University of Colorado Retired Faculty Association
Minutes of October 28, 2009 Meeting

The annual fall meeting of the University of Colorado Retired Faculty Association was held on Wednesday, October 28, 2009 in the University Memorial Center, Boulder Campus, room 235.

  1. The meeting was called to order by President Jim Wolf at 10:00 AM. Attendance was lower than usual because of major winter storm that arrived a few hours earlier.
  2. Jim Wolf read the names of nine retired faculty members who died in 2009. The following names were read.

Boulos Ayad Ayad   UCB

John A Eddy, NCAR and UCAR 

C. William “Bill” Fisher   CU Administration

Florence Grieder   Wife of Calvin Grieder, UCB

Robert J. Hoehn  HSC

David Hogg   NOAA and UCB

Charles Kenevan   UCD

Gerald Lundquist   UCD

Raisa Petirwsky, wife of Eugene Petirwsky  UCB

Robley D. Rhine  UCD

Stephen Romine   UCB

Carla Stith, wife of Brad Stith  UCD

Norman Weiner   HSC

Susan Weston-Frey   Life partner of Rex Burns, UCD

Those in attendance stood silently in memory of these people.

  1. Katherine Harris was recognized by Jim Wolf for her many years of outstanding service to CURFA. She was given a gift certificate for Boulder Book Store and an enthusiastic round of applause. Sue Middleton was introduced as Katherine’s successor.
  2. The minutes of the April 29, 2009 meeting were approved with three corrections. Martha Jones asked a question about the benefits report that no one present could answer. Richard Blade will investigate.
  3. Gloria Main gave the treasurer’s report, noting that CURFA is in good financial health with assets of $17,364. The $5000 subsidy from the President’s office covers the newsletter and copying costs for mailings. Jim noted that this subvention is approved by Vice-President Kathleen Bollard, who has expressed her ongoing commitment to CURFA.
  4. Vice-President Nort Steuben gave a short report about his job as program chairman and summarized this year’s activities. Nort is also the volunteer coordinator and is looking for ideas and people interested in volunteering.
  5. Jim read the benefits report from Stuart Schneck, representative of retired faculty members and professional exempt employees on UBAB. Open enrollment in April resulted in no significant changes to numbers of participants in the various plans. An audit of CU’s health, dental, and life benefits plans by an independent consultant is about to begin, in part to investigate the participation in some of these plans by ineligible people.

The Health Plan Replacement Project appears to be moving toward a self-funded plan that could be in place by the second half of 2011. Subcommittees are working on the legal, financial, and benefits oversight aspects of self-funded plans. None of these discussions involve the Kaiser plans since CU does not structure or price them. It is estimated that with a self-funded plan, 3%–8% could be saved on administrative costs and drugs. Ninety-seven percent of public institutions comparable in size to CU have self-funded systems. CU’s last self-funded plan ended in 1999 due to losses of $10–12 million.

Stuart is term-limited on UBAB. He could serve another four-year term or choose to retire this year. In order to assist Stuart in his decision, the following resolution (proposed by Chuck Howe) was passed unanimously:

Resolved: In recognition of Stuart’s work as its representative to UBAB, CURFA commends him for ten years of dedicated service, thanks him for lively and informative communications with the CURFA membership, and urges him to serve another four-year term on UBAB.

  1. Stew Strickler gave the membership report. At the moment, CURFA has 680 members. Roughly one-third have paid their dues through next year, one-third are one year behind and one-third are more than one year behind in dues payments. Those in arrears will soon be dropped from the membership list.
  2. Sandy Moriarty was not present to report on the Carl Kisslinger CURFA Graduate Student Research Award. The fund has recovered its losses of the previous year and now has a balance of about $47,000 – just below the level of $50,000 needed for it to become an endowed account. Jim mentioned that Mary Bonneville’s critical role in establishing this award needs to be recognized in the naming of the award.
  3. Jim Wolf gave the President’s report. He reiterated that his discussions with Kathleen Bollard have been very encouraging, in terms of ongoing university support for CURFA.

Gloria Main will succeed Franz Roehmann as the CURFA representative on the University Personnel Committee.

Jim summarized discussions with Jeff Cox, CU-Boulder Associate Vice-Chancellor for Faculty Affairs about eco-passes for retired faculty members. While CU supports the idea, RTD has a policy that eco-pass recipients must be paid employees. Jeff is working to find a solution. Bob Fink claimed that “active faculty members” on the Boulder campus are already eligible for eco-passes. In summary, CU is working with RTD to make eco-passes available to retire faculty members.  

  1. Oliver Ellsworth reported that the Faculty Council has met twice since April. At the May meeting he read a letter from Jim Wolf supporting Silver and Gold and observed that not all retired faculty members have the internet access needed to read the new online newsletter. At the September meeting, Oliver told the Council that the proposed Regents’ policy on presidential search committees does not include a representative of the retired faculty and he asked that the policy be changed accordingly.
  2. David Kassoy reported as a representative to Boulder Faculty Assembly. He mentioned that discussions about the Regent’s mission statement have revealed uncertainties about the structure of the CU system: Is it a system composed of three campuses and is that concept consistent with the State constitution? BFA submitted a list of candidates to the Chancellor for the Provost search committee. David noted that the Council on Research and Creative Work (CRCW) needs volunteers for selection and award committees.

Nort Steuben asked about progress on the issue of tenure status for non-tenure-track and part-time instructors. David replied that a committee has been formed.

  1. 11. Richard Blade reported on the UCCS retired faculty and staff association. Retired Dean of Nursing Carole Schoffstall is the new chair. The semi-annual luncheon was held on October 12, paid for by the University Advancement Office. It included a tour of the new Science and Engineering Building.
  2. 12. Bill Marine was not present. Jim gave his report from the Health Sciences campus. The retired faculty organization has just approved a set of by-laws and its official name is University of Colorado Health Sciences Center Retired Faculty Association (UCHSCRFA). It meets four times a year. Chancellor Roy Wilson will be the speaker at the annual luncheon on November 17.
  3. 13. Linda Dixon reported that the Denver campus is gearing up for more activity involving retired faculty members. CLAS Dean Dan Howard has supported the master’s lecture series, which featured Rex Burns as its first speaker.
  4. 14. Old business: Jim gave an update on the proposed naming of the Weber Herbarium, explaining that he has met with museum director Pat Kociolek several times. Citing a new long-term guide for the museum, Pat “would like to do it, but hasn’t figured out how to do it.” It remains “a work in progress.”
  5. 15. Old business: Richard Blade proposed a small amendment of the by-laws that handles the cases of non-faculty members (such as certain administrators whose appointment did not include assignment to an academic department). Under the heading of associate membership, the following should be inserted after Part IIB-1 of the bylaws:

IIB-2 “In addition, if there are other retired persons who believe their involvement in the organization would be mutually beneficial, they may submit a letter to the president requesting associate membership."

Al Bartlett moved that the amendment be accepted; Gloria Main seconded the motion; and it passed unanimously.

  1. 16. New business: A discussion ensued about communication within CURFA. Cost-savings ideas for the newsletter were proposed. It could be posted on the web site; it could be reduced from eight to four pages. It could be printed on non-glossy paper. David Kassoy suggested that more news be communicated on the listserv. These ideas will be taken under advisement.
  2. 17. New business: The proposal from the Executive Board to raise dues from $20 to $22 was discussed. Gloria pointed out that, at the moment, the addition revenue is not needed. The idea of printing the newsletter on non-glossy paper was raised again and given widespread support. Gloria will investigate printing costs and savings for the newsletter. The proposal to raise dues was put to a vote and was defeated, with one vote in favor and the rest opposed.
  3. 18. New business: Money is available from the CU President’s office for awards to retired faculty members for recognition of past work or for incentives for ongoing work. Chuck Howe said that a committee has been formed to refine the idea.
  4. 19. New business: Jim Wolf asked for ideas about volunteer work (such as tutoring and mentoring) and organized groups (such as book clubs or hiking groups). There was little response as the audience appeared to be ready for lunch.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:45 AM.

Submitted by Bill Briggs