Big Ten Retiree Association Conference

Purdue University
August 25-27, 2006

The 15th Annual Big Ten Retirees Association opened its registration desk in the Union Club Hotel Lobby Friday, August 25, 2006. As guest arrived that afternoon, they were offered tours of the West Lafayette Campus aboard the largest collegiate mascot in the world c Boilermaker Special V, a replica of an early 20Th-century locomotive and tender.


The evening's schedule included a social hour in the Rudolph Living Room and dinner in the Prusiecki Dining Room of the Dauch Alumni Center. Murray M. Blackwelder, Senior Vice President for Advancement was the guest speaker; his presentation was titled, "Philanthropy, Peer Giving, and Retirees." The evening's entertainment was provided by Dr. Mo Trout and the Purdue Jazz Combo. The cash bar was held in the Rudolph Living Room and the dinner in the Prusiecke Dining Room. Roy Johnson, Past President, PURA related the history of the Purdue Big Drum...


Saturday, August 26 , began with a breakfast bar, followed by a session on "Trends and Issues in Senior Living". Presenters were: Dawn Walker, Executive Director of University Place and Joe Boorman, Executive Director of Westminster Village two large local retirement communities. This session focused on housing options for seniors, the promise of new technology to extend the independence of seniors, and challenges related to different values and styles of multiple generations living and working together.


Session II "Building Active Retirees Association" was designed to divide the conferees into three groups with two designated topics for each to focus discussion more effectively. The topics included:

1. Communications (newsletters, brochures, programs, web-sites etc.);
2. Association Committees (officers, standing committees, ad hoc committees);
3. Travel Opportunities (retires sponsored, university sponsored)
4. Programming (retiree sponsored, university sponsored);
5. Relationship to the University (support for the retiree organization, opportunities for retirees to participate, benefits);
6. Pre-retirement Planning (role of university, role of association). This session demonstrated that associations share similar concerns but each differs in the way it has fashioned its programs and services (travel opportunities, relationship to the university, communication with members, financial resources, etc.)


Concurrently with Session II, a special session was held for spouses/guests. Twelve guests enjoyed learning about the magic of making party foods attractive as well as tasty as they listened, watched attentively and interacted with two professional chefs from Purdue, Chef Emeritus Hubert Schmieder and Chef Bruce Houmeister. The chefs demonstrated preparation steps for a variety of party food, enhancements to make the presentation of foods special, and various decorative arrangements made from fruits and vegetables.


Following a buffet lunch and active table conversation, a University bus was available to take conferees on a guided tour of the private suites and dining areas of: The Pavilion at Ross-Ade Stadium, the new Biotechnology Center at Purdue's Discovery Park, and the facilities of a Purdue related retirement community, University Place. Patty Jischke, wife and Ambassador for the President, welcomed conferees to an afternoon of tea at Westwood. (The official home of Purdue president).


The Saturday evening schedule included a social hour and dinner in The Anniversary Drawing Room of the Purdue Memorial Room, followed with a presentation by Dr. F. Tom Turpin, Professor of Entomology, on "Beetles, Bugs, and Butterflies, Oh My!"


Session III on Sunday, August 27 , "The Changing Environment for Retiree Medical Coverage in Higher Education" was presented by Steve Cyboran, Vice President and Consulting Actuary and Kathy Bakich, Attorney, National Compliance from Segal/Sibson. This session highlighted the changes in Medicare and how these changes will impact retirees. 2018 is the projected date of exhaustion of the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund. Not many individuals are aware that the Medicare Modernization Act will require individuals whose modified adjusted gross income exceeds $80,000 ($160,000 for couples) will pay Part B premiums covering 35, 50, 65, or 80% of program costs for 2007, compared to 25% for non-high income beneficiaries. Attention was also given to how these changes will affect health care providers in the future. They suggested ways for health plans designers to keep programs viable.


"Retirees Health Care Coverage on Your Campus" Session IV, was constructed to allow a representative of each Big Ten institution to report on the basic design of its health insurance program, including how it is administered and funded. The variation among the retiree groups was significant. This session provided an informative and timely update of coverage and cost of the health plans.


Business Meeting: Drayer, Purdue, called the meeting to order at 11:20 a. m.


(1) Questionnaire: Drayer asked that everyone complete the questionnaire evaluating the various elements of the conference. He will forward the results on to those planning next year's conference at Penn State.


(2) Big 10 Web Site (
Butler, Michigan, led a discussion of how the site might be used more effectively and what additional information might be posted. The principal content of the Big 10 site has been (a) information on our past and future annual conferences and (b) links to the site for each campus. There was an informal motion that information specific to the group at each campus being on the Big 10 site. The web master might review the campus sites on a regular basis to inform those needing review as time permits. The principal responsibility for keeping them up to date remains with the campus web masters.


(3) Calendar of Meetings : Based on the assumption that we will follow the sequence used in the past, the schedule for the next decade will be:

2007 Pennsylvania State University
2008 University of Illinois
2009 University of Iowa
2010 Indiana University
2011 University of Wisconsin
2012 Ohio State University
2013 University of Michigan
2014 University of Minnesota
2015 Michigan State University
2016 Purdue University


(4) The Association of Retirement Organizations in Higher Education (AROHE): The question whether there should be a link with this national group. Some individuals had attended buy none felt that a formal link was necessary. Representatives from the University of Iowa will be attending the next meeting and will report back on this group.


(5) Preparations for the 2006 Conference at Purdue :


Drayer reported on the activities of the Purdue Conference Committee:

(a)  Budget: The $100 conference fee does not cover the full costs. For example, the school associations had to come up with extra funds for the last three meetings: over $10,000 at Minnesota and Michigan State, at least $7000 at Purdue. One major cost had been for the meals since the meeting rooms were provided by the Purdue Memorial Union; the speakers did not charge; and the conference folders (also used for speaker gifts), while elegant, had been provided at cost by a local bookstore. It was agreed informally that the $100 fee was not fixed and that it could be increased for future meetings, the host school is also encouraged to review the amount of the registration fee for the spouse/guest compared to their cost. Other costs included printing and mailing (a cost which can be lowered an email can be used more of the communications), name badges, the rental of a bus for tours, entertainment during meals, and table decorations.


(b) Date: The date is determined principally by availability of housing. Purdue had hoped to have the meeting the previous weekend but this date freshman moved in and the football team occupied the Union. It was noted that past meetings had been held on a Sunday-Monday-Tuesday sequence; a Saturday- Sunday-Monday sequence was the prerogative of the host organization.


(c) Planning: The group had begun planning more than a year earlier and started meeting in earnest in April.


(d) Passing the "Torch": Drayer passed the group's symbol (a large, stuffed monkey) to Albright and Mumma from Penn State.


(6) Preparations for the 2007 Conference at Penn State:


Mumma and Albright reported.


(a) Date: The Conference will be held AUGUST 17-19, 2007
(b) Planning: They have met three times so far and arranged for 20 meeting rooms on campus. There was some feedback suggesting that they consider increasing the number of rooms they reserved at this time. They have arranged for the speakers and the entertainment. There was discussion of the value of having some information out early as possible to permit each association as much time to choose delegates.
(c) Travel: Airline service includes Northwest (through Detroit); Delta (though Cincinnati); United (though Dulles); and US Air (though Philadelphia). For those driving, the campus is close to I-80 and can be reached on I-99 for those using the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
(d) Other: It was agreed that the number of delegates an individual institution sent to the conference was the prerogative of that institution. Albright asked for information on what topics we would like to have covered at the meeting.


(7) Adjournment : An informal motion was made and passed by acclamation to thank our hosts at Purdue for all the work they had put into setting up and running such a successful conference. The meeting was adjourned at 11:50 a. m.

            Business Minutes Submitted By:

H. F. Williamson
University of Illinois

For Conference Pictures see Purdue Web Site





Comments about the 2006 Big Ten Retirees Conference are invaluable in evaluating this year's programming and in constructing next year's conference. Seventeen of the twenty-three representatives completed and returned forms to the Planning Committee; most forms had extensive comments for some or all of the items.


SESSION I "Trends and Issues in Senior Living"

Exceeded Expectations 10
Met Expectations 7
Did Not Meet Expectations 0

---Very good -- would have liked to hear more about the future.
---Informative presentations about continuing care retirement communities; highly qualified presenters. Effective presentation -- generated interest and questions.
--- A good overview.
--- Very direct and informative.
--- Good information -- a little commercial regarding institutional living vs. private care at home.
--- Excellent; knowledgeable presenters on an important topic.
--- Well organized -- helpful speakers and useful program.
--- Good information for a future meeting of our campus chapter!
--- Interesting, but little new.
--- This was very good -- the idea of the different generations was an interesting perspective.
--- Little too much on generational characteristics.

SESSION II "Building Active Retirees Associations"

Exceeded Expectations 7
Met Expectations 8
Did Not Meet Expectations I


--- Very good way to share considering size of group.
--- Contributed to becoming familiar with other associations in Big Ten. Some overlap among groups.
--- Too much "show and tell."
--- Helpful.
--- Realized most share similar problems but each is very different in its membership.
--- Should publish and distribute various campus conditions -- too much to take notes.
--- Opened dialogue among institutions.
--- Highly useful.
--- Many good ideas
--- Lots of good ideas but some not realistic for us.
--- This was very good. It would have been good to have more time.
--- Very useful.


SESSION III "The Changing Environment for Retiree Medical Coverage in Higher --- Education"


Exceeded Expectations 6
Met Expectations 9
Did Not Meet Expectations I


--- I've had little contact with the material -- overwhelmed! This is good, however!
--- Informative.
--- Did not keep on task rambled. Concentrated on issues particularly applicable to university retiree associations.
--- Very good.
--- Made knowledge expectations I did not have.
--- Good but would have liked more info on how to set up local group participation in a plan.
--- Capped off program and was very informative.
--- Good presentation.
--- Good information to take back to our members.
--- 2
--- Nice presentation -- could have used more time.
--- Good information. It was a good presentation; however, the handouts looked/are very expensive. Put 6 slides on a page -- color isn't necessary.

SESSION IV "Retirees Health Care Coverage on Your Campus"


Exceeded Expectations 4
Met Expectations 10
Did Not Meet Expectations 1


--- Wow! What diversity -- NO idea that this would be true -- a real eye-opener.

--- Excellent for update of various associations.

--- Interesting and informative for the most part.

--- Wish everyone had handout so can better compare.

--- Could have spent more than allotted time as it is one of the major factors retirees face.

--- Try to get info into capsules, published, and distributed to all.

--- Very useful to hear various medical coverage issues.

--- You gave us an idea of what is going on.

--- Good to hear the wide variety of arrangements.

--- Good -- was informative.

--- Always useful to see differences, but form could have been provided to standardize.


Comments about campus tour



--- Excellent tour -- President's stop was placed at a good time.

--- Excellent -- one of the best features of the program. Contributed to knowledge and understanding of PU. Learned about features of PU that I was not previously aware of.

--- Very nice!

--- Excellent.

--- Both tours were very nice, including visits to President's Home and Senior Living facility.

--- Boilermaker Special was fun. Listing 2 tours on pre-visit form was confusing.

--- Informative; time well spent. FUN!

--- Med Science Park a real eye-opener: Appreciated tour of Westwood and meeting Patty Jischke.

--- Exceedingly interesting and informative!

--- Just about right in time and level of info. Wonderful to visit President's home. Mrs. Jischke very gracious. Food wonderful.

--- Very interesting.

--- Tour was a little too long. The segment at Nano Lab was ok, but inspection of labs was not significant.

--- Very interesting -- but not sure it was a good use of our time.

--- Wonderful. I enjoyed all of the places plus the President's house.

--- Excellent, especially Westwood.


Comments about lodging and food services


--- Very adequate and ok.

--- Very good.

--- Excellent -- these features were well planned and executed.

--- Good 2

--- Excellent 6

--- Outstanding

--- Excellent except for breakfast bar.

--- Excellent -- Union Club super -- food and facilities first rate.

--- Dinner first night -- so so. Would have liked fruit at cold breakfast -- also water -- maybe coffee ongoing.

--- Excellent food service and lodging!

--- Very good. Room was comfortable -- great food --very accommodating.


What was the best part of the 2006 Big Ten Retirees Conference for you?


--- Meet folks and realizing the great diversity of experiences.

--- Meeting others and sharing informally as well as in groups.

--- Congratulations to Planning Committee for an outstanding job. Knowledge of other associations and information about PU.

--- Wonderful hospitality. People warm, friendly, helpful.

--- Networking, program content.

--- All parts were the best. Very well organized and executed.

--- Meeting/getting info from other participants.

--- Networking.

--- First attended.

--- It all was good. The Discovery Center tour was an eye-opener. President's home visit most enjoyable.

--- Information sharing -- presenters.

--- Networking time; chance to learn from others.

--- Hospitality of all Purdue hosts.

--- Meeting people from other similar associations.

--- The working sessions and the sharing of ideas.

--- Turpin was excellent. Meeting other participants and learning about other schools.


What suggestions do you wish to make for topics, ideas, and program structure for the 2007 Big Ten Conference?


--- Keep this format. Alternative medicine.

--- Target more specific issues that associations experience or will likely face in future and consider the subject in depth.

--- More structure on topics for improving retiree associations.

--- Suggestion for PSU: Send info to more than one person at each institution and send it early. Note: our Board meets only every two months. It is helpful if we can begin our selection of representatives at least four months in advance. (from MI representative)

--- Financing long-term care. Need definite info about what to bring for sessions.

--- Always some time needs to be spent on healthcare issues due to constant flux. Having a professional speaker on some facet each year is very helpful.

--- 1) Networking opportunities is key; 2) Perhaps more general coverage for Session II ('Building Active Retiree

--- Associations ") topics.

--- Perhaps survey the schools for 2007 topics.

--- "Wellness" looks good. If any major issues arise in the next year, then add them to the conference.


Miscellaneous comments


--- Thanks very much. Enjoyable! Well organized. Folder nice.

--- Spouse enjoyed "Party Foods" presentation.





--- H. F Williamson    

--- 3414 S. Persimmon Circle

--- Urbana, IL 61802

--- 217-840-7266




--- Bob Ensman

--- 1102 Berkshire Ct.

--- Bloomington, IN 47401

--- 812-339-1357




--- Karole Fuller

--- 6 Longview Knoll, NE

--- Iowa City, IA 52240

--- 319-338-3561



--- George Lance

--- (Emeritus Faculty)



--- Patricia M. Butler

--- 7670 Parker Rd.

--- Saline, MI 46176

--- 34-944-1918



Michigan State

--- Kay Butcher

--- 610 Emily Ave.

--- Lansing, MI 48910

--- 517-882-3534



Ohio State    

--- Virginia Gordon

--- 2924 Wellesley Dr.

--- Columbus, OH 43221

--- 614-488-4749



Penn State   

--- Ralph Mumma

--- 1932 Norwood Lane

--- State College, PA 16803

--- 814-237-4150




--- Betty Suddarth

--- 3700 Capilano Dr.

--- West Lafayette, IN 47906

--- 765-497-4815




--- Ann Wallace

---  (executive director) 



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