UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO RETIRED FACULTY ASSOCIATION

MINUTES OF OCTOBER 15, 2008 MEETING (DRAFT)

 

            The annual Fall meeting of the University of Colorado Retired Faculty Association was held on Wednesday, October 15 in the University Memorial Center, Boulder Campus, room 235.

 

            President Johann Stoyva called the meeting to order at 10:00 AM and welcomed all members and guests in attendance.  The minutes of the April 30, 2008 Fall Spring meeting were approved.

           

            President Stoyva said that a problem had arisen with respect to the recent change from Great West Insurance to Anthem:  Anthem was expecting that people getting reimbursement for medicines would need to submit forms, rather than getting automatic reimbursement as had been the case with Great West.  Members of the RFA (including Arnoldo Majerfield,  Lee Potts, and Jim Wolf ) were able to get that reversed, so that reimbursements for medicines are automatic. 

 

            Stoyva also mentioned that he has been putting together a list of books published in the past year by retired faculty.  So far he has 90 names and it should be easy to increase that to 100.  This would be good         to show administrators and others that retired faculty, as a body, are a considerable resource to the university.

 

            Stuart Schneck,  CURFA member who serves on UBAB (University Benefits Advisory Board) gave his report.  There have been a number of problems in connection with the changeover

from Great West  to Anthem Medicare Supplement Plan which many of our members have.  Concerning the question of automatic reimbursement for medicines described above, he noted that also the Benefits Office had played a major role in solving this problem.   Anthem greatly underestimated the number of prescriptions that our retirees fill.   For example in July there were 783 prescriptions filled.  They initially planned to handle them in monthly batches, but fortunately that was changed to weekly batches. Also Anthem at first applied only 80% of the prescription charge to the overall $240 deductible instead of the correct 100%.  Anthem’s Explanation of Benefits forms are difficult to understand.  You may get information by calling the special Anthem phone number to be found on our medical cards. (press 0 if you want to get directly to a live person.)

            There have been two significant problems in connection with Anthem’s Mail Order Pharmacy at the University of Colorado Hospital.  The first was that they did not receive a correct price list until early September, so they had to give appropriate credit to many people who had been overcharged.  The second problem was with the $150 deductible which now applies to mail order at the University Hospital pharmacy, unlike what was true with Great West.

            Do not pay any bill that you receive for medical services until you are sure that Medicare has paid its portion and Anthem has paid its portion.  You may have heard that Anthem has been fined for claims problems in 2006.  This caused them quickly to improve their computer systems.

 

            We then heard from Michael Poliakoff, CU Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Research.   He moved here only 18 months ago.  President Benson sends his greetings; he’s out of town doing outreach this week.  Benson views the retired faculty association as an extremely important part of the university.  Poliakoff will work to make sure that the financial contribution from the President’s office to the RFA will be a regular item in the budget.  Since this is an all university organization, he will make sure there’s a link from the vice- president’s website to our website and work with our technology team in migrating our website onto the (whole university) system server if that is what we would like.  In addition he will help as much as can with the help of the provosts in making sure that the Association has a good way of accessing all the retired faculty (not just members).   President Benson wants the Colorado public to know the University better and is thinking of setting up lectures or brief seminars designed for the community, and retired faculty can contribute to that program.   If you have any ideas or thoughts or complaints you can reach Poliakoff at Michael.Poliakoff@colorado.edu.

           

            The next item was nominations and election of officers.   Prof. Stoyba introduced Jim Wolf, Vice president and President-Elect, and Prof. Wolf took over the nominations procedure.  The nominations committee consisted of Wolf, Sandra Moriarty and Chuck Howe. The executive board also helped. Wolf presented the slate and asked if there were further nominations from the floor (there were none).   For the next vice-president/President Elect, Norton Steuben, Law School, Boulder campus was the nominee.  (Unfortunately he was unable to attend because of illness.) For General Secretary the nominee was William Briggs, Mathematics, UCD.  A handout gave biographical information about the two candidates.  There was also a pro-forma nomination of Lee Potts as the ombudsperson for retired faculty.  She has been acting in that position already. A unanimous ballot was passed.   

 

            Jim Wolf reported on a visit he had with President Bruce Benson along with Gloria Main, Richard Blade, Bill Marine, and Sandra Moriarty.  (Notice that all 4 campuses were represented).  Michael Poliakoff was also present.  The group thanked this administration for its support of the Association including the subvention which should become a permanent item for the budget. The administration is supportive and recognizes the value of the retired faculty.

 

            Treasurer Gloria Main gave her report (which was distributed to those present).  For the year 2007-2008, total income came to over $13,000 while total expenses came to around $11,000. Thus we are in good shape, but without the $5000 we would not be able to publish the two newsletters and the directory.

 

            Sandra Moriarty reported on the Graduate Awards program.  This year a $500 award goes to the UCD downtown campus while $1000 goes to the Anschutz (Health Sciences) campus. The latter has chosen to divide this into two $500 awards.   The three awardees this fall are Pedro Pena, Pharmacology and Andrea Suarez, Molecular Biology,  both at the Anschutz campus; and Yanjuan Yang, Business at the Denver downtown campus.  They will be invited to give a short talk at our Spring meeting. The following year we will give a $1000 award to a student on the Boulder Campus and a $500 award to Colorado Springs. 

            Last Spring our total funds came to around $48,600 but due to the market we are now down to about  $44,600.  Also gifts have been down.  Our goal was to reach an endowment of $50,000 (it is currently at $41,073).  Contributions would be greatly appreciated. 

 

            President Stoyva announced that our Membership Secretary, Stew Strickler has been ill and was unable to attend to give the membership report. We really wish him well and are thankful to him for all the superb work he does. He has agreed to continue for a while as membership secretary.

 

            Next Lee Potts, our ombudsperson was introduced.  She presented Larry Singell who replaces Bob Fink in the faculty ombuds position (for active faculty).  She mentioned that before he retired, Fink helped  reinstate an e-mail account which had become defunct.  One need only fill out a form (which Fink has).

 

            Jim Wolf reported on the recent Tea-Time Talk given by Bill Weber.  Bill talked about the people who mentored him as he built his career.  

            Bill Weber is still active in research at age 92.  He is famous for making the herbarium a world class institution.  Jim Hester (retired from Anthropology, UCB) has come up with idea of naming the herbarium the Weber Herbarium. Wolf  briefly read from several highly enthusiastic letters.  Jim Hester addressed the group concerning this proposal.  The group passed the following  motion unanimously: 

            The Retired Faculty of the University of Colorado endorses the idea of naming the herbarium the “William A. Weber Herbarium” and we request the University of Colorado administration to move ahead with this motion.

 

            Oliver Ellsworth reported on the Faculty Council.  They met on Aug.28 at the luxurious new facilities on the Anschutz campus (to avoid downtown traffic difficulties due to Obama’s acceptance speech).  On Sept. 25 they returned to the president’s office at 1800 Grant St where they ordinarily meet.  They made several recommendations regarding transcripts: that separate career transcripts be made at a student’s request, and that the present IW and IF grades be replaced by a single option “I” which essentially is the same as present “IF”.  Concerning the question of retired faculty access to electronic resources at the library, Ellsworth is continuing to pursue the  matter and hopes that at least access would be granted to individual retired professors who need it.   

           

            A. David Hill reported on the Boulder Faculty Assembly (Hill and John Cooper are our liaison people with BFA).   Those of us who have Eco passes are encouraged to use them and it is hoped that the program will continue.  It is hoped that the tuition waiver for children of faculty can be improved.  There is much concern about the proposed general education assessment program being set up by the Regents.

 

            Bill Marine reported on the Anschutz campus.  He noted that faculty at Anschutz do have access to electronic resources at the library.  The Center for Global Health is sponsoring the first annual Conference on Global Health.  There is a committee being formed to consider the possibility of having an intercollegiate athletic program at UCD.

 

            Richard Blade reported on the Colorado Springs campus.  UCCS has one association for retired faculty and staff. Dues are $5.  Leslie Manning is its new president.  They have semi-annual meetings with luncheons paid for by the administration and the Foundation. They also have a scholarship program.  The campus is quite large and impressive now with many new buildings.

 

            The new liaison with UCD, Clyde Zaidins, was introduced.  He is replacing Franz Roehmann. 

 

            Jim Wolf proposed a motion of commendation and thanks for the service to the CURFA for the following four people:   Chuck Howe (retiring as president emeritus);  Bob Fink (retiring as ombudsperson);  Richard Roth  (retiring as general secretary); and Johann Stoyva (outgoing president).The motion was seconded and passed by acclamation.

 

            The meeting was adjourned at around 11:40 PM.  This was followed by a social hour with punch and buffet luncheon.  The luncheon talk was presented by Marjorie and Dick McIntosh on “Teaching in Africa: New Vistas for Retired Faculty.”

 

            Respectfully submitted: Richard Roth, General Secretary