Big Ten Retirees Association
Business Meeting Minutes
Ann Arbor, Michigan

August 23, 2003


Attendance:

Pat Butler, U. of Mich. Chair (nonvoting); Hugh Satterlee, Robert Sprague,
U of Ill.; Robert Dodd, Ind. U.; Eleanor Anstey, Albert Hood, U. Iowa; Don Thiel,
Douglas Woolley, U. of Mich.; Jerry Hull, Fred Graham, Mich. State U.; John Howe,
Gerhard Weiss, U. of Minn.; Lou DiOrio, Fern Hunt, Tom Sweeney, Ohio State;
Giff Albright, Ralph Mumma, Penn State U.; Roy Johnson, Charles Ehresman, Purdue;
Joe Corry, Gail Holmes, U. of Wisc.


Bylaws: Review of the proposed Big Ten Bylaws (developed for review by OSU in 2002)


· The "University Chair" should be the retiree association that was hosting that years Conference, i.e. 2003, Michigan.
· The "University Elect" is the next retiree association to Host Conference
· Bylaws provide the host university retiree association a planning resource; give direction.
· Bylaws make us a viable organization rather than merely a gathering.


Issues raised by the group: have we met our full potential?
A suggestion for next year was made to develop a "Mission Statement-a vision statement"


Motion by Lou DiOrio of OSU to pass the Bylaws
Motion seconded by Giff Albright, Penn State.


Discussion: Bylaws call for yearly Conference. The following points were raised:


1. Meeting every other year to reduce expense for host.
2. OSU has started saving $1,000 per year out of their budget to host the Conference in another 10 years.
3. Illinois suggested we take dollars and then have an annual assessment from each
University to help defray expenses of host.
4. Penn State - suggested that an annual meeting provides continuity in today's changing environment, and many agreed with this
A vote was taken to choose between meeting every year or every other year:


Majority vote: to hold conference every year.


Discussion: Why do we need a set of Bylaws?


· Bylaws - encompass all that we do
· Conference may become unwieldy without formal bylaws
· U of Michigan feels they don't see the need for bylaws
· Important to have someone assigned to the job of coordinating the conference.
· Bylaws give direction
· Iowa - lets have our own individual bylaws, very informal, instead of Big Ten Bylaws.
· Michigan State - preserves the memory of group; keeps in place - need to list rotation of schools.
· Evidence that bylaws will help define our work. PSU supports a simple document.
· Wisconsin - bylaws are guidelines. They tell us what to do next. Bylaws would thus be helpful.
· Minnesota - bylaws helpful to newcomers in a new organization.
· Penn State - document sets guidelines and so it's important to have guidelines in writing.


Formal vote on bylaws - Bylaws passed with majority vote.


Noted:
· Article II - The rotation schedule for the conferences will be added.
· Discussion - should be included in document, it will be on the Web Site.
· Universities not able to host should let the next school know at least one year in advance.


Rotation of meeting locales.


 1992 - OSU  2002 - OSU
 1993 - U of Mich  2003 - U of Mich.
 1994 - U of Minn  2004 - U of Minn.
 1994 - MSU  2005 - MSU
 1996 - Purdue  2006 - Purdue
 1997 - Penn S.  2007 - Penn State
 1998 - U of Ill.  2008 - U of Ill
 1999 - U of Iowa  2009 - U of Iowa
 2000 - Ind. U  2010 - Ind. U.
 2001 - U. Wisc. .  2011 - U of Wisc
 2002 - OSU  2012 - OSU
 2003 - U of Mich.  2013 - U of Mich.





Discussion:
· Whose responsibility is it to notify universities when it is their turn?
· Northwestern - no retirees association for staff, just for Professor Emeritus. They were invited to attend this year but were unable to do so. Pat Butler suggested that we continue to pursue them to attend.
· Mission and Vision statements are not part of the bylaws but it was suggested to develop them, possibly at the Conference in 2004.
· Funding - Each University needs to think about the dollars.
· How much do the representatives pay for?
· Some questioned the need to have a treasurer but this creates issues
· Who funds and what are the costs.
· All organizations do not have the same resources.
· Should our local people fund conference like this?
· Issues with dollars, how would they be distributed?
· There is a question of adding more dollars to the registration fee.
· Should each registrant pay what the actual cost is for the conference?
· Purdue has no dues, where do the dollars come from? $15,000 from President's office; includes representative to the conference. They have no food at meetings.
Suggestion - Have a discussion at U. of Minnesota conference on:
· Funding for activities in having a conference.
· Discussion to include: Bylaws including an annual assessment to defray the costs of planning the conferences.


Discussion of Big Ten Web Site:


· Maintained by the UM Retirees Association. Fred Remley spoke briefly and answered questions about the site.
· Site provided by U of M administration - is linked to University Human Resources Dept. pages.
Discussion:
· What do we do if/when Fred leaves?
· OSU - We want to leave the house in order, need someone to take over.
· Fred needs assistance with content; it's up to individual Big Ten members to provide content.
· Need to talk to Human Resources re: maintaining web site?
· Need for expert?
· Need to pay a person to maintain site?
· Committee on Institutional Collaboration (CIC): Web site involvement?
· Purdue- has their own web site - benefits addressed - support from Human Resources.
Issues:
1. Finding someone who will maintain web site in the future.
2. Difficulty of getting content.
Questions to be answered:
· Is the web site useful and do we want to keep it up?
· Are you willing to be assessed a fee to keep it?
· What officers do we put up on there?
· What do we want on it?
· Do you want to have U of M continue to maintain the site?
Points that were made:
· Big Ten Web Site should Include outcomes of 2003 Conference focus groups.
· Minutes from 2003 Conference Business Meeting
· Short summary of Big Ten 2003 Conference
· Keep reports from 5 years back?
· Other information about individual Retirees groups should be on their own sites.
· Put Newsletters on web sites of individual members?
· Having the Web site supports what we are doing to University administrations
Majority agreement:
· Yes, we want a Web Site.
· U of Michigan is to continue maintaining the site for now.
· Fred Remley will collect links to all Big 10 Universities.
· Each University will put their officers on their own web site and U of Mich. will no longer include officers on the Big 10 web site.
· Reports of the Focus Groups will be placed on the Web site.
· Minutes of Business meeting will be placed on the Web site.
· Bylaws will be placed on the Web site.
· John Howe and his wife, University of Minnesota will work with Fred on the Web site.
Discussion: Fred will reconfigure and review what is on the Big 10 web site.
Congratulations to Fred Remley for his sterling work with the Web site for these past manyyears. Thank you Fred!!!

Member Representatives the Meeting

Illinois: Satterlee, Hugh
Illinois: Sprague, Robert and Bonnie

Indiana: Dodd, Bob and Joann

Iowa: Anstey, Eleanor
Iowa: Hood, Albert

Michigan: Thiel, Don and Jean
Michigan: Woolley, Doug and Jeri

Michigan State: Hull, Jerry and Suzanne
Michigan State: Graham, Fred and Jean

Minnesota: Howe, John
Minnesota: Weiss, Gerhard

Ohio State: DiOrio, Lou and Jewel
Ohio State: Hunt, Fern
Ohio State: Sweeney, Tom and Beverly

Penn State: Albright, Giff
Penn State: Mumma, Ralph

Purdue: Johnson, Roy
Purdue: Ehresman, Chuck

Wisconsin: Corry, Joe
Wisconsin: Holmes, Gail

 

Focus Group Notes

Focus Topic A: Health Benefits--What We Can Do


The participants identified four principal areas in which Big 10 retirees can act to enhance their health benefits situation. These are: information, communication, advocacy and wellness. The four topics have obvious overlaps, but will be treated consecutively for purposes of organizing this paper.
Information to the participant or retiree organization can be identified as one-way communication. We profit by receiving information on individual our group choices, governmental or institutional policies, and on projections for the future. The information can consist of data, analysis, or interpretation. Specific topics may be as diverse as health costs and benefits, awareness of true medical benefit costs, non-prescription drug costs, analysis of long term care plans, recruitment for medical studies, to name just a few. Some of the sources of information are
Employee handbooks on health policies

Health fairs
Website
Newsletter
Meetings, especially with medical or benefit experts


In addition to information furnished retirees as individuals, it was judged that retiree organizations be advised on present as well as future plans by those furnishing health care benefits. Interchange among sister organizations, as for example the present Big 10 Retiree Association Conference, was also thought to be highly effective in exchanging useful information.


Discussion of communications centered largely on representation of the retirees through membership on various committees dealing with health benefits. Meaningful representation will pass information to retirees, while also providing a channel whereby retirees can enunciate their needs. These may be university committees at some institutions, while the organization of benefits at others may suggest other representational arrangements. In any event, this membership should be more than nominal, and ideally involves a retiree with expertise in the relevant area. It was also noted that one successful model involves a university human resources person sitting on the retiree board.


Communication on an individual level is also desirable. One should not hesitate to make one's recommendations known to an insurance carrier, speak up at presentations, or comment to any else (e.g. university administration) involved in health benefit issues.


Many of the suggestions regarding communication are equally applicable to advocacy. However, it is advantageous to address other issues also, since committee representation is not always appropriate. In some institutions, efforts should be made to lobby in the legislature, to the federal government, or to pharmaceutical manufacturers. It was pointed out that visibility is an issue, since the retirees' organization is ideally viewed as a politically potent organization. It may also be helpful to combine or coordinate with other organizations (e.g. teachers' unions) where parallel interests are involved. A specific recommendation was for lobbying on behalf of the very old (80+), whose special needs have not been adequately addressed.


Wellness issues drew many comments of interest. As an individual, we have the opportunity to play a proactive part in our health care. The importance of diet and exercise are universally understood. Further, when we seek medical intervention, we should not hesitate to ask questions of medical practitioners. We should inform ourselves of medical benefits regulations, as they are promulgated by the university and/or governmental units.
It was noted that while some medical benefit plans cover smoking cessation, weight control, and encouragement of exercise, others do not. Such wellness features were held to be a substantial benefit, whose costs to the program are ameliorated by the enhanced health of the participants.
In addition to the above (obvious) measures, suggestions included some "out of the box" thinking that deserves special mention. In one institution, medical student freshmen were required to partner with an elderly individual for the duration of their medical school studies. This exposes the student to geriatric medical problems, and ensures that the senior will get personalized medical care. Another submission proposed that the retirees association (or institution) inform retirees regarding the legal issues faced by a retiree with respect to a living will, powers of attorney, etc.; while this is not directly a wellness issue, such problems affect the peace of mind of the retiree. A similar item (previously mentioned under information) is long term care, on which there is much concern and misunderstanding.

Topic B: How to plan and excute an excellent retiree program

Physical Facilities

1. Climate control
2. Easy parking
3. Adequate sound system
4. Accessible location
5. Carpooling or assistance with transportation

Publicity and Communication

1. Newsletters, members and other universities
2. E-mail
3. Use of local media
4. Website ­ local and Big Ten link
5. Share yearly calendars
6. Recruiting new retirees
7. Recruit high level administrators to sit on board (planning)

Content and Programs

1. Establish committee structure
2. Programs informative and/or entertaining
3. Provide handouts
4. Plan time for sharing
5. Choose relevant topics
6. Plan programs ahead
7. Manage length of time for programs
8. Start on time
9. Invite local Faculty, Administrators, Chief Financial Officer, Regents and outside experts
10. Burning issues
11. Consistent time throughout year for meetings and programs
12. Pre-event registration (commitment)
13. Assign topics to appropriate committee

Social Environment

1. Use members as greeters
2. Large-lettered nametags
3. Social time
4. Option for food availability: luncheons, donuts/coffee, cookies/juice
5. Introductions
6. Recognizing community volunteers
7. Coordinate with other retiree groups with similar interests

Evaluation

1. Survey (formally or informally) retirees
2. Survey of program content and meeting in writing

Topic C: Services Retirees Provide Or Could Provide For Their Universities

 

1. Advocacy for Universities
2. Volunteerism on campus ­ determine needs
3. Continuing teaching research activities ­ outreach
4. Provide oral histories and wisdom
5. Services for new students
6. Mentoring new faculty and new retirees
7. Serving on student and academic committee
8. Serving on university committees
9. Reviewing research proposals and advice
10. International student counseling ­ social ­ cultural
11. Advising graduate and undergrad students on job opportunities
12. Assisting with development office activities ­ fundraising and alumni association
13. Working with offices serving retirement
14. Recruitment ­ undergrad and grad students
15. Freshman seminars
16. Financial assistance for needy students/spouses
17. Judge and evaluate projects
18. Transition to retirement
19. Ombudsman

 


 

Photographs of the Conference!

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