Retired Faculty Association Newsletter

Vol. VIII, No.1      University of Colorado            Spring 20023

Annual Spring Meeting

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

RFA’s spring meeting moves to Events Center

Business meeting: 10 -11:30 a.m., Events Center Room 4

Social: 11:30-12:15 a.m., Events Center Room 4

Luncheon: 12:15-2:15 p.m., Events Center Room 3

Andrew May to speak at luncheon

Assistant Professor Andrew May, music technologist, will present program April 16

The annual spring meeting of the Retired Faculty Association will be held April 16 in a new venue: the Coors Events Center on the CU-Boulder campus.  The business meeting begins at 10 a.m. in Room 4 and ends at 11:30.  Items on the agenda include an update by CU Vice President for Budget & Finance Jim Topping on the University’s budget situation and decisions on the future of RFA’s Graduate Student Awards program.

After a 45-minute break for fellowship, conversation and punch, the luncheon will get under way at 12:15 p.m. in Room 3.  The luncheon program features a presentation by Dr. Andrew May – "Electronic Music: The Cutting Edge of Contemporary Composition."  The program teaches about and illustrates electronic music.

May is assistant professor of music and director of music technology at the University of Colorado at Boulder.  A composer, violinist, technologist and improviser, May is also active in organizing concerts of contemporary music.

He received his Ph.D. from the University of California at San Diego, where he studied composition with Roger Reynolds and computer music with Miller Puckette.  Previous composition teachers include Mel Powell at the California Institute of the Arts and Jonathan Berger of Yale University.

May's compositions have been performed in Germany, Japan, Greece, Switzerland and across the United States. SEAMUS (Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States) and EMF Media have released recordings of his compositions.

More information is available on his home page on the Web,

"Electronic music technology is no longer a fringe element in the world of music, but the means by which the vast majority of music is now created," he said. "This is a magical time to write electronic music: the issues of cost and feasibility that hampered earlier musicians have all but vanished, and an inexpensive consumer-level computer system can be used for musical tasks that would have been considered all but impossible two decades ago."

According to May, the flexibility of modern computer music systems paradoxically throws electronic musicians back to much older concerns: freed from the burden of finding solutions to technical issues, basic musical issues again become the central focus.

"Electronic music raises basic questions about how musicians think and act, and what constitutes ‘musicality.’  These questions need to be addressed for computers to be programmed to behave musically in performance.

”The frontiers of live interactive music show us as much about ourselves and our experience of music as they do about the technology itself," May said.


  As my first communication to the membership at large, this letter will serve as both an inaugural address and a state-of-the-association message.  As I came into office on Jan. 1, accompanied by a fine group of officers, I could look forward to building on the excellent work done by Mary Bonneville and the executive group during her two-year term.  Her innovations served to increase the value of the RFA in attending to member concerns, as well as providing an instrument for building bridges among the four campuses and for maintaining the bonds among retired faculty members.  Activities to preserve and implement these objectives will be continued.

A good example of a recent initiative that has brought members together is offered by the Tea Time Talks, those pleasant and informative sessions organized by Bob Fink and Chuck Howe.  If any of you has the urge to stand in front of an appreciative audience of your peers and hold forth on your current pet project, please let us know. And keep in mind, there will be no exams or papers to grade as follow-on to this lecture.

The state of the RFA is excellent. You should know that we have a strong group of enthusiasts making up the Executive Board.  The board is defined as the elected officers, their appointed assistants, and, of great importance, the volunteers who serve as liaison representatives of the campuses to the association and as association representatives to key faculty governance bodies.  The balance in our treasury is adequate for now, but not excessive.  As time passes and costs rise, we may want to consider a modest increase in our low dues to maintain our level of activity and even make possible future appropriate projects.

RFA members are encouraged to contact the officers by e-mail or telephone to pass along ideas for action or problems to be solved.  The numbers and addresses are listed in the association directory. We hope to increase the usefulness of the Web site ( as a means for communicating up-to-date information on a worldwide basis.

The RFA exists primarily to provide a voice by which retirees can influence University policies and actions that affect their well-being.  We ask, "What should the University be doing to protect the earned benefits of its retirees?"  Problems to be addressed range from organization-wide to strictly personal.  Our ombudsman, Bob Fink, has facilitated remedies for personal problems in a confidential and effective way in recent years.  The broader problems range widely, from controlling the costs of medical benefits to assuring the implementation of defined privileges for retired faculty.  Our experience in recent years has almost always been a sympathetic hearing and action when possible, or an explanation of why action is not possible.  The RFA has support in the Benefits Office, in the offices of the chancellors and in the central administration.

The complementary question is. "What can RFA members do as individuals and as a group to continue to contribute to the University they served during their active careers on the faculty?"

I believe that this question is especially important at a time when the University is facing extreme conditions of cutbacks in financial support from the state.  One action that stands out is the restoration two years ago of the association’s support for graduate education through our Graduate Student Awards.  Although the future of this program is uncertain, a plan to make these awards permanent without being a continuous drain on our limited financial resources will be discussed at the April general meeting.  Ideas for other programs that would aid directly the continued professional activities of either retired or even active faculty members have been placed on the table and will be the subjects of future consideration.

You may be wondering why the venue for our April general meeting has been changed from the UMC to the Events Center.  The extensive renovation of the UMC produced some attractive changes, but it also eliminated two large rooms that were excellent for meetings.  One of these was the Forum Room, in which we met in the past.  There is widespread agreement that Room 247, in which we held the past two meetings, is unacceptable; if you were there you know why.  The only space left that could work for us is a section of the Glenn Miller ballroom (the Aspen Room is now limited to meal events).  The ballroom space is booked for the day we need it this spring, and the future is uncertain.  The rooms in the Events Center are excellent for our purposes, and we have received splendid cooperation in arranging for food service and parking.  We do incur modest added costs by going to the Events Center, but there has been unanimous agreement among the Executive Board that we should give this a try.  The move is not considered a permanent decision, and we shall be evaluating the situation after we see how well it works.

The RFA works because volunteers offer their time and energy.  If you feel the urge to lend a hand, please contact any member of the Executive Board (see the directory).  I am sure we can find a not-too-burdensome but necessary task that you can perform on behalf of all of us.

 Staying in Touch

AL BARTLETT (Physics, UCB) on Feb. 10 gave his lecture “Arithmetic, Population, and Energy” as the Glover Memorial Lecture at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa.  After the lecture he was presented with the Glover Medal.  On Feb. 21 he gave the talk to combined classes in Environmental Science at the S.U.N.Y. School of Environmental Sciences and Forestry on the campus of Syracuse University. Albert.Bartlett@Colorado.EDU

LAURENCE W. BEER (Political Science, UCB) had a book published in October with John M. Maki: “From Imperial Myth to Democracy: Japan’s Two Constitutions, 1889-2002.”  In August, at a world conference on Japanese law at the University of Washington Law School, 20 Japanese specialists were paired with 20 foreign specialists in Japan’s law.  “I was with Professor Kazuyuki Takahashi of Tokyo University,” he wrote.  “It was great fun and will result in a book.”

VIRGINIA BOUCHER (Library, UCB) last fall was awarded a plaque at the 100th anniversary of the founding of the American Alpine Club.  It reads “The American Alpine Club hereby recognizes Virginia Boucher for her many years of support, dedication and commitment as chairperson of the AAC Library Committee.” The plaque resembles a rough piece of rock with a small rock climber, which she said is fitting because she was a rock climber when in her

REX BURNS (English, UCD) in October completed the second round of “shoots” for his program “Anatomy of Mystery” which appears on StarzEncore’s Mystery Channel. The third “shoot” is scheduled for May.  Americana Publishers Inc., is bringing out audio books of the “Gabe Wager” detective yarns (11 titles) beginning in April. rburns@carbon.cudenver.ed

CHARLES BYERS (Music, UCB) spent three months in Mesa, Ariz., traveled to Cancun, accompanied a choir of “retirees” and participated in plays.

RUTH L. GOUGE (Wardenburg Student Health Center, UCB) reported that she has back problems that limit her activities, but is able to keep up with reading and correspondence with friends.  She has a hobby model train.

CHUCK HOWE (Economics, UCB) still teaches the co-listed course “Water Resources Development Management” and in late fall toured China and Tibet.  He was recently elected to the board of Plan Boulder County.  In that position, he hopes to help in the formulation of local water policies.Charles.Howe@colorado.ed


HUGO G. RODECK (Museum, UCB) turned 100 years old on Sept. 19.  A party held at the Atria in Northglenn, where he lives, was attended by many of his former CU colleagues and Boulder neighbors from his time in Boulder dating back to the 1930s.  He is a CU graduate and served as director of the CU Museum all of his working life, according to his daughter, Anne Schaefer.  She can be reached at

MARILYN WERTHEIMER (Libraries, UCB) and MICHAEL WERTHEIMER (Psychology, UCB) traveled to Turkey last fall, a trip that included seven days on a 12-passenger, two-masted gulet along the Turquoise Coast.  In January they traveled with a United Nations Association of Colorado group to Mayan sites in Guatemala and Honduras.  The fifth volume of a series co-edited by Michael, “Portraits of Pioneers in Psychology,” is in press.  He was elected to serve as the representative from the Society for General Psychology, of which he is secretary, to the Council of Representative of the American Psychological Association for 2003 to

Grad awards focus of two RFA motions

On the agenda for the April 16 business meeting are two motions involving the Retired Faculty Association Graduate Student Awards program.

The first motion is from the Executive Board to continue the Retired Faculty Association Graduate Student awards for one more two-year cycle.

The first cycle for the program was 2001-2003, and it supported work by excellent graduate students on the four campuses of the University.   It was funded by contributions from RFA members.

It is moved that the association continue the program of awards to the graduate programs of the four campuses for one more cycle, 2003-2005.

For 2003-2004, the committed funds will be taken entirely from the money now in the RFA Foundation account as a result of voluntary contributions of the members.  An award of $1,000 will be granted to the Health Sciences Center and $500 to the University of Colorado at Denver, and up to an additional $100 will be paid to the CU Foundation for administrative charges.  For 2004-2005, $1,000 will be granted to the University of Colorado at Boulder and $500 to the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, plus the administrative charge.

The second motion is from the Executive Board to authorize the board to initiate discussions with the Foundation on planning and fund-raising for an endowed Retired Faculty Association Graduate Student Awards program.

The board wants to establish the program as a permanent activity that will not require a continuous commitment of RFA funds.

A campaign would run concurrently with the second cycle of funding of the Awards program, 2003-2005, and would be terminated if the amount raised by the end of 2005 was not enough to provide reasonable assurance of the success of the campaign within one more year.

In order to support a program at the level of 2001-2003, without allowance for inflation and at current expected rates of return on secure investments, it is anticipated that an amount of $40,000 will be the minimum needed to fund this endowment.  In the event that a campaign is only partially successful, so that the campaign is terminated and an endowed award cannot be created, the membership will decide how to use the funds that are acquired, including the possibility of continuing a program on the present basis of annual funding until the funds are expended.

  The Retired Faculty Association Newsletter is published twice a year by the Retired Faculty Association, Alan Kirkpatrick, Editor, 80 UCB University of Colorado, Boulder  80309-0080