UC Riverside Emeriti Association Report

CUCEA Meeting April 26-27, 2017

UC Irvine

 

The new Board of Directors of the UC Riverside Emeriti Association began meeting monthly at the start of the 2016-2017 academic year, following the illness of the past President.  During the year, our major focus has been on establishing a collective leadership that would be able to establish an effective voice for the campus emeriti/a and put our operations and activities on a sustainable basis.  We have recruited and welcomed as members of the Board all emeriti/a who were willing to join our efforts.  These efforts culminated on April 21st at the joint luncheon of the emeriti and retirees, when the new By-Laws of the UCR EA were unanimously approved by the emeriti and the officers nominated by the Board of Directors were unanimously approved.  For those who could not attend, votes and nominations were accepted by email or snail mail for two weeks prior to the luncheon and alternative nominations were accepted at the luncheon.  The new officers of the UCR EA are as follows:

 

President: Victor D. Lippit (victor.lippit@ucr.edu)

 

Vice President/President Elect: Doug Mitchell (douglas.mitchell@ucr.edu)

 

Secretary: Darleen DeMason

 

Treasurer: Irv Hendrick

 

In order to ensure continuity in our activities going forward, we have decided in our By-Laws to make the Vice President the President-Elect.  Since the term of our officers is normally 2 years, that means we will have leadership clarity over a period of 4 years as each new term begins.

 

In addition to our organizational work, our major initiative this year has been to establish an emeriti/retiree center; Riverside is the only general campus to lack one other than Merced, which as a relatively new campus does not have many emeriti or retirees.  The head of Human Resources at UCR, Jadie Lee, has been most supportive and helped Bob Daly, the President of the Retirees’ Association, and me (Victor Lippit) to prepare a proposal for the Chancellor and Provost to consider.  Unfortunately, the proposal was not received very enthusiastically due to its cost (about $200 thousand in the first year, mainly based on the salary and benefits of the center director, the lone FTE). 

 

When I mentioned that other campuses have found older buildings near the center of campus not well suited for modern educational needs on campus (I had in mind mainly what I have heard of the UCSD Center), the Chancellor jumped up and enthusiastically offered a 100+ year-old shack that was built when UCR was an agricultural research station.  Bob and I were somewhat less than enthused, figuring that it would cost 1 or 2 hundred thousand dollars to make usable, but we have arranged to inspect it now and found it to be much more usable and less costly than expected—and found a way to cover a large portion of the costs—so we think it is a viable solution and hope to persuade the Chancellor and Provost to be more forthcoming with financial support.  I have forwarded to them an article I received from Caroline Kane, CUCEA Chair Elect and a colleague of mine on the systemwide Faculty Welfare Committee (UCFW), an article that describes the histories and campus benefits of the emeriti associations at UCB and USC, and that points out the importance of campus leadership in successfully establishing emeriti centers.  I am also planning to send them the CUCEA emeriti campus reports to show how much UC benefits from the emeriti activities throughout the University.

 

There are many things we have yet to systematize at UCR, including our membership lists and dues payments, but we are working on these things; we did increase our annual dues payments from $15 to $20 and lifetime memberships from $150 to $200.  Since UCR instituted a $262 room fee for our quarterly luncheons with the retirees and raised parking and wine service fees to over $100 (even when we provide the wine), we were forced to cut the number of luncheons per year from 4 to 3 and to cut out the wine.  These luncheons, each with a speaker, remain quite popular, however, and there were 60 people at our April 21st luncheon.  We have been fighting back at the higher fees, and the parking fee has been rescinded, so it is possible that we will be able to restore the number of luncheons.

 

We also sponsored campus talks on their research by the two Dickson Award recipients last year.  Mathematician Larry Harper’s talk was on “Optimization for Moonshots and Multiprocessors: The Edge-Isoperimetric Problem,” and economic historian Susan Carter’s talk was entitled “From Rats and Dogs’ to Chop Suey Mad’: The Improbable Political Economy of America’s Chop Suey Craze.” 

 

 

                                                                        Victor D. Lippit

                                                                        For the UCR Emeriti Association

                                                                        April 2017