This past May I assumed the position of Director of the UCLA Emeriti/Retirees Relations Center after 9 years at the UCLA health system human resources office where I was a Retirement Counselor and Wellness Program Manager.
I am committed to the 10,000 retired faculty and staff in ensuring they remain connected and engaged with UCLA. Since my arrival I have convened a strategic planning committee to look at the future goals for the Center. The areas that I will focus on will be in Development, Data, Partnership, Pre-Retirement Transitions, increased programming and Technology. Below is a summary of things I will work on this academic year as well as a few implementations.
Obtaining consistent and accurate Emeriti and retiree data remains an issue. UCOP reports continue to include names for deceased members, and UCOP retirees. It excludes department name and email addresses. I have submitted a request to payroll and am awaiting approval to run our own separation reports thus allowing us to contact staff as they retire. This would include the retirees department however this will not provide email addresses.
The Center is extending partnerships with campus departments and organizations to expand the awareness of the center. These partnerships will include joint programming and promotion of programs that pertain to the retired community. Partners include HR, Staff Assembly, Alumni Center, Recreation and more.
Most staff and faculty learn about the Center when they visit a retirement counselor. WeÕre working with campus partners to be more involved with on campus fairs and other events. We will also extend our programs to active staff and faculty. By extending our outreach to actives we can build a relationship that will continue in retirement and enhance our visibility.
The Faculty Retirement Liaison position was filled by Professor Emeritus David Lopez last spring. The Center supports the liaison with reporting needs and pre-retirement education workshops. It will also extend its outreach and education to staff through a collaboration with HR and weÕre looking at starting a staff retiree panel to further the dialogue. A faculty retirement page has been created and it includes a guidebook written by David Lopez. The guidebook provides detailed information for faculty considering retirement.
The Center will offer ten programs per academic year for a variety of interests. An educational wellness component has been added to compliment the physical wellness classes that are offered by the Center for balance and yoga. The Center will partner with UCLA Health rehab to offer exercise sessions led by a physical therapist.
118 newly retired staff and faculty were honored by the Chancellor at the residence in an afternoon reception. Board members of each association were invited. We hope to continue this tradition annually.
The Center strives to increase its web presence by enhancing itÕs website to be more user friendly. In addition, weÕve recently started our own Facebook page that will be another tool to connect with retirees and relay information. We have begun using Constant Contact email tool to send all email communications and e-newsletters; in addition to being a time saver this program allows retirees to unsubscribe and update their email address and provides the Center with reporting features.
In an effort to go green the Center only sends email announcements and e-newsletters. Paper mailings are limited to those without email addresses. WeÕre also making an effort in the office to reduce paper and electricity usage.
Currently we use Access Database to manage emeriti and retiree data for our retirees and their partners. The Center is looking into acquiring a new database to better manage its constituency data. Blackbaud and Sales Force are possible vendors. A new database will allow for additional reporting such as membership reports/dues reports, it will also provide automatic uploads from HR and provide a communications feature to allow for email.