2014 ASURA Annual Meeting

President Crow & Barry McNeill

President Crow & Barry McNeill

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The 23rd ASURA Annual Meeting was held on April 12, 2014 in the Alumni Lounge of the Memorial Union from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. The meeting was well attended with 68 registered. There were some light desserts along with the traditional Birthday Cake, carrot of course!

The meeting began at 1:10 when ASURA President Barry McNeill welcomed the audience and presented an overview of the year’s activities. He then spent some time discussing the survey project. Important points made were:
The return rate for the Members Survey was around 30 %.

  • ASU retirees are not joining because they are too busy.
  • Members drop membership because they can no longer take part.
  • Overwhelmingly the most important activities for ASURA to undertake are to advocate for retiree benefits and to monitor the health insurance.
  • The importance of Seminars placed it above the importance of doing Retirees Day, Luncheons, or Travel.

Sue Blumer, Co-chair of the ASURA Scholarship Committee, introduced this year’s scholarship recipient, Tomas Espinosa, a mechanical engineering student with extensive experience in community. Espinosa then spoke, thanking the Association for its support and speaking about this background. He then discussed his interest in engineering and energy technology and his participation in community service activities which included tutoring refugee students. He anticipates a career in energy technology, economic growth, and sustainability. He indicated that as a result of the support from ASURA, he will now be able to enter graduate school and pursue a master’s degree in engineering

Dave Scheatzle presented the Video History Project, which has completed 96 interviews of ASU retirees. Dave announced that they were working with the ASU Library to get the videos included in the Library’s digital archive which would make the videos available online. Dave also mentioned that they were collaborating with Mark Tebeau, Director, Public History, to have his students help get key words associated with the interviews. This will allow quick access to interviews addressing a key word. Dave played a 15 minute composite video made up from portions of four of the interviews including: George Morell, James Elmore, Rudy Turk, and Brent Brown.

Barry then introduced President Michael Crow, who thanked the members of the Association for their contributions to the University during their careers and their service since. President Crow discussed the direction and emphasis on ASU in the context of higher education in the U.S. and the University’s contributions to the society. He indicated that when he joined ASU, he set a goal for the University to increase its research and the number of graduates and graduation rates.

 

  • ASU will admit every student who meets the admission requirements.
  • ASU is the largest producer of Pell-eligible graduates, of Hispanic graduates, and of Native American graduates, and the fourth largest producer of African-American graduates.
  • ASU has the lowest cost per graduate among research universities in the U.S.
  • Research funding has quadrupled to over $400 million.
  • ASU is in the top ten for nearly every award that can be given to undergraduates.

President Crow noted that ASU students are terrific, as good any student at any institution, and they have a special tenacity and grittiness to them. ASU’s objective is to retain 90% of its freshmen, and have a graduation rate that exceeds 75%. At the conclusion of the presentation President Crow took a few questions form the audience. Barry then thanked Dr. Crow for taking time on a Saturday afternoon and presented him with a copy of A Second Decade of Success

The meeting closed with Barry handing the “gavel of power” over to Jo Madonna, the incoming president. Jo introduced the new Board Members, thanked Barry for his year as President and closed the meeting at 3:15 pm.

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Barry McNeill