CU's President Hoffman spoke at fall luncheon

Dr. Elizabeth "Betsy" Hoffman, president of the four-campus, 46,000-student University of Colorado System, delivered a speech on lifelong learning after the Annual Fall Meeting luncheon on Oct. 17.

President Hoffman began her term as the 20th CU president Sept. 1, 2000. She also holds the tenured faculty position of professor in the department of economics, College of Arts and Sciences, at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Prior to her appointment to CU's top post, President Hoffman, 53, served as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she also held concurrent academic appointments as professor of economics, history, political science and psychology, and professor in the Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

Her teaching interests include applied microeconomics, experimental economics, public choice, economic history, and law and economics. As UIC's chief academic officer, Dr. Hoffman managed a $1 billion budget and headed the nation's third-largest health sciences center, which included the country's largest medical school.

Dr. Hoffman joined UIC in 1997 after serving as dean of the college of liberal arts and sciences at Iowa State University. Throughout her career, she has also held academic and administrative positions at the University of Florida, Northwestern University, Purdue University, the University of Wyoming and the University of Arizona.

President Hoffman earned a Ph.D., in history, from the University of Pennsylvania in 1972 and a second Ph.D., in economics, from the California Institute of Technology in 1979. She received a B.A. in history from Smith College in 1968 and an M.A. in history from the University of Pennsylvania in 1969.

Dr. Hoffman has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, prizes and professional distinctions. Among those are the Ronald H. Coase Prize for excellence in the study of law and economics, the ANBAR Electronic Intelligence Citation of Excellence and being recognized in 1999 as one of 100 women making a difference by Today's Chicago Woman. She has also served on more than 40 academic advisory councils, boards and committees, co-wrote three books and dozens of articles, and received consistent National Science Foundation funding for her distinguished research.
Throughout her career, President Hoffman has remained continuously active in leadership roles for university, non-profit and community service organizations.

Her university service positions have included guidance roles on library committees, undergraduate studies committees, faculty senates and graduate studies committees. President Hoffman was born on Nov. 12, 1946, in Bryn Mawr, Pa., and is married to Dr. Brian Binger, adjunct professor of economics at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

She is an avid movie watcher and reader of works of history and mystery novels. She enjoys hiking, running, tennis and skiing, and is an enthusiastic sports fan, especially football, men's and women's basketball, tennis and golf.

VanBlerkom to discuss stem cell issues at RFA's April meeting

Looking ahead to the RFA Annual Spring Business Meeting luncheon: Jonathan VanBlerkom of MCDB has agreed to be the speaker.

The meeting is preliminarily scheduled for April 17th,2002. VanBlerkom will discuss stem cell research, how it is being and will be done, who will do it and the mechanism for government oversight, among other related topics.

RFA President's Corner

I am pleased to report several pieces of good news as the RFA enters the 2001-2002 academic year.

Graduate student awards

At our business meeting in April 2001, the membership passed unanimously a motion to establish graduate student awards at each of the four campuses. In the Fall of 2001 awards will be given to the graduate schools at the UCHSC and at UCD. Students chosen by those schools, along with their mentors, will attend our April 2002 meeting, and the awardees will present short reports on their research projects. In the Fall of 2002, similar awards will be made at UCB and UCCS, and the recipients will be with us at the Spring 2002 meeting. If the membership judges the project a success, the cycle will be repeated in 2003 and 2004.

The RFA Graduate Student Awards will provide an opportunity for the members to enhance the quality of life within the University community and to have contact with young scholars who are training to become leaders in their fields, within Colorado and beyond. The RFA owes many thanks to its vice president, Carl Kisslinger, whose enthusiasm brought our attention to this potentially exciting project and whose perseverance helped to bring it to fruition. Our special thanks also go to Mary Anna Dunn, senior vice president for development at the University of Colorado Foundation Inc., as well as to her Assistant for Development Linda Wolvington. The RFA has signed a contract with the Foundation, which will administer the grants. It is our fondest hope that tax-exempt contributions by the membership will begin to build a fund that will make these grants possible for many years to come.

RFA gets prime office space

Our second big piece of news is the establishment on the Boulder campus of an central office for the RFA. In May, Carl Kisslinger and Bob Fink, our ombudsperson, met with President Elizabeth Hoffman, who readily agreed that the RFA should have an official presence on campus and who asked her Chief of Staff, J.D. Beatty, to help us. We were pleased and delighted beyond all our expectations when we were offered an office in the basement of the Office of the President. Desks, chairs, filing cabinets, a telephone and even a computer are being provided to us by the administration. Convenient access for disabled persons means that all our members will be able to reach the office with ease. Thus the Association now has a place to store its records and center all its activities. These advantages should be the basis for more efficient transitions as new members are elected to the Board and take up their duties. Our most grateful thanks go to President Hoffman and to J.D. Beatty for their willingness to welcome the RFA to the Boulder campus and to make the access so easy for us. We will keep the membership posted on our progress in bringing the office into full operation.

The RFA office will provide a central base from which we can carry out our business in sending out and receiving routine and special communications, and where members can meet and consult with the Association's officers and ombudsperson. We have been fortunate to hire (part time) Ms. Katherine Harris of Boulder (not Florida!) to help set up the office and keep things running smoothly.

Web site established

The executive committee, led by Carl Kisslinger, has been pushing ahead on setting up and maintaining an RFA web site. Julie McKie, a long time staff member in CIRES and a Web site expert, agreed to set up the site for us. (The address is: www.colorado.edu/RetiredFaculty) The Executive Committee has identified a new Web site mana, one of our members - Bill Tetlow, formerly with ITS. We envision the Web site as a means of keeping in touch with our members, especially those who have moved from the Front Range area, and eventually, we hope to have the site provide for exchange of news among all retired faculty.

Of course the RFA will continue as advocate for the retired faculty when problems arise vis-à-vis the University. The retired faculty presently enjoys a good working relationship with Bob Millsap, director of benefits services. The University Benefits Advisory Board (UBAB), chaired by Bruce Neumann, and the Office of Risk Management, headed by Anne Costain with assistance from Paul Perales, have shown patience and willingness to listen and to help us work out our problems.

Stuart Schneck, who is a member of UBAB and also a member of the RFA, deserves our thanks for keeping the Association informed about problems and changes in University benefits.

The RFA always has need of help and advice. The Board welcomes volunteers who are ready to do some of the many jobs that keep the organization a vital and responsive entity. We hope that anyone who can and will helps us will not hesitate to get in touch with one of the Board members (see our directory on page 2). It has been a great pleasure for me, as a member of the Board and an officer for over four years, to find so many new friends and acquaintances among the retired faculty of the University. Please let the Board members know how we can better serve you.

Mary Bonneville

All retired faculty, spouses welcome at annual meetings

The Annual Fall Meeting of the RFA was held this year on Wednesday, Oct. 17. We met for the business meeting in the Glenn Miller West Ballroom of the UMC at 10 a.m. The luncheon began at 12 noon in the Middle Ballroom. All retired faculty and their spouseswere welcome to attend, whether or not they were members of the RFA.

Keeping drug costs in check

Seniors trying to hold the line on prescription drug costs have several options besides the discount program proposed this summer by President Bush, according to a column by Jane Bryant Quinn that was distributed Aug. 28 through the Washington Post Writers Group.

"People with moderate incomes often can't afford medications, especially permanent prescriptions for managing chronic illnesses," Quinn wrote. "So they stay sick and get even sicker. Bush hopes to organize seniors into 10 or 12 vast buying pools. The pools would be managed by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) - the same people who manage drug benefits for corporate health programs now.

"PBMs would negotiate with drug companies for lower prices. The seniors in each pool could order by Web or phone, or get the discount through their local pharmacy."

The savings would be perhaps as much as 20 percent compared to retail, according to Quinn, but through mail and online resources, those kinds of prices are already available. She suggests checking the opportunities listed below "to see what each one charges for the drugs you use regularly."

All information and quotes below are from Quinn's column:

RFA approves revised graduate award program

Seeing the bath water, RFA Vice President Carl Kisslinger went looking for the baby. As a result, the organization's new set of graduate student awards now pick up where a previous program fell short.

"Some years ago the RFA gave an annual gift to the Boulder campus graduate school," he said. "I really enjoyed having one of those awardees come into our meeting and talk about his or her work."

There was a hitch, however. The awards didn't square with CU's expanding presence along the Front Range, and were discontinued.

"This is really a kind of tradition that got interrupted," Kisslinger said. "For a variety of reasons the whole thing was dropped. One of the problems was that the RFA is an all-university organization, and the awards were only going to students in Boulder."

Kisslinger said that he, along with RFA past president Rita Weiss and others, was saddened RFA no longer presented the awards and endeavored to find a way resurrect them. They proposed a new arrangement that distributed award funds throughout all four CU campuses.

He said he was pleased to learn RFA was able to comfortably support the redesigned awards.

"There are abundant resources that allow for this without dipping into reserves," he said. "If reserves ever get too low to support the program, it goes on hold."

Kisslinger noted that he felt it was essential for RFA members to continue to find ways to connect to the University.

"I know it's a tired phrase, but it's important that we do things like this to remind ourselves that were part of a community of scholars," he said, noting that he had a chance to present details of the new awards program to President Elizabeth Hoffman.

"Her reaction was really excellent." Kisslinger said. "One of the things she said that had me cheering quietly to myself was that in her experience, she found that an active retired faculty was a strong asset to a University."

At the Annual Spring Business Meeting on April 18, Retired Faculty Association membership voted unanimously to make awards to graduate students at each of the four University campuses. The RFA has entered into an agreement with the University of Colorado Foundation, which will administer the awards.

The awards fund was established with a $1,600 gift from the RFA, which also pledged another $1,600. This pledge is to be paid in July 2002.

The funds are to be awarded to individual graduate students by the administration of the graduate programs on each campus to support their research or other scholarly and creative work.

The agreement was carefully worded to satisfy concerns that had been voiced by RFA members, Kisslinger said.

Awards are scheduled to be made to graduate students from the Health Sciences Center ($1,000) and the University of Colorado at Denver ($500) in 2001. In 2002, awards will be given to graduate students at the University of Colorado at Boulder ($1,000) and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs ($500).

RFA members authorized a similar schedule of awards for 2003 and 2004, contingent upon their review of the effectiveness of the awards.

RFA officials are encouraging members and other retired faculty of the University of Colorado to augment the fund by direct contributions to the Foundation. Individual donors may designate the campus to which their contribution is to be given.

Criteria for the award are:

  1. The funds will be distributed to designated campuses according to a schedule provided by the fund administrator (the treasurer of the RFA).
  2. The students to receive the funds will be determined by the Graduate School in which the students are enrolled, in accordance with each school's normal criteria and procedures for granting merit-based scholarship or fellowship aid.
  3. The name, disciplinary area and academic background of each student receiving an award will be made known to the RFA for its information, but not for its approval of the selection.
  4. Each recipient of an award will be invited to present a brief summary of the scholarly work in progress or completed with the assistance of the award at one of the regular meetings of the RFA.

Hobart Smith honored

Dr. Hobart M. Smith, professor emeritus of biology at the University of Colorado at Boulder, received the 2001 W. F. Blair Eminent Naturalist Award from the Southwestern Association of Naturalists at the association's annual meeting in Fort Hays, Kan., in April.

The association presents the Blair Award in recognition of excellence in a lifetime of commitment to outstanding study or conservation of the flora or fauna of the Southwest.

The Southwestern Association of Naturalists is an association of biologists, founded in 1953, that promotes the study of plants and animals in the southwestern United States, Mexico and Central America.

The dedication of Dr. Smith to these scholarly pursuits is illustrated by his contributions to the study of herpetiles of the region. Dr. Smith is held in high regard by colleagues and former students both for his scholarly work on the herpetofauna of the Southwest and for his efforts at increasing public understanding of these ecological systems.

Dr. Smith, 89, received his Ph.D. in 1936 from the University of Kansas. Since then his professional experience has included time as a National Research Council Fellow and faculty positions at the University of Rochester, the University of Kansas, Texas A&M University, the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and finally as a professor of environmental, population and organismic biology and curator at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Dr. Smith has worked extensively on the herpetofauna of the Southwest, especially Mexico, where his work was funded in part by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. His books and articles on the fauna of this region are still among the very best references available.

One of Dr. Smith's especially important contributions is the fact that he has supervised the research of 39 graduate students. His knowledge of the herpetofauna of the Southwest is encyclopedic and he has passed on his love for these animals to many students who are now successful scientists and mentors themselves.

In the course of his work Dr. Smith has published more than 1,400 articles with over 200 coauthors, mostly students, and he has described nearly 300 taxa, most of which are still recognized as distinct. Further, his productivity did not end after he retired from the University of Colorado but continues.

Dr. Smith's efforts clearly are fundamental contributions to our knowledge of the natural history of the Southwest, and the Southwestern Association of Naturalists was pleased to recognize him with the W. F. Blair Eminent Naturalist Award for more than 60 years of exemplary work as a true naturalist.

Staying in Touch

ARTHUR BOARDMAN (English, UCB) says he keeps writing poems, and he now has a Web page on which he posts them: www.zianet.com/boardmanpoems. He lives in Deming, N.M.

DONNA BOGARD (Music Entertainment Industry, UCD) was sent on a teaching assignment for 11 weeks last year by CU-Denver at the UCD International College at Beijing, China. She was accompanied by her husband, Charles. "It was quite an adventure," she writes. She also notes that the CU Alumni Choir Concert, "World War II Songs," happens Nov. 4 at 3:30 p.m. in the King Center Concert Hall on the Denver campus. The performance is a commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. She lives in Arvada. chasbogard@aol.com

RUTH CLINE (Theater & Dance, UCB) spends her winters in Mesa, Ariz., where she enjoys golf and oil painting, "an activity I never had time for when I was teaching at CU," she writes. "I am working especially with the palette knife on landscapes and was pleased to win first place at the Mesa Art League theme show this year. Too bad I didn't make my way to the art department at CU and get some help from that talented faculty." rkcline@juno.com

MARTIN COBIN (Theater & Dance) says that on his 80th birthday, he decided to concentrate on writing poetry. He lives in Boulder.

R. CURTIS JOHNSON (Chemical Engineering, UCB) writes, "We're still on the right side of the grass!" He lives in Boulder. Johnsorc@earthlink.net

FRANK KAPLAN (Journalism, UCB), after 27 years in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, decided to retire and pursue other interests. He continues to teach a graduate seminar each semester: Magazine and Feature Writing, and Non-Fiction Writing: The Personal Essay, the latter of which he developed five years ago. Kaplan is a volunteer driver for the American Red Cross in metro Denver, driving mostly seniors to medical appointments or treatment centers. "It's a satisfying activity for anyone who is a good listener, patient driver and proficient map reader," he writes. "Besides, I'm getting to know the city and, especially, sites of its major medical facilities." He also is the "token male" employee at an independently owned bookshop in Wheat Ridge, where he says he is getting to know his customers and is always ready to discuss the merits of writers such as Stegner, Doig and Ferrol Sams. Though retired, Kaplan has only a bit more time now to read and take early morning walks in Crown Hill Park and the adjoining cemetery.

JOYCE LEBRA (History, UCB) was recently in India to do photography for a Boulder show, to try to sell a screenplay and "to take a fabulous ride on a train in Rajasthan." In May she went to Tokyo to do more photography for the show. She's also still working on a Hawaiian historical novel. She said she wasn't able to make it to the April 18 RFA meeting: "It's a long drive from Maui." Joyce.Lebra@Colorado.EDU

ROBERT W. PENNAK (Biology, UCB), who retired in 1974, recently received notice that the fourth edition of his textbook has been published and is now on the market. The new edition is titled "Pennak's Freshwater Invertebrates of the United States." The first edition was published in 1953 and, along with succeeding editions, have had worldwide usage. a.pennak@mymailstation.com

RICHARD J. SCHOECK (English & Humanities, UCB) recently wrote two books of poetry, "Laurentian Codicil" and "Childhood and Old Age." For the summer and early fall he was writing four papers: on Erasmus and a rhetorical topos, on Dag Hammarskjold and the mystical tradition, on the English achievement in textual theory: P.S. Allen & Lachmann, and a paper for Imagination & Place. For the past seven to eight years he has been reading twice a week for Audio Reader, a closed-circuit service for the blind. schoeck@midusa.net

JOHN A. TRACY (Accounting, UCB) has revised his book, "Accounting for Dummies." The second edition, it was released in January. He is writing a new book and revising an old one, both for John Wiley & Sons. He and his wife, Fay, are remodeling their home in east Boulder. "If you're interested, give us a call or stop by," he writes. tracyj@colorado.edu

RFA officers

Mary Bonneville

Vice President
Carl Kisslinger

Jack Hodges

Pat Magette