Big 10 Retirees Association
10th Annual Conference
August 18 - 20, 2001
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Theme: The Big Tenth - Where do we go from here - and how do we get there?

Registration was scheduled to begin at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 18. As hosts, we were especially pleased to see how anxious delegates were to get to Madison. Some of us arrived at 2:30 to set up and were almost immediately put to work registering. In fact, 2/3 of the delegates were already checked in by 4:00! In addition to the usual conference materials, each delegate was presented with a bag of goodies, some of which may have been enjoyed prior to the reception at 6:00 p.m.

That evening, we enjoyed a pleasant reception in the Alumni Lounge that overlooks Lake Mendota. The Lounge was also the site for the dinner that followed.

At 7:00 p.m., just prior to the dinner, Chancellor John Wiley welcomed delegates and guests. In addition to the usual remarks of welcome, Chancellor Wiley encouraged delegates to use the conference discussions to consider some type of relationship with the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), popularly known as the Big Ten plus Chicago. (See comments for Monday's business discussion for the group's reaction to that suggestion.)

CONFERENCE SPEAKERS

Saturday, August 18, 7:00 p.m.

After dinner on Saturday evening, Ed Corcoran, the President of the UW-Madison Association, introduced Wisconsin's former Chancellor and President-Designate of the American Council on Education, David Ward.

Interdisciplinarity and Community
Remarks by David Ward

Pres. Ward noted that the two most visible personnel parts of a university, and often the two most legally recognized entities, are the faculty and student government. However, he said that in order to visualize a complete university, it is necessary to take into account students yet to enroll, alumni, and especially the non-faculty professional staff, which are such a major component of the Big Ten universities. The challenge for every campus leader these days is to seek to fabricate a community that goes beyond either the relatively exclusive vision of the faculty or that of student government to include these other components.

20th-Century American universities were largely organized along vertical lines - deans to departments to faculty, or as some would have it, faculty to departments to deans. For the new century, the need is to organize along service learning patterns; to think horizontally. Earlier efforts to move horizontally had resulted in women's studies centers, international studies centers, etc., but some of these were becoming vertical entities in themselves.

Some specific efforts of President Ward's years as Provost and then Chancellor of the UW-Madison included establishing undergraduate research fellowships, global studies, and an arts institute. In promoting service learning, we have to recognize that faculty effort to apply knowledge is not often encouraged by the existing disciplines. So, the final effort of his administration was to create cluster hires through creating 150 new positions. In order to qualify for one or more of these positions, departments had to join with other departments to focus on potential long- term clusters of knowledge. Fortunately, the applications for the grants to create new clusters were along the lines with which faculty were familiar from their experiences with NSF and other agencies, and they were able to create attractive and innovative proposals.

During many different decades of the final part of the previous century, technology was frequently cited as the vehicle that would bring change to the university. After a number of false starts, perhaps it is finally time for it to do so. Dr. Ward suggested that for technology to be effective it must enhance the cultural changes needed for the universities of the 21st Century.

Sunday, August 19 - 9:00 a.m.

The Challenges & Opportunities for Big Ten Libraries
Ken Frazier, Director, UW-Madison Libraries

Ken outlined some of the challenges: Students tend to rely on the internet as a source when the shelf life of websites is about 6 months and they get very little information on the authority behind those sites. Costs, especially for academic journals, are a major issue. On the one hand, the academic journals get free gifts from faculty needing to publish, but they then charge exorbitant per page costs to the libraries for the journals.

Ironically, the Internet could be a key resource to combat the publishing costs. Groups are challenging the publishers by threatening to create a permanent internet archival record not controlled by commercial publishers. This would establish a free on-line library. Faculty would be encouraged to work only with those publishers willing to grant access to these internet library records.

Libraries will still have value in the future. They will remain places where individuals can encounter the thrill of primary knowledge sources. Librarians will continue to be people who can assist by helping to ask the right questions and to be collaborators in the creation of knowledge.

Frederick Jackson Turner said that you can learn a lot about history by studying the surroundings at the place at which you reside. Libraries at the UW attract more students than attend all the UW athletic events in any year.

The potential problem with the Internet by itself is that it is like trying to drink from a fire hose. Faculty and librarians have the obligation to help students develop critical thinking and critical reading to counteract the random availability of knowledge. To meet that challenge, universities must make certain that their libraries are in alignment with academic values.

Sunday, August 19, 2:45 p.m.

The Waisman Center: A Multidisciplinary Center for Research, Training and Service to the Developmentally Disabled
Marsha Mailick Seltzer, Acting Director

The Center has an annual budget of $20M. It has approximately 500 employees of whom 50 are faculty from throughout the campus representing 26 disciplines. It has 60 research labs and includes research in gene therapy and stem cells.

In terms of service to the community, the Center hosts 7 clinics. It has services ranging from a brain-imaging center to a pre-school for developmentally disabled youngsters.

Its mission has been established with the following purposes: "To contribute new knowledge about human development and developmental disabilities throughout the life-span through research and practice." To conduct its research, it concentrates in 4 areas: molecular and genetic processes, sensory and cognitive processes, communicative processes, and social and affective processes.

As conference attendees were well aware, there is a challenge to keep faculty involved in work of this kind outside of their departments. Marsha described a variety of leveraging techniques which make it possible to recruit and retain faculty.

Monday, August 20, 10:30 a.m.

Slow Down - You'll Last Longer
Prof. Marshall Cook, Division of Continuing Studies

Prof. Cook began by asking, "Whatever happened to The Age of Leisure?" Could we recall all those promises of a paperless society?

He provided us with an outline of what he would cover, which is reproduced below. The only thing missing from the outline is the sense of humor that he employed to illustrate many of these points.


The Myth of Multitasking

You can't do more with less
You don't work better under pressure
You don't just need to work "smarter, not harder"
And you can't do two things at once and do either of them well
Six Things We Know about Stress
Stress isn't out there; it's in here
Stress in inevitable
Too much stress can kill you
But not enough isn't good either
Stress is relative (Different folks get different strokes)
You can manage your response to stress
Three Friendly Suggestions for Managing Time Effectively:
Don't overload the to-do list
Break the stress cycle several times a day
Separate the important from the merely urgent
Three Liberating Questions
Is it what you want to do or what you need to be doing right now?
Is it helping or hurting?
(As applied to the use of things like email, cell phones, computers, call waiting, voice mail, FAX, home shopping network, netsurfing)
Is it worth dying for?

 

Presentations by Each Association

For most delegates, the opportunity to learn about the successes and trials of the other associations is the most important part of the annual conference. This year, the host institution made an effort to obtain most of the basic information, such as dues, number of members, support from the university, etc., in a pre-conference questionnaire. The idea was to make this basic information available to every delegate upon arrival so that during the presentations, the delegates could focus on what was unique by way of success or to discuss a challenge they were facing in the hope that other delegates might have some suggestions.

Unfortunately, not everyone was able to submit this information in advance. For those who did, the material was made available to the delegates and is also on the Big Ten website.

Illinois

The association has about 800 members. Its $25 in dues goes to the state organization which continues to be active politically in efforts to improve the statewide pension system. This tends to detract from efforts to involved the Champaign/Urbana chapter from attention to the University. They need to make their university more aware of retirees. Long Term Health Care is available at a favorable rate for association members.

Penn State

Dues are $9 for 3 years. They have 1100 members out of 5400 known retirees. They publish a newsletter 4 times each year - 2 of the issues go nationally to all known retirees and 2 are considered as "local" aimed at those in the immediate geographic area.

Health Insurance has been a problem in our region as one HMO dropped 7,000 customers. Also, the state pension system has not offered a Cost of Living Adjustment in several years. Consequently the Penn State Retired Faculty Staff Club has joined the Pennsylvania Association of State Employees to work through the larger group for improved benefits.
The Association has a fund to offer emergency grants-in-aid for undergraduates and help to retirees in momentary financial stress. A major effort for the coming year will be to encourage increased volunteerism by the retirees.

Ohio State

645 pay yearly dues, another 575 have opted for lifetime membership and 175 are new members. The association publishes a directory each year which includes a vision, mission, and goals statement, by-laws and a list of members.

OSU spent sometime describing the upcoming 4th annual conference on Coping with Aging. The first three have attracted approximately 250 to each. It is clear to them that retirees enjoy coming to campus for this event. The association provides transportation for any in need. Topics focus on subjects such as "Relocating after Retirement" and "Outliving your Money." Representatives from the two retirement systems are also on hand to answer questions
.
The association has also developed a handbook for Post-Retirement.

Michigan

Michigan achieved 501-C-3 status in 1997. In terms of the Association's ongoing relationships with the university, the group receives the support of a 1/4 secretary, office space, and access to computer support. Their goal is to become even more closely connected by obtaining liability insurance, bonding for board and officers, state tax credit, and access to the university legal staff.

In going the route of greater affiliation, the Association did review concerns such as being forced to conform to university procedures such as purchasing, maintaining an independent checking account, who is responsible for filing government forms, must all contributions go thru the university's gift office, will they be audited by the university?

Prescription drugs are another major concern. The university is very concerned about the 15-20% increase is costs each year. Among the recommendations from a study group were: work toward equitable co-pay with an annual out-of-pocket maximum, use mail-order pharmacies, put pressure on physicians to use fewer name-brand drugs, and work with pharmacy management benefits claims organizations.

Iowa

Although it is among the newest of the associations in the Big Ten, Iowa now has two groups!

The Retirees Association is open to all retirees and has 650 members. It hosts monthly programs which are intended to entertain and/or inform. A popular informing program has been to arrange tours of specific parts of the campus which retirees quite likely have had little time to visit during their busy careers.

The association has organized two memoir writing groups. It has published the first edition of a Retirees' Handbook. It also organized a flu shot clinic. It assists the university in holding retirement seminars and it staffs the reception desk for the university foundation.

The Emeritus Faculty Association was organized at the instigation of the then new Provost a couple of years ago. It has some office space. One of its unique functions has been to interview all faculty leaving for other jobs with an emphasis on determining why they are leaving. It has a committee on research to examine ways in which emeritus faculty may continue research. It worked with the Retirees Association in the production of the Retirees' Handbook and it is working on the idea of a non-credit learning college, in which the emphasis would be more on intellectually oriented programs than one might obtain through the local community college.

Indiana

The association has 460 members and offers monthly lecture/luncheons during the academic year. Existing in a small town, it tries not to compete with other organizations offering programs of general interest to retirees. They do find that the question of providing honorarium for speakers is a challenge.

Michigan State

The association has existed for 30 years, is open to all retirees, and has dues for $5 per year. The university provides office space, telephone, and, 5 years ago, a $10,000 grant for computer equipment.
The association meets monthly from September through May, and annually publishes 8-9 newsletters which go to the local geographic area and 3 which go to all retirees anywhere in the U.S. (BlueCross/BlueShield provides and insert and pays for one national newsletter each year). The August local newsletter and the Fall national newsletter go to all retirees. The rest of the newsletters go only to paid members. The newsletters contain information on retirement benefit updates, program news, university and retiree news.

Officers are: (President and Vice President ( 1 year terms - can be re-elected once), Secretary and Treasurer (2 year terms - may be re-elected). There is a governing committee which meets September to May. Programs offered by the association focus on information and entertainment.

The annual budget is about $5500 primarily for newsletters, postage, awards, and supplies. There is no formal relationship to the University.

Minnesota

Health care has been a major issue as there has been no direct benefit available to retirees. The regents have decided to go outside the state negotiations and allow the university to do its own negotiations.

A unique situation developed in which a retiree serving as a volunteer teacher wanted to file a grievance and was told he could use the university's procedure. This association has a very successful volunteer center staffed by retirees. It is working on developing an elder learning institution.

Purdue

Wow! No dues - every retiree is a member (3200 total, 2100 in the nearby geographic area). The association works directly with the Staff Benefits Office.

Working on getting retirees the same discount benefits available to faculty. Currently only faculty retirees get computer access. Since retirees pay the full costs of their health insurance, they are involved in the university's review of the insurance situation.

The association is involved in the development of programs to help current employees nearing retirement. They see their main organizational challenge as getting more clerical and service staff involved in the association.

Wisconsin

Dues are $20 and while dues constitute the basic floor of the budget, the association benefits from computer assistance provided by the administration and from office space and mailing/duplicating privileges by the UW Foundation. Memberships total 725 but spouses/partners may be included so the number of members is about 1100.

As the newest association within the Big Ten, the association is still seeking the best ways to meet member needs. Because of the newness, some functions undertaken by other associations are already being carried out by other groups in the Madison area so there has been a major effort to cooperate rather than compete. Active committees include Financial Matters in Retirement, Retirement Challenges, Travel, Computing, Membership, and Volunteering.

One of the new efforts for the coming year will be to work with the Oral History unit of the university to see how the association can help increase the work of that office.

 

Delegates to Big Ten Retirees Association Conference - August 18-20, 2001

 

Illinois


Andersen, Ken
202 Galen Dr
Champaign, IL 61821-6010

Indiana

Matsuda, Shizue
2619 Windermere Wds Dr
Bloomington, IN 47401

Pugh, Shirley
3703 Chandion Ct
Bloomington, IN 47401

Iowa

Belgum, Kathie (David)
104 Sunset
Iowa City, IA 52246

Shope, Lee (Linda)
1036 Woodlawn
Iowa City, IA 52245

Strayer, Gordon (Faye)
One Forest Glen
Iowa City, IA 52245

Hood, Al (Jean)
26 Rocky Shore Dr
Iowa City, IA 53346

Michigan

Beutler, Frederick, (Suzanne)
1717 Shadford Rd
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4543

Butler, Patricia (Donald)
7870 Parker Rd
Saline, MI 48176

Michigan State

Zehner, Mary D
4134 Waubinway Rd
Okemos, MI 48864

Ralston, Pat
1913 Danbury Way
Okemos, MI 48864

Minnesota

Goldstein, Sheldon
1822 Pinehurst Ave
St. Paul, MN 55116

Ohio State

Cook, Don (Sharon)
2825 Canterbury Rd
Upper Arlington, OH 43221-3013

DiOrio, Louis (Jewel)
5409 Banbury Dr
Columbus, OH 43235-3482

Hill, Richard (Leonora)
1601 Lafayette Dr
Upper Arlington, OH 43220-3868

Penn State

Bergman, Ernest
1421 Harris St
State College, PA 16803-3024

Starling, James (Martha)
1736 Princeton Dr
State College, PA 16803

Purdue

Gustafson, Don
812 Hillcrest Rd
West Lafayette, IN 47906

Nelson, Betty (Richard)
102 Hideaway Ln
West Lafayette, IN 47906

Wisconsin

Corcoran, Ed (Mary)
1014 Rooster Run
Middleton, WI 53562

Mennes, Mary
7747 Schurch Rd
Barneveld, WI 53507


Reported by Joe Corry