E-news Archive for 2020

Barry McNeillThe 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.

Barry McNeill Editor

21 Feb 2020

February Supplicment

I was in such a hurry to get the E-news out that I forgot to include the following two items.

Color Version of Prime Times

.A color version of the spring 2020 Prime Times is now available on the ASURA website.

Volunteer for AROHE Awards Committee

Planning for AROHE’s 10th Biennial Conference, “Transforming Retirement: A 360° View,” October 18 – 20, 2020, hosted by Arizona State University, is underway. AROHE is the Association of Retirement Organizations in Higher Education and ASURA and the Emeritus College are members..

As part of the conference program nominations are now open for the AROHE HERO (Higher Education Retirement Organization) Awards. These awards are designed to recognize individuals as well as organizations for their outstanding contributions to retiree engagement in higher education. 

In addition there are two new award categories to AROHE’s Innovation Award inaugurated in 2018 – the AROHE Distinguished Service Award and the AROHE Distinguished Leadership Award. To view details and/or submit your nominations for any of these three awards, please visit the HERO Awards web page for more information.

The planning committee is  seeking volunteers to serve on the HERO Awards Selection Committee; specifically a retired staff member  to serve on the HERO Awards Selection Committee. If you would like to volunteer please contact Jan Thompson

Barry McNeill
20 Feb 2020

This month has turned out to be a very busy month what with the opening of the croquet season and ASU Baseball. This issue covers:

  • February ASURA Board Meeting
  • House Bill 2124
  • Board Member Elections
  • Changes in the AZ Tax Laws
  • The Calendar of Upcoming Events

January ASURA Board Meeting

A few comments from the meeting

  • ASU Day at the Capital
    Bill Stasi, Jeri Meeks, and Tara Roesler represented ASURA and had a table at the event (a few pictures). President Crow stopped by and complimented the work done by ASURA.
  • Presentation at the Academic Senate – Jan Thompson
    Jan reported that ASURA has been invited to make a presentation to the Academic Senate on March 2. Jan will be presenting an overview of what ASURA is and does. This invitation is a first.
  • Live Streaming of ASURA Seminars – Bev Buddee
    Bev reported that the February seminar was streamed live using Zoom. This became necessary when the room capacity was reached early in the registration period. The March seminar will also be streamed using Zoom. You will get further information about this when the second announcement comes out.

House Bill 2124

Tara Roesler, an ASURA Legislative Liaison, brought House Bill 2124 to the attention of the Board. The bill was an attempt to keep people from using temporary addresses when they register to vote. The bill was poorly written and confusing and appeared to have some negative impact on retirees. The Board voted to actively oppose the bill. Luckily there were some rational legislators at the bill’s hearing because the bill was killed.

Note / Reminder:  If you ever plan to write to your state legislator about some issue be sure to use an email other than asu.edu, e.g., gmail.com, cox.net, etc.

ASURA Board Member Elections

If you have not already voted in the ASURA Board Member Elections it is not too late. Voting ends Friday February 28; so, Don’t Delay Vote Today. Note: the problems we had earlier with mail sent to asura@asu.edu have been resolved.

Changes in AZ Tax Laws

The AZ tax law on charitable gifts has changed. If you take the standard deduction, there are now ways you can also claim additional charitable contributions and you may want to discuss this with your tax consultant. If your income is less than $56,000 you qualify for help from Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

15 Jan 2020

I hope you all had a relaxing enjoyable holiday season but now it is time to get back to the business of being retired. This is a lengthy E-News with the following six items:

  1. A few comments from the January ASURA Board meeting
  2. Interesting Links
  3. A United Way Volunteer Opportunity
  4. Employee Hearing Screenings
  5. Calendar of Upcoming Events (omitted)

January ASURA Board Meeting

A few comments from the committee reports

  • The Pre-retirement Seminar – Trudy Perez and Liz Badalamenti Co-chairs
    The Pre-retirement seminars have really taken off. The goal is to provide information to those about to retire about retirement issues that are not addressed by the HR retirement sessions. The seminars have increased in number from one or two a year to monthly. They are given in the Computing Commons and are available via Zoom across all the campuses. Links to the last three presentations can be found in the next section.
  • Government Liaison Committee – Jeri Meeks
    Jeri reported on her first review of the bills coming out of the legislature. At the moment there did not appear to be anything to be concerned with. Tara Roesler also mentioned that there are some bills to allow ASRS the possibility of becoming self-insured

Interesting Links

Following are links to various pages in the ASURA / ASU websites that you might have overlooked and would find interesting. Once you’ve looked at the link maybe you can poke around and find something even more interesting.

  • Governor’s Council on Aging – The November meeting addressed efforts at capping drug costs.
  • Video History Project – The interview with Gus Edwards, playwright and ASU professor is now available from the ASU Digital Repository.
  • Past Event – A write-up and a few pictures from the Luncheon and Special Project's ASU Women’s Basketball event.
  • Pre-retirement – Videos of the latest three pre-retirement seminar presentations

A United Way Volunteer Opportunity – The Vello Program

Helping a Child Learn to Read.......and Other Volunteer Opportunities You Might Find Interesting in the New Year

By John Millikin, PhD

When I retired from teaching in 2012 one of the things I noticed was that retirees were no longer part of the United Way campaigns as we were no longer on payroll. Working with the Valley of the Sun United Way (VSUW) we created Retire United as a focal point for continued involvement in the community. [Editors Note:  ASURA members do receive annual letters asking for donations to the United Way through ASU] We now have several hundred retirees in Retire United including ASU participants. We have found that many of us who participated as donors over the years now have more time to volunteer.

There are a number of different VSUW programs that benefited from Retiree United volunteers. These include:

  • working with area school districts to provide backpacks with school supplies and reading materials to disadvantaged students.
  • Project Connect to help get homeless and other poor people connected to right social services, and
  • more recently the Vello program which links adult volunteers online with individual elementary students who can benefit by extra reading support. These students have a computer set up in their classrooms and through a unique app can read while being coached remotely by a volunteer who may be located in their home, office or even on a vacation trip as long as one has a web connection.

Originally Vello was staffed by teams of employees at VSUW partner companies, but we have created a team of Retired United participants to support a specific school and class. This has worked well as I can personally attest! You can get a feel for the program at Vello Video Library.

We are seeking ASURA members who would be interested in developing an additional team of volunteers to support another school

While we always accept donations, there is no giving requirement to participate and you can sign up for free. If you have additional questions, feel free to contact John Hamilton, Retire United Chair or me at John.Milikin@asu.edu or (602)370-2941.

Employee Hearing Screening

The ASU Speech and Hearing Clinic is holding free fifteen-minute hearing screenings on the various ASU campuses. The test includes:

  • A pure-tone test to determine if hearing levels are at or below the screening levels at key speech frequencies.
  • A tympanogram measurement to determine middle ear function.
  • An otoscopic evaluation to determine if outer ear issues such as cerumen ear wax or other problems need attention.

Polytechnic campus
Monday, February 3 | 8 a.m. – 10 a.m.

Student Union, Cooley ballroom A
Appointments required 

West campus
Monday, February 10 | 8 a.m. – 10 a.m.

UCB 265
Appointments required 

Downtown Phoenix campus
Monday, February 17 | 8 a.m. – 10 a.m.

Appointments required 

Tempe Campus
Monday, February 24 | 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

ASU Speech and Hearing Clinic - Coor Hall, 2nd Floor (follow the signs)
Appointments required