HISTORIAN'S REPORT - October 25, 2007 (Davis)

As CUCEA convenes at UC Davis for its October 2007 meeting, we recall that it is almost twenty years since CUCEA first met on the Davis campus. This report reflects the highlights of that meeting.

The Council of University of California Emeriti Associations (CUCEA) fittingly opened its second year of biannual meetings (October 27, 1988) on the Davis campus, the University's second oldest. Following Berkeley's own establishment in 1868, Agriculture was its first college, and funding was eventually provided for a special allocation of land at Davis by the University Farm Bill of 1905. While instruction began three years later at the new location, students still received their general education at Berkeley. It was not until 1938 that the Davis campus officially became the separate College of Agriculture, and another decade before a 1948 ceremony awarded degrees to the first 300 four-year graduates. Prestigious development as a full University campus followed quickly: by 1982 Davis ranked seventh nationally in biological sciences, and by 1985 genera1 Letters and Sciences enrollment was double that for Agriculture exclusively. During the 1980s University President David Gardner persuaded Governor Deukmejian and the legislature to reverse substantially what had been a decline in funding, and Davis' fourth chancellor, Theodore Huller, was recruited from Riverside in 1987 to plan and oversee an ambitious building program. As CUCEA members gathered at Davis at the end of October of 1988, the whole campus atmosphere was one of confidence and optimism.

The day of the meeting was typical Of pleasant Indian Summer in northern California For CUCEA visitors unfamiliar with the Davis scene, the constant presence of bicycles on the flat terrain (hundreds of them, swooping, skimming, sailing in purposeful formation as classes changed) was a diversion and a delight. Davis' Paul Stumpf greeted CUCEA officers and representatives as they arrived in the Lounge of the University Club. With all thirteen attendees assembled, he then introduced Chancellor Huller, who extended a cordial welcome to the group, commenting, as the Minutes show, very positively "on the value of emeriti faculty to the University. ... He enumerated as contributions made by emeriti; maintenance of campus traditions, assistance in curriculum development, personalization of teaching, consultation on campus planning and design, teaching freshman seminars, leadership with the honors program, research mentorships, and participation as mentor faculty in the residence halls."

CUCEA's second chair, succeeding Santa Cruz's Albert Hofstadter, was Claude Fawcett of UCLA, who for the previous five years had worked so persistently and persuasively to bring the nine-campus Council into existence. Calling the meeting to order, he first led a discussion of CUCEA's organizational purposes. Reminding his listeners that the organization originated from the necessity for a "means of making known the needs of emeriti and their concerns in matters affecting their welfare", he went on to cite the recommendations embodied in the recent Musgrave Report which had become known as the "Magna Carta" of the University's emeriti faculty.

Next came the now-customary review of campus developments. To provide a framework for this, Claude Fawcett had requested campus progress reports on the five major Musgrave recommendations. Each representative spoke in turn about the nature of his association and its activities, and commented upon its needs for a local emeriti center.

Considerable discussion was next devoted to emeriti voting rights on Senate matters as well as those as members of academic departments. Carl Helmholz of Berkeley proposed the following motion, unanimously passed:

"Members of the Academic Senate who attain emeritus status will continue to possess all the rights and privileges accorded to members of the department in which they have been serving as departmental members, with the sole exception of the right to vote in academic personnel matters, unless under provision of Bylaw 55C."

Ralph Nair of Santa Barbara suggested that Chair Fawcett prepare a memorandum for the use of individual Council members summarizing the events leading to the current status of emeriti voting rights The group approved this suggestion as well.

Turning to the practical question of a CUCEA budget for 1988/89, it was decided that, since some funding remained from the previous year's Academic Senate contribution of $5,000, the now-proposed $1.00 fee per member from each campus would suffice to cover anticipated expenses. All campuses accepted the premise that each would cover the costs incurred by its own representatives, leaving the Council responsible for those of Council officers.

Chair Fawcett expressed the group's thanks to Morley Walker, Director of University Benefits, who had produced for wide distribution to emeriti two new brochures, one titled "Purposes of CUCEA" and the other "Constitution and Bylaws of CUCEA". Attention was also called to two University publications of particular concern to all emeriti: "New Dimensions," a newsletter issued by the Benefits Program, and "In Memoriam," which memorialized deceased colleagues.

Before bringing the meeting to a close, Chair Fawcett, as one of the two emeriti members of the University Welfare Committee, summarized that committee's current actions affecting emeriti (anticipated health plan changes, etc.) and distributed recent Minutes and their 1987/88 Annual Report. He also spoke at some length about the fact that "making advantageous decisions regarding retirement life is based on accurate information, careful planning and good judgment. Hence, the Council should sponsor any assistance possible." Research projects might be planned for which CUCEA would serve as facilitator, with funding to be obtained from the University's academic or administrative sources, or even from outside foundations.

At 4:00 p.m. the meeting was adjourned, and Council members dispersed after what they considered to have been a satisfyingly productive day. The San Diego campus's offer to host the spring meeting had been accepted with alacrity, and everyone looked forward to regrouping in the south on April 29, 1989.

Norah Jones

CUCEA Historian