Fall Semester of the
REPORT TO THE COUNCIL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA EMERTI ASSOCIATIONS, November 1, 2012
On behalf of the University of California, Berkeley Emeriti Association, I am pleased to submit the following report of activities for the 2012-2013 academic year.
The UCBEA mentorship program for undergraduate students who are the first in their families to attend college/university became operational with the beginning of Spring 2012. Currently ten Emeriti faculty are working with ten current or former SAGE (Student Achievement Guided by Experience) Scholars drawn from majors throughout the campus. Another four Emeriti are mentoring six engineering undergraduates referred by Engineering Student Services. Other Emeriti are mentoring undergraduates drawn from the general student body.
In order to concentrate on the undergraduate program, we deferred launching the mentoring component directed toward assistant or associate professors new to the campus until Fall Semester 2012. This aspect of the mentoring program is intended to facilitate the academic and personal adjustment of newcomers to Berkeley who desire and would benefit from the wisdom and experience of emeriti. We held a reception in mid-April, which drew eight “newbies” and have identified emeriti who wish to mentor members of this cohort.
Professor Emerita Caroline Kane (Molecular and Cell Biology), the creative and highly effective chair of the UCBEA Mentorship Committee, during 2012-2013, has been joined by Professor Emeritus (Psychology), former Vice Provost, Sheldon Zedeck who has assumed responsibility for the new faculty component of the mentorship program.
Distinguished Emerita/Emeritus Professor of the Year
After considering nominations from campus faculty and administration, the Awards Committee recommended Professor Thomas A. Brady, Peder Sather Professor of History Emeritus, an internationally esteemed colleague, for the annual award conferred by UCBEA. He will speak at the Association’s January 26, 2013 Luncheon meeting.
Luncheon Speaker Series
Each year UCBEA holds five Saturday luncheons at the Faculty Club for emeriti and their guests. Typically, 50-70 people attend. The luncheon consists of an informal social hour, served lunch and a faculty speaker, frequently drawn from the Berkeley faculty. The September speaker was Political Science Jack Citrin, Director of Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies who spoke on “ the Four P’s of Presidential Elections.” Future luncheon speakers will be Professors Ann Swidler (Sociology, 12/1/12), Tom Brady (History, 1/26/13), Randy Schekman (Molecular and Cell Biology, 3/16/13), and Matias Tarnopolsky (Director, Cal Performance, 5/4/13). Professor Emeritus Jack Kirsch (Molecular and Cell Biology) chairs the Speakers Committee.
Beginning with Spring Semester 2012, UCBEA has held a twice-monthly (second and fourth Thursdays) Emeriti Luncheon Table at the Faculty Club. A table is set-aside at noon exclusively for emeriti faculty to gather for congenial collegial conversation and repast. Although attendance has varied, typically six to eight emeriti/emerita participate. My colleagues and I are working to increase the number of participants.
The current membership of UCBEA has increased over 20% from last year to about 260. A priority for the 2012-2013 year remains to enlarge the UCBEA membership with special emphasis on recruiting new emeriti and encouraging lapsed members to rejoin.
The Emeriti Times (which is published five times a year prior to the luncheon meeting) is now being distributed primarily online with a special “opt out” option for the members who still wish to receive a paper copy. Beginning with the September 2012 issue, we have updated substantially both the format and content. This has been made possible by bringing on Sarah Herr as the new editor. Emeriti response to the “new” ET has been very favorable.
Older Adult Housing
Members of the UCBEA Executive Committee have been involved with the UCB Retirement Center and campus senior housing experts in discussions with campus administration concerning the development of an older adult housing project attractive to emeriti faculty located contiguous with Albany Village. These discussions are currently in limbo as a result of lawsuits and possible voter initiative in Albany to block the proposed project.
In summary, the 2012-2013 year has been a busy time for UCBEA. Fortunately, the organization has an excellent Executive Committee, which has shared leadership responsibilities for our various endeavors. The EC has been strengthened by the additions of Professors Emerita/Emeritus Susan Collier (Political Science), John Swartzberg, MD (Public Health) and Shelly Zedeck (Psychology). I greatly appreciate my colleagues’ contributions.
Edwin M. Epstein
President, UC Berkeley Emeriti Association