University of Colorado Retired Faculty Association
Minutes of April 21, 2010 Meeting

The annual spring meeting of the University of Colorado Retired Faculty Association was held on Wednesday, April 21, 2010 in the University Memorial Center, Boulder Campus, Room 235.

  1. The meeting was called to order by President Jim Wolf at 10:00 AM. He began by offering apologies for the late mail delivery of the packet that included the newsletter and agenda.
  2. Jim Wolf read the names of retired faculty members who died in the past six months. The following names were read.

Carter M. Ballinger, HSC-UCD

Virginia F. Banks, widow of Ed Banks, CU

William H. Baughn, CU and UCB

Jack Cousins, UCB

David D. Fagerstrom, UCB

Roy Garstang, UCB

Henry Goodnow, UCB

Fred McFadden. UCCS

Raymond C. Miles, UCB

James Peterson, NOAH, UCB

Leonard O. Roellig, UCD

Donald Schmidt, UCD

Ernest K. Smith, NOAH, UCB

William J. Stanton Jr., UCB

Stewart Strickler, UCB

Katherine Welsh, widow of William Welsh, UCB

Margaret “Margie” Zumudio, UCB

Those in attendance stood in silence in memory of these people.

  1. Jim announced that Nort Steuben will chair a nominating committee for the fall election to replace two officers: Vice-President (currently Nort Steuben) and Secretary (currently Bill Briggs). A new BFA representative (currently David Hill) will be appointed by the new President Nort Steuben.
  2. There were no corrections to the minutes of the October 28, 2009 meeting.
  3. Gloria Main gave a brief treasurer’s report, noting that more detail about newsletter expenses was provided in this report. The report is on file.
  4. Jim Wolf gave the President’s report, which consisted primarily of commendations for the members of the Executive Committee. Chuck Howe and Dave Kassoy have been working on a proposal for a new grant program for retired faculty members. The report was revised based on recent comments by the Executive Committee, and it will be distributed soon. Funding for the program has been promised by Vice-President Kathleen Bollard, provided the budget picture does not worsen. Jim also cited Sandy Moriarty for her work on the Carl Kisslinger Graduate Awards program and Oliver Ellsworth for his work as Faculty Council representative.

Jim said that there has been no progress in the campaign to rename the herbarium in honor of Bill Weber. He also reported that RTD is resisting efforts to provide EcoPasses for retired faculty members.

  1. Nort Steuben gave the Vice-President’s report. The Spring Tea Time with the Boulder Chorale has been rescheduled for May 19. Nortmade another plea for volunteers for mentoring and tutoring of CU athletes He received no offers to his request of several weeks ago. Another email request will be sent to the members.
  2. New Membership Committee chair Bill Jones has done a tremendous job of maintaining the membership files in the aftermath of Stew Strickler’s death.
  3. Gloria Main said that the report of the Personnel Committee is in the newsletter.
  4. Jim Wolf read the UBAB report from Stuart Schneck. It is included in its entirety as Attachment 1 of these minutes.
  5. Sandy Moriarty gave a report on the Carl Kisslinger Graduate Awards program. The balance in the CU Foundation account now stands at $51,467. If the market remains strong, the awards (two per year) can be covered by revenue from the endowment. Sandy would like the fund to be large enough to make four awards per year, one from each campus, without reducing the award amount.
  6. Oliver Ellsworth said that his report on the Faculty Council is in the newsletter. He summarized saying that the proposal for the composition of presidential search committees does not explicitly include a CURFA member. However, it calls for two at-large members, one of whom could be a CURFA member. He also said that a system-wide optional retirement plan is now in place. It calls for retiring faculty members who meet age and service requirements to receive an incentive payment equal to two years of their base salary paid in five annual contributions.
  7. BFA representative David Kassoy reported that the BFA passed a motion urging the Board of Regents to maintain its opposition to guns on campus (in light of a lawsuit that seeks to repeal the current ban). He noted that ROTC members of BFA Executive Committee support the ban on guns on campus. The text of the motion is included as Attachment 2 of these minutes.
  8. Richard Blade gave a report from the UCCS campus. The spring semiannual lunch took place at the Palisades Broadmoor, a new assisted-living facility that was designed in part by UCCS gerontology faculty members. He reminded everyone that the UCCS retired faculty group meets monthly with a free lunch and has no dues! Richard is glad to facilitate visits to the UCCS campus by CURFA members.
  9. Linda Dixon reported that the UC-Denver retired faculty group has faculty lecture series that meets twice a semester and is supported by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
  10. Jim read a brief report from Health Science Center Assembly chair Theodore Eickhoff. The domain for the email server will change from uchsc to ucdenver. In addition, retired faculty members will be able to use their university email accounts.
  11. New business

Gloria Main made a motion that CURFA urge the President, the Chancellor, and the Board of Regents to maintain the budget for NorlinLibrary without further cuts. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously. It was pointed out that the Boulder campus library budget impacts the library budgets on the other campuses.

Richard Blade said that a poll on ride sharing to CURFA meetings will be circulated and he encouraged everyone to respond.

Dave Kassoy made the following motion.

Whereas the presence of concealed weapons on campuses will not promote the educational mission of the University, CURFA encourages the Board of Regents to find legal means to prevent weapons on campuses.

Ombudsperson Lee Potts reminded everyone that she is available to work with CURFA members in a confidential manner.

Jim Hester reported that Bill Weber is recovering from a hematoma on his hand. Now 91 years old, Bill is in the final stages of editing a book on mosses. He continues to be an energetic inspiration to those around him.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:30.

April 21, 2010 Report from UBAB to CURFA

Stuart A. Schneck

I am sorry that I am unable to present this report in person, but I am obliged to be somewhere else today. I thank Jim Wolf for his courtesy in presenting it to you in my absence. The information to be given is as of the last UBAB meeting that was held on April 2. Should anything change before April 21, I will pass that information on to Jim.

I assume that most of you participated in the health insurance dependent verification project that the CU administration embarked on so as to be sure that they were paying only for appropriate dependents. Experience with similar surveys in other comparable institutions suggests that only a small number of dependents had been found to be inappropriately covered by the institution, but enough to make the survey fiscally worthwhile. The data from the CU survey will probably not be known until early July, and UBAB has been told that approved dependents will be issued new ID cards when the survey is complete. So far, our Payroll and Benefits System (PBS) has received relatively few complaints about the process that has caused inconvenience for some people in obtaining proper documentation to send to the company running the survey.

A CU analyst has made a timeline survey of the health care reform legislation recently passed by Congress and signed by the President. This is a very early and incomplete analysis of the law, and as more information appears it will be shared with you. Those items in particular years that relate to retirees with Medicare, without specific details, are as follows:

  • 2010a) There will be expanded Medicare payment protections for small rural hospitals. Presumably this is supposed to narrow the gap relative to what large hospitals currently receive.
  • 2010b) Those who have Medicare Part D coverage with a gap known as the “donut hole” will receive a $250 check from Medicare this year.
  • 2011a) There will be a 50% discount on brand name drugs purchased by Medicare recipients while they are in the “donut hole.”
  • 2011b) There will be free annual wellness visits and waiver of all cost sharing for preventive services for Medicare beneficiaries.
  • 2011c) A 10% Medicare bonus payment will be given to all primary care physicians and general surgeons.
  • 2011d) A center for Medicare and Medicaid will be established to test innovative payment and service delivery models to reduce health costs and enhance the quality of care.
  • 2011e) Medicare Advantage (Part C) payments to insurers will be frozen at 2010 levels and will be reduced over several subsequent years.
  • 2013a) States will be required to pay Medicaid primary care physicians the same rate that Medicare pays them, with the federal government funding any additional state costs.
  • 2020: a) The Medicare Part D coverage gap (“donut hole”) for generic and brand name drugs will be eliminated.

There is no indication at this time that any of the CU health plans, including the Medicare Primary Plan, will have any deleterious new tax consequences for anyone.

It is now certain that the administration is going ahead to self-insure our health plans. Open enrollment will take place from April 26 to May 21. A point to be emphasized – if you do not wish to change your health plan enrollment, such as in what is called Medicare Primary by Anthem, you need not do anything and you will be continued in your current plan. If you wish to make a change in your plan, you will be sent information by mail and can make your change using mail. Active faculty now will enroll in or change plans entirely by electronic means. PBS recognizes that some seniors have visual or other medical problems that make electronic enrollment difficult and so, as a courtesy, are continuing the familiar mail enrollment process for us.

Nothing is yet known about new premium rates and it may be, as happened last year, that we will have to wait until early May for them to be made public. The hang-up is always the CU contribution to premium rates, for this is based on the CU budget from the state that is embodied in the Long Bill. Until that is law, nothing can be done. When rates are known, retirees will receive this information by mail while active faculty will get it electronically.

As requested, I raised the issue, with a person involved in the self insurance planning for the administration, of inclusion of the Silver Sneakers exercise program in the Medicare Supplement plan to be forthcoming in July. I do not yet know when a decision about this will be made.

Finally, no decision has yet been made about whether the amount of the AMP benefit will be changed.

I am sorry that I cannot answer any questions in person. If there are any, Jim Wolf can give you my email address and I will do my best to respond promptly.

BFA Motion on Concealed Weapons on Campus

Whereas the university is traditionally a place where disagreements are settled through civil debate or the established avenues of conflict resolution, and whereas for decades no case of use of firearms on any CU Campus has occurred, and whereas the CU campuses have an experienced police force that is trained in dealing with potential serious disruptions, including the use of firearms, and whereas the presence of firearms on the campuses is bound to increase the risk that they might be used, be it, therefore, resolved that the BFA urges the university administration and the Board of Regents to take action to maintain the weapon-free status of the university that has served its members so well for decades."