ASURA Board Meeting Minutes - 9/10/2008

Board Members Present:   Bob Barnhill. Mat Betz, Ted Cary, Bob Francis, Doug Johnson, Maxine LaRoux, Carolyn Minner, Val Peterson, Mary Stevens, Lou Weschler

Absent: Joyce Diaz Hartman, Lois Lehman, Connie McNeill, Robert Rankin

Committee / Program Chairs:   Jerome Aronson, Alan Johnson,  Sue Blumer, Alan Johnson, Joan Leard, Dick Murra, Peggy Randolph, David Scheatzle

Ex-Officio Members Present:  Elmer Gooding, Phil Vandermeer

Absent:  Christine Cervantes, Andrew Hamilton, Eric Sloan

Guests:  Joe Comfort (University Senate), Bob Mings, Evelyn Partridge (Activities Writing Group Leader), June Payne,  Karla Phillips (Public Affairs), Bill Stasi (Travel Committee)

I.   Call to Order:  Val Peterson called the meeting to order at 10:40 a.m.

II.  President's Report:  Val Peterson expressed appreciation for the committee work that took place over the summer including the Bylaws Committee, Membership Committee, Activities Committee and others.  Peggy Randolph was recognized for her many contributions to the ASU Retirees Association over the years and most recently as Chair of the Volunteer Committee.  It is anticipated that the Volunteer functions will now be a part of the Activities Committee.

III.   Minutes:  The May 14, 2008 Board minutes were approved as written.

IV.   Ex-Officio Reports:

University Senate:  Phil Vandermeer described his work this past summer in coordinating and integrating the four campus senates into one organization now renamed the University Senate.  A new audio-visual system is being used to conduct meetings from multiple locations.  Broader issues will be addressed through a Task Force connected to the Arizona Board of Regents to develop a strategic plan for higher education in the State.  The Senate will also be involved with reorganizing academic units.

University Liaison:  Karla Phillips from Public Affairs reported on Arizona Legislative university cutbacks in 2008 and 2009.  Her overall assessment was that "ASU did very well" budget-wise taking everything into consideration.  The 2008 cut was for one time only and lottery funds are supporting  new construction.  Karla will provide a Legislative Summary.

Emeritus College:   Lou Weschler stated that the Emeritus College is facing a reduction in funding.  Many ASU retirees are offered classes through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in four locations - Sun City Grand, ASU West campus, Tempe Connections at the Library and ASU Polytechnic campus.  Catalogs are available in the ASU Retirees Office and on the ASU Website.

V.  Standing Committee Reports: 

Treasurer:  Ted Cary submitted reports prepared by Carolyn Minner showing a balance of $40,867.42 in the ASURA Operations Account and balance in the Video History Account of $14,729.50 as of June 30, 2008.*  Additional Foundation Reports were distributed.  The ASU Operations financial reports provide expenditure details.

Membership:  Elmer Gooding reported that 989 renewal letters were mailed in May.  Letters were sent to 238 new retirees in July.  Val Peterson, Mary Stevens, David Scheatzle and Carolyn Minner added personal messages to many of the new retirees.  Human Resources will be providing the names of new retirees quarterly.

Community Relations:

Education:  Bob Barnhill reported that the Education Committee is developing the program for the annual Retirees Day scheduled for February 21, 2009 in the usual format of various classes and has secured several speakers including Mat Betz and Bruce Merrill. 

Legislative Liaison Council:  Jerry Aronson invited members of ASURA  to suggest agenda items for the annual Tri-University Retirees meeting and the coalition of  Arizona State Retirees meeting .  Jerry cautioned that the minimum retirement contribution should be kept at a level to assure adequate funding.  Due to present economic conditions there will be no permanent benefit increases in the foreseeable future.  A survey of retirees on these issues was suggested.

Retirement System Liaison:  Alan Johnson stated that a representative is needed to serve on the Arizona State Retirement System Health Insurance Committee to assist in preparation for renewal of the health plan.  The representative is required to be a member of the ASRS Health Plan.  Alan reported that the market value of ASRS assets fell from $28.6 billion in 2006-07 to $25.76 billion on June 30, 2008 reflecting the current economic downturn.  Details are explained in his attached report.*

University Club Liaison:  A new representative is needed, as Zeke Prust has resigned.

VI. Other Reports:

Activities Committee:  Mary Stevens introduced Bill Stasi, Travel Committee Chair, who distributed detailed information on proposed trips for the coming year.  A list is attached.* Discussion followed on approval procedures and the following motion was approved:

MOTION:  The Travel Committee will present information on all travel plans to the ASURA Board and these activities will be planned to be self-supporting.

Evelyn Partridge, Activities Writing Group Leader, presented a proposal for a six session Personal History Workshop in October and November led by Charles Brownson, Professor emeritus of the ASU Libraries that was approved by consensus.  Details are given in an attachment.*

Adopt-a-Family:  Joan Leard reported that our Tempe Elementary District family consists of a Mother with one son.  An ASU family has yet to be selected.  Joan will be shopping for our new family in October.

By-Laws Committee:  Mary Stevens reported that the Bylaws Committee has been formed and  is reviewing the ASURA bylaws and will be presenting a report at the October Board meeting.

Health Insurance:  Dick Murra explained that retirees will be receiving a Health Insurance Enrollment Guide.  He said that Schaller Anderson is no longer available as an insurance option and the dental insurance offers three choices:  Retiree, Retiree plus 1, and retiree plus family.  It has not been decided whether enrollment will be required or a matter of choice.  ASURA may offer discussion groups during October.

Scholarship:  Sue Blumer read a thank you letter from Elizabeth Harris expressing appreciation for the scholarship from ASURA.  Elizabeth is majoring in Aging and Lifespan Development and currently pursuing a career in Geriatric Care Management.

Prime Times:  David Scheatzle is anticipating  a fall issue of  Prime Times in late October.

Video History Project:  Bob Francis reported that 10 interviews have been completed and that Agave has promised to deliver all DVD's by Dec. 1.  Letters were sent to interviewees offering them the opportunity to purchase additional DVD's. 

Website:  A written report of recent upgrades to the ASURA website were prepared by Connie McNeill but due to her absence they will be submitted with the minutes.*

Adjournment:  The meeting adjourned at 12:35 p.m.

Respectfully submitted:

Maxine LaRoux


* Reports attached