HISTORIAN'S REPORT - April 17, 2008 (Riverside)

As CUCEA convenes at UC Riverside for its April 2008 meeting, we recall an earlier meeting on the Riverside campus, some seventeen years ago.

One of the wise decisions embodied from the first in the Bylaws of the Council of University of California Emeriti Associations was that the biannual meetings should take place on the separate campuses, alternating north and south. Although no set schedule of rotation was ever established, all but our newest, Merced, have hosted CUCEA repeatedly over the years, and this has gradually given the Council an invaluable background of appreciation for the diversity of history and character which its members represent, as well as a strong sense of the University community as a whole.

The first meeting on the Riverside campus was held on April 25, 1991 at the end of CUCEA's fourth year, and it is probable that most of those who attended that day were first-time visitors. Riverside's history, as they may perhaps have discovered, is surprisingly unique, dating from 1907 when the California Legislature established it as the Citrus Experiment Station to conduct research, much at the graduate level, on the agricultural problems of Southern California. As regional demographics changed, a College of Letters and Science was authorized to begin instruction in 1954, and only five years later, in 1959, the Regents declared Riverside a general campus, with emphasis on the graduate and professional programs which have contributed so productively to the state's economy.

CUCEA's 1991 representatives, arriving at the University Club on the pleasant mild morning of April 25, would have seen Riverside's central buildings against the steep pink background of the Box Springs Mountains, but, their attention should surely have been especially caught by the landmark l6l-foot-high Centennial Bell Tower, with its carillon of 48 bells. This tower, built to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of Berkeley's founding in 1868, was, its first carilloneur Lowell Smith later wrote, "designed to embody several ideals: a beautiful architectural structure, a visual focal point for the campus, a rallying place for student life and an instrument to fill the campus community with music." The full carillon weighs 30,000 pounds, with the largest bell, the bourdon, which is inscribed "University Centennial Bell 1868-1968" and decorated with the original Latin form of the University seal, weighing 5,091.

This CUCEA meeting, not attended by any representative from the University's administration, was essentially devoted to a day-long internal sharing of reports from its officers and delegates, with discussion of issues of current concern. Chair Moses Greenfield (Los Angeles) called the group to order at 10:00 a.m. First attention was given to the Treasurer's financial update, presented by Henry Fagin (Irvine), then completing the second of his seven years of consecutive service. He distributed figures for expenditures until then, assets on hand, and a budget for 1991/92, all of which confirmed expected annual disbursements of approximately $2,000 and assets better than double that, thanks basically to a second donation of $1,700 from the Academic Council Drawing Fund and low CUCEA spending. It was noted that a committee had considered whether CUCEA should become a support group for the University but concluded that this was not appropriate at that time.

The Nominating Committee report, given by Claude Fawcett (Los Angeles) in the absence of John Adams (San Francisco) recommended that the open offices of Chair-Elect and Information Officer be filled by Ralph Nair (Santa Barbara) and re-election of David Heron (Santa Cruz) respectively. This was unanimously accepted, and a further resolution of commendation for Moses Greenfield's chairmanship was enthusiastically passed at this point.

Comments from other officers followed. Chair-Elect Adrian Kragen(Berkeley) urged development of emeriti centers on all campuses, noted that emeritus donations to the University were significant and needed recognition, raised the question of making the removal of the 80% pension limit retroactive, and spoke feelingly about increasing problems with emeriti parking. To improve general communication with the University administration, Henry Fagin moved that CUCEA approach President Gardner to request an emeritus member for the Retirement Board, a motion unanimously approved. It was recommended as well that an emeritus should attend Regents' meetings.

Secretary Edward Barrett (Davis) and Information Officer David Heron (Santa Cruz) were both concerned about the growing accumulation of records being generated by CUCEA. It was pointed out that various files needed to be passed along to new officers at least temporarily to assure their orientation and the continuity of their work, but a more permanent solution would be required if the history of the Council were not to be lost. David Heron had "investigated the cost of putting CUCEA records on computers. It turned out to be too high for our resources."

Individual oral reports on campus activities were next made by the representatives from Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Riverside, this last including a half-hour presentation on planned giving and its possible advantages for donors. After a lunch break during which Riverside's Chancellor Rosemary Schraer and Vice Chancellor John Vickery joined the group for cordial informal conversation, further campus reports were added from Davis, Santa Cruz, Irvine, and Berkeley. All representatives spoke hopefully of growing memberships and planned activities. Common problems included shrinking space, recognition of local departmental privileges, recruiting of fresh emeriti leadership, the need for local newsletters, and establishing emeriti relationships with local Senates and administrations.

Irvine, acknowledging itself to be "in a weak condition with respect to the Chancellor," was "hoping that material they are gathering on emeriti activities will impress the Chancellor. The data collected show that emeriti make significant contributions to the University and the community and should be respected for service... We should have a common form used by every campus." As a result of this extended discussion, Chair Moses Greenfield appointed a committee (Claude Fawcett, as chair, with Henry Fagin and Robert Wild) to consider the whole question and to make a recommendation at the October meeting.

In a further brief report Claude Fawcett described the recent meeting of the University's Committee on Faculty Welfare which he had attended as CUCEA's delegate. The principal focus had been the first VERIP, then about to be introduced, and the challenges it would bring with it.

In drawing the meeting toward adjournment Chair Greenfield commented on the absence of Morley Walker from the President's Office. Although Greenfield had attempted to invite a replacement to join CUCEA, this had not worked out for this meeting. It was agreed that continuing contact with UCOP in connection with Council meetings would be highly useful.

As we can see, looking back to April 25, 1991 from our present vantage point, this Riverside meeting, given over as it was to intensive, somewhat informal discussion of wide-ranging issues of immediate interest to its participants, provided a very clear summary of where the Council stood at the end of its fourth year. At least three new developments were foreshadowed that have since been achieved: a formal CUCEA Archive has been established, a regular President's Office presence has become customary at the biannual meetings, and a unified biannual Biobibliographic Survey of emeriti statewide has become an indispensable presentation of ongoing emeriti contribution to the University community.

With a final appreciative round of applause for retiring Chair Moses Greenfield, the Council adjourned, its successor officers and representatives scheduled to open the 1991/92 year at Berkeley.

Norah Jones

CUCEA Historian