E-news for 2015

Jo MadonnaThe ASURA E-news is published after each Board Meeting and sometimes extra issues are published. The listing of future events, the last section of most E-news issues, has been deleted. Note: the links are likely broken.

Editor is Jo Madonna

Date News
11 Dec 2015

Nominations For The ASURA Board

As occurs every year, the term of office of five current members of the ASURA Board of Directors will expire at the end of April and it is time to identify potential replacements.  A Nominating Committee has been established and it is now inviting members to suggest and identify individuals for consideration for these important roles.  The ballots will be prepared and elections will take place in February.  To express an interest, recommend a potential nominee or for further information, please contact Past President Jo Madonna at jomadonna@cox.net  by January 2, 2016.

Staff Council Harkins Sales

Looking for a perfect gift idea for family, friends or even as a special treat for yourself?  The University Staff Council is currently holding a fundraising activity that may interest you and give you the opportunity to help with a good cause at the same time.  The Council is holding their annual Harkins Sales event through December 18, 2015.  You are able to purchase Harkins Movie Theater Gift Cards, Loyalty Beverage Cups, and Loyalty T-Shirts through the Staff Council.  The cost of these items is the same as it is to purchase the items at the Harkins Theaters.  All proceeds go to the Staff Helping Staff, an emergency financial assistance fund for staff in need on all ASU campuses.  To find out more information or to place an order go to:  http://staffcouncil.asu.edu/harkins.  

Temporary ASURA Office Closure

The ASURA Office in the Community Services Building will be temporarily closed December 21 – 25th. This closure will be due to some building maintenance work that will be taking place in the building.  If you plan to go to the office the following week, it is recommended that you call the office first (480-965-7668) to make sure that the work has been completed and the building has been re-opened.  

Association Of Retirement Organizations in Higher Education (AROHE)

ASURA is a member of AROHE a member network that advocates for, educates and serves campus-based organizations for retired faculty and staff.  AROHE’s most recent ENewsletter may be found at: 


20 Oct 2015

Open Enrollment

By now you’ve probably received open enrollment packets from the Arizona Department of Administration (ADOA), the Arizona State Retirement System, and perhaps a myriad of other insurance companies describing the plans various insurance plans offered for retirees.  All of this information can be very confusing.  What is a person to do?

Get ready for this year's open enrollment period by brushing up on Medicare and health care options for retirees at ASURA's annual health insurance seminar that will take place this week on Thursday, October 22nd from 10am - Noon.  This year due to the large demand the seminar will be held in the Tempe History Museum, right next door to the Tempe Library, on the corner of Rural Road and Southern Avenue.  Parking is free.

The seminar will include a general overview of Medicare, highlighting definitions and differences among Medicare supplement plans, Advantage plans, and prescription drug plans will be given by David Parra, an Arizona AARP Medicare specialist. Representatives from ADOA Benefit Options and ASRS will follow with a review of their respective plans and answers to member questions.

You may follow the link in the list of events below to register for this seminar.

Fall Luncheon

The ASURA Fall Luncheon is nearly here and registration is now open.  This event will be held at the Shalimar Country Club, 2032 E. Golf Avenue Tempe, on Friday, November 13th.  The registration deadline is Wednesday, November 4th

There will be a three course luncheon. Mike Chamberlin, former local newscaster, will entertain us with interesting stories and songs.  Come join in on the fun for a lovely afternoon of food, friends, music. 

You may follow the link in the list of events below to register for this luncheon.

29 Sept 2015

Inaugural Pre-Retirement Seminar

ASURA is about to offer the first in a series of pre-retirement seminars. This first seminar, Financial Planning Makes the Difference, will be offered on Tuesday October 13 from noon to 1:00 PM in the Biodesign Institute Auditorium, Tempe Campus.  These seminars, for ASU employees who are planning to retiree within the next couple of years, are intended to help them with their retirement planning. The seminars will be presented on campus during the lunch hour to minimize the effort required to attend. Advanced registration is not required.

If you know any ASU employees who are planning to retire within the next couple of years could you please alert them to this seminar. There is additional information available on our website.  If you have questions please contact Trudy Perez, Chair of the Pre-retirement Seminar Committee, at trudy.perez@asu.edu.

Trudy and her committee thank you for any help you can give to publicize this event and make it a smashing first effort.

Electronic Prime Times

The fall 2015 Prime Times is in the mail and you will be receiving it shortly. A color version of this Prime Times is now available on the ASURA website along with past editions back to the fall of 2001.

Happy Reading

16 March 2015

Travel Opportunities

The ASURA Travel Committee’s three upcoming trips are designed to satisfy your need for adventure, wonder and fellowship.  The good news is that there is still time to sign up.

  • The Landscape of the Four Corners is a 3 day, 2 night tour of three picturesque locations in northern Arizona – Canyon de Chelly, Monument Valley, and Antelope Canyon.  This trip will begin on the morning of Wednesday, April 22 and return the evening of Friday, April 24th.  More detailed information is available by clicking http://asura.wildapricot.org/event-1840026.
  • 2015 China is a 21 day, 20 night tour of the sights of this ancient and historic land.  Highlights include those places that you’ve read about in books and newspapers – The Forbidden City, The Great Wall, the Terracotta Warriors, The Summer Palace and so many more.  This trip leaves on May 18th and returns on June 9th.  More detailed information is available by clicking  http://asura.wildapricot.org/event-1772384

Tuscany & Umbria: Rustic Beauty in the Italian Heartland is a trip where travelers will discover the timeless beauty, rich history and culinary prowess of the Italian heartland. This trip begins September 17th and ends October 1st but there are also options for pre and post trip extensions to see and experience more.  More detailed information is available by clicking http://asura.wildapricot.org/event-1734801

16 Feb 2015

New Board Member Elections

If you have not already voted in this year’s Board election there is still time. Go to our homepage, asura.asu.edu, and click on the “VOTE” picture to get directions on how to cast your vote. This year’s candidates are: Barry Bruns, Bev Buddee, Bob Francis, Larry Mankin, and Barbara White.

Prime Times

Prime Times, ASURA’s newsletter, is published three times a year.  It is mailed to members and is also available on-line on our association website.  The on-line version has the richness and pizazz of being published in color.  Check it out at at  https://asura.asu.edu/PrimeTimes.

In response to information gleaned from the 2014 member survey and beginning with the Summer 2015 issue of Prime Times, those members who have signed up to receive association e-mail notifications will be sent an e-mail that includes an easy link to the on-line version of the newsletter.  Paper copies will also continue to be mailed.

18 Jan  2015

January Board Activities

During this month’s Board meeting discussion continued on how to enhance ASURA’s advocacy efforts. Based on the previous meeting’s work, the discussion focused on computers and what type of support is needed by our members. As an outcome the Board appointed a small group to focus on advocating with ASU for support of retirees’ computing needs, and for communicating with members about what support is available and how to get it. The group will focus in the next several months on topics such as:

  • How to hire students for in-home help;
  • Access to on-line, call-in, and walk-in support;
  • Advice on Internet providers, software and hardware purchase, in-home wireless networks;
  • Access to employee discounts on software and hardware;
  • Change notices for ASU-provided services that retirees use.

Legislative Liaison Committee

This year ASURA Board Member Hal White has assumed the role as ASURA Legislative Liaison.  He has formed a small committee of our association members who will monitor the activities and work of the Arizona Legislature in areas that could impact our members. 

In order to gain an understanding of ASU’s legislative priorities a few members of ASURA attended the January 13th ASU Legislative Breakfast.  ASU President Michael Crow spoke about the university’s strategy for moving education forward in Arizona during a time of continued economic uncertainty.  Our member delegation had an opportunity to meet with President Crow at this event.  Click on the following link to view a photo of our members with President Crow that was taken that day.