiree chapters on each campus.

 An immediate concern is the precarious financial situation of the Association.  In the dues notice we appealed for voluntary supplements to our low dues and have had a very good response to that.  A motion to increase the dues will be taken up later in the meeting.

 The creation of special interest groups by the members has been slow, but new groups must depend on the interest and initiative of members. Information about the newly founded Horizons organization is in the news letter and will be discussed later in this meeting.  We recently had a successful Tea Time Talk given by Prof. Paul Leavitt on the  pressure during the 1950s to purge the CU faculty of members because of their political positions and affiliations.

We still have a long way to go in our campaign to endow our graduate student awards program;  Pres.Kisslinger urged the faculty to respond to the gift form which came in the mailing.  (See further discussion below).

In the past few years Bill Tetlow has served as our web-master, and has done a fine job.  But he has informed us that he can no longer serve in this capacity because of  his duties at Winter Park Resort.  We are in the process of seeking a replacement, if possible a volunteer from our membership.  Anyone with the experience, time, and desire to help should contact one of the officers.  It is intended that the web site design be set up so that it will be easy to add new material.  The group expressed its appreciation to Bill Tetlow for the fine work he has done.

 

 

 

 

Rudy Schattke gave the treasurer’s report.  The job of providing an accurate report is complicated because it is given on October 20 and cannot include further income that comes in  and expenses that arise during the remainder of the calendar year. At the present time we have $4900 in cash and bank accounts and will have to pay out another $2300.  Prof. Schattke estimates that we will end up the year with an overall loss of $1000 for the year but at least we’ll still be in the black thanks to the fact that 2/3 of the 209 members renewing did contribute a voluntary addition to their dues, as we requested in our plea for extra funds.  The average amount paid was $18.67.  Rita Weiss suggested that people might give more if they could put it on their credit cards and similarly with the endowment drive.  Prof. Schattke replied that at present we are not set up to accept credit cards but we could certainly look into that.  Prof. Kisslinger explained that in the most recent request for contributions to the endowment drive, when he made up the form, he chose not to indicate a way to pay by credit card. He pointed out that the Foundation does accept credit card donations and includes a form for this on their standard pledge cards, which we have used in previous appeals. Prof. Schattke said that it would be desirable for us to have an independent audit at the end of the year, and he asked for volunteers to serve on an audit committee.  

 

 

President Kisslinger then introduced the following motion to raise the dues, which comes with the approval of the CURFA Executive board.   He said we need to raise the dues to keep us in the black and noted that it has been a long time (we don’t know how long) since dues were last raised.  The motion and supporting comments were included in the recent mailing.

    

Be it moved that the annual membership dues to the University of Colorado Retired Faculty Association be the following, effective as of September 1, 2005 for 2006: Dues for member, $20.00 per year;   if both spouses are retirees and wish separate listings in the directory and separate mailings of notices and other material, each will pay these dues.  Dues for spouse or partner of member who will be listed only with the member are eliminated; the name shall continue to be listed in the directory if so desired.  Dues for surviving spouse or partner of retired faculty, $10.00 per year. 

 

The motion was passed with no negative votes or abstentions.

 

President Kisslinger then presented the membership report received from Membership Secretary Stewart Strickler on Oct. 18.  Prof. Strickler is in India to celebrate the 150th anniversary of his high school.  210 members have paid dues for 2005.  There are 45 complimentary memberships for recently retired faculty.  183  were paid or complimentary for 2004 but have not yet paid dues for 2005. However dues are continuing to come in to.  There were 68 who haven’t paid for the 2004 or 2005 but paid (or had complimentary memberships) for 2003.  There are 99 who  have not paid  since 2002.  These latter  will be removed from our roster before the next mailing. 68% of our members are from the Boulder campus, 16 % are from the Health Sciences Center,  11% are from CU Denver and 4 % from Colorado Springs and 1% other (system administrators or from other universities). 

 

 

Further reports. Some reports which were not included in the mailing were distributed.  These were a report on the Faculty Council submitted by Oliver Ellsworth and a report on the Boulder Faculty Assembly, submitted by John Cooper and A. David Hill. Prof. Ellsworth reported further on the October meeting of the Faculty Council.  The university health plan is being switched over to a fiscal year basis, beginning on July 1, so the current renewal for 2005 will be for six months. Further details are given in the UBAB report below. There will be a second open-enrollment period in the spring for the year starting July 1, 2005.  Further, the Council also heard a report on the new “Enterprise Status” for the university.  Advantages include more flexibility on tuition, greater autonomy on fiscal decisions, exclusive authority in three areas:  building contracts (perhaps we’ll finally get a science library building),   admission requirements including the ratio of in-state to out-of-state students, and  academic programs.  In return for this there is required  more accountability to the state and that is the purpose of  the “performance contracts”.  Some concerns have been raised that these performance contracts could potentially infringe on academic freedom.  

 

Ombudsperson Bob Fink gave his report.  Only one issue arose during the past six months, but  with ten inquiries from people whose e-mail accounts had expired.  The Retired Faculty Association now has an arrangement on the Boulder campus such that we can sponsor e-mail accounts.  In particular this seems to  have arisen with surviving spouses;  in addition in some cases we’ve set up new e-mail accounts for retired faculty who didn’t have them before.   We have had inquiries from other campuses about setting up similar programs to accommodate retirees from all campuses. 

 

Stuart Schneck’s report on UBAB (University Benefits Advisory Board.):

1.  He reminded members that we are in an enrollment period which ends November 5 and that it is a “passive enrollment, so that you need do nothing if you have no changes to make. Premiums for this 6 month period will go up only 3.1 % for single retirees, 3% for retiree plus spouse and 2.9% for surviving spouses.  He noted that single retirees is the category for which the university contribution towards premiums is the highest (67.8%).  The AMT (alternative Medicare  plan) will increase to $127.63 from $117.63. The university is switching to a fiscal year plan in order to coordinate with the classified staff program.  There will be another open enrollment period, probably in April.  Prof. Schneck said that he doesn’t know whether the $240 deductible under the CU GWH Medicare supplement plan will be halved for the six month period or not, but will try to find out.

            2.  Concerning the new Medicare prescription drugs discount cards, Prof. Schneck commented that in his previous report, last April, he was rather negative.  But there have been a lot of changes in prices and it looks now as if the Medicare discount card may be of benefit in some categories.  The University Hospital pharmacy is now making a study of the prices of the 15 most prescribed medicines.  He hopes to have more information before the end of the year.  He encourages people to check the website  www.medicare.gov. 

            3.  He discussed the flu vaccine shortage and mentioned websites that help track down locations that offer vaccinations and other sites were mentioned by others present.   He asked who present had already gotten a shot and many hands were raised. 

 

Graduate Student Awards program. The 2003-2004 awardee from the Denver campus was Sam McGuire.  We had invited him to address the meeting today, but he has already taken a full time teaching job at Appalachian State University and moved to North Carolina.  Prof. Kisslinger read a very nice letter of gratitude from the awardee.  Concerning the awards for this coming year,  Shannon Foster is the awardee from the Colorado Springs Campus. She is (rather appropriately ) in the new program of geropsychology.   We have not yet heard who the Boulder Campus awardee will be. 

            With regard to the endowment campaign, see the contribution form included in the recent mailing.  Prof. Kisslinger fears that we have lost some of the momentum.  We are to raise the endowment fund by December 2005.  The Foundation requires a minimum of $25,000 to set up an endowment and we’re a bit over half way to that level. However in order assure continuation of the awards at the present level our goal is $50,000 (based on a reasonable interest rate of 4%).  We’ve had discussions with the Foundation concerning ways of raising more money and one idea is to solicit from some of the active faculty.  We really need substantial contributions.  Pres. Kisslinger urged the members to be generous.

 

Pres. Kisslinger briefly discussed the Horizons project.  This will be a separate Boulder community-wide membership organization for retired and semi-retired individuals. It will organize discussion groups, seminars and lectures.  It is hoped that the RFA can develop a working relationship with them.  The Executive Board could help by giving advice and suggesting names of RFA members to seminar and class leaders for resource people who could help organize reading lists and suggest topics for discussion.  They are not coming to us to recruit members.  There is a more detailed write-up in the current RFA newsletter.

 

The UCD-UCHSC merger.  Mark Heckler, Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, Downtown Denver campus spoke to the group concerning the merger.  The merger took effect last July 1.  It had been expected that it would not take effect for another year, during which time the specifics could be worked out. However in June it became clear that arrangements could not legally be worked out until the consolidation officially took place.  For  the present the name will be “the University of Colorado at Denver and  Health Sciences Center”.  The UCDHSC now has three campuses:  Downtown Denver,  9th and Colorado, and Fitzsimmons in Aurora.  The activities that now take place on the Denver campus will remain on the Denver campus.  Over time, the 9th and Colorado campus will be transformed. As a start, 240 research labs have now been moved out to Fitzsimmons.

            The vision for this university is to make it the premier urban research university for the region (and indeed one of the premier urban universities for the nation.).  But we will maintain the Denver campus as an “access campus”, encouraging the enrollment of first-generation students who meet the standards.   The third facet is the opportunity for interdisciplinary collaborative research. The University of Colorado will thus have two very strong components, Boulder and UCDHC, which will greatly improve our position in the state.

            In the past year, UCD and UCHSC leadership carefully looked at the implications that consolidation would have on administrative, financial, academic and research affairs. Removing barriers between UCD and HSC could also point the way to further cooperation and collaboration among all the CU campuses.  Administration and financial operations for UCDHSC are being consolidated and located downtown in the Lawrence Street center.  Also the CU Foundation staffs are being combined, moving to Sherman Street, across from the legislature. The administration has    learned from the experience of similar mergers for the University of Alabama, Birmingham 40 years ago and the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle 20 years ago.  With regard to the Retired Faculty Association, he said that organizations that existed prior to the merger may decide if they wish to merge or remain separate. There is no rush to consolidate anything. 

 

 

 

 

Election of officers: Chuck Howe was called upon give the report from the Nominating committee.  He first gave the floor to RFA past president Mary Bonneville , who thanked retiring president  Carl Kisslinger for all of his work both as  RFA president and earlier as president-elect, when he played a major role in getting the graduate student award program going.  The  award program has been excellent and she urged people to make donations.  In response to Mary and Chuck’s call to thank Carl for all he has done for the RFA, the group in attendance enthusiastically applauded.

 

            The nominating committee consisted of  three past presidents  Court Peterson, Bob Fink and Mary Bonneville, chaired by Chuck Howe.  The nominations were:  Johann Stoyva for Vice President/ President Elect,  Richard Roth for Secretary, and Bob Fink for Ombudsperson.   All three were elected by acclamation.  It was noted that Rudy Schattke has one year to go as Treasurer and Stew Strickler has agreed to continue in the appointed office of Membership Secretary; Chuck Howe will begin his term as president in January, 2005.

           

Additional people were thanked by Chuck and Carl for their service to the RFA.  These included Oliver Ellsworth,  representative to the Faculty Council and Stuart Schneck, a member of UBAB who has kept the RFA informed about actions important to the members. Franz Roehmann and Rebekka Struik  have been representing the RFA at the Faculty Council Personnel Committee. Natalie Hedberg is stepping down as representative to the BFA and A. David Hill and John Cooper will be our new representatives to the BFA. Johann Stoyva is our liaison with HSC and will work closely with  Bill Marine, president-elect  of the HSC retired faculty group.  Joel Salzberg and Donna Bogard  are liaisons with the Denver campus and are also members of the program committee,  Alan Kirkpatrick is the editor of the newsletter,  Bill Tetlow has been running our website, and Katherine Harris, is our staff support person.

 

The meeting adjourned around 11:30 AM and was followed by a break outside room 235.  The buffet luncheon began at 12:15PM.  The Luncheon speaker was Dan Corson of the Colorado Historical Society, who spoke on “Boulder:  the community that its people made”.  

 

 Respectfully submitted,  Richard Roth, Secretary.