Attendance: Michigan State University: Erling Jorgensen; Ohio State University: John T. Mount, James R. Roesch, Chalmer G. Hixson; Pennsylvania State University: Arthur M. Wellington and Opal Wellington; Purdue University: Margaret M. Conte, Samuel D. Conte, Mr. & Mrs. Richard W. McDowell; University of Michigan: Frederick Beutler, Ella Grenier, Marjorie Jackson, Wilfred Kaplan, Cecil Nesbitt, Lillian Ostrand; University of Minnesota: Paul Cartwright.
Agenda and Minutes of 1992 Meeting. The proposed agenda was approved, as were the minutes of the First Annual Meeting, held in the Fawcett Center at Ohio State University. C. Hixson sounded a note of caution about the accuracy of the minutes. Although the 1992 meeting was taped, identification of the speaker or the university were often problematic for the recording secretary. W. Kaplan offered to help for the part of the meeting he attended, by providing his notes, which did keep track of the university, if not the speaker's name; his offer was welcomed.
Big Eleven Survey. The Survey of the Big Eleven Retiree Associations, compiled by W. Kaplan. was distributed to the group. The University of Wisconsin did not respond, while Iowa and Northwestern have identified no organization on their campuses.
Special Report, University of Minnesota. P. Cartwright presented an informative report on activities of the University of Minnesota's Retirees' Association, Inc. The Association is affiliated with a Retirees Volunteer Center, a group of 50 volunteer associations, with office on the St. Paul Campus, but with no financial or formal relationship with the University. However, the Office of the President of the University of Minnesota does provide approximately $5,000 a year to the U of MN's Retiree Association. The Association's assets are therefore stable. Dues are ten dollars for an individual and fifteen dollars for a family membership. The 1,030 membership is not limited to faculty (80%). but includes state civil service staff (10%) and administrators (5%).
The activities of the Volunteer Center are broad and varied: tutoring, ushering, bloodmobile, a newspaper, and are primarily non-academic. In view of the wide range of activities by the retiree-volunteers, concern about legal liability is an issue. The U of MN is self-insured, with the retirees purportedly included under the University coverage.
E. Jorgensen and P. Cartwright proposed a joint project: each association should research the liability status of their retirees as volunteers. The information will be sent to the University of Michigan for collection and dissemination. A formal vote approved of this course of action.
Special report, Purdue University. M. Conte gave an enthusiastic and instructive account of an adventure in elderhostel innovation. In 1993, Purdue Retirees' Committee on Service and Outreach planned and successfully implemented 5 classes in the spring. The endeavor was so popular that 8 classes are planned for the fall of 1993.
A formal organization emerged, called WALLA, with a $50 membership entitling members to attend any or all classes. The striking innovations are a collaboration with the Park and Recreation Department of the community and use of community facilities. Courses are given by Purdue University professors and staff who enjoy eager, mature and unusual students.
Public relations activities are unusual, such as distributing information to Mall Walkers, Senior groups, Credit Unions, banks and public libraries. A University library card is provided for classes and a new interaction between Purdue University and the surrounding community is emerging.
At 12:00 noon, adjournment for lunch did not interrupt conversation about this venture.
Future plans. It was moved, seconded and voted to meet next year at the University of Minnesota on August 29 and 30. It was also voted to create a steering committee to manage affairs of the organization. The committee would consist of the presidents of three associations: the past host, the present host and the future host. Thus for now the associations at Univ. of Michigan, Univ. of Minnesota and Michigan State University would be represented (it being assumed that Mich. State would be the host in 1995). It was also agreed to call the organization the Committee of the Big Eleven Retiree Associations.
Proposals were made to learn more about the Committee on Inter-institutional Cooperation (CIC),which is concerned with the administrative and academic affairs of the Big Ten universities and the Univ. of Chicago. It was also proposed to learn more about its Council of Presidents: when they meet and who is the present chair.
The Minnesota and Mich. State delegates said they wished to stay independent of their university administrations, but Purdue is closely tied to the administration and the Ohio association meets two times a year with their presidents, past and elected, their provost and legal advisor.
It was agreed to delay preparation of by-laws for the organization.
It was urged that information about CIC, liability and health care be shared as soon as possible.
Mission statement. P. Cartwright proposed that it would be appropriate to draft a mission statement for the Committee of the Big Eleven Retiree Associations. It was suggested that relevant items should be exchange of information, development of services to retirees and service by retirees to their institutions. The MS Newsletter statement (see vol. 14, no. 3, p. 3) was mentioned by E. Jorgensen as a possible model. It was proposed that acting as an advocate for retirees should be included, and "inter-institutional communication among the members" be regarded as a key phrase.
It was moved, seconded and passed unanimously that John Mount of OS be requested to draft a mission statement.
Special report from Michigan State University. This was presented by E. Jorgensen. He called attention to the Spring 1993 Newsletter, p. 7, which contained an official statement on a policy for post-retirement opportunities, which would encourage retirees to provide ongoing support to the University. This policy has led to negotiated arrangements that allow faculty to continue as before, but without pay. These retired faculty now constitute an important resource.
C. Hixson pointed out that continued activity promotes retiree happiness and longevity. R. McDowell mentioned Faculty Fellows, who serve at PU residence halls, interacting with the students there in many informal ways; both active and retired faculty serve in this capacity. He added that PU presidents have taken an active interest in retiree well being.
Special report from University of Michigan. This was presented by Professor Stephen Darwall, who recently chaired a committee on the effects of ending mandatory retirement at the University. [The State of Michigan in 1991 passed a law ending mandatory retirement for tenured professors] His committee considered systemic issues, such as demographic effects, as well as individual issues, such as senility.
He remarked that his committee had considered the provision of more privileges for retirees, to attain a closer connection to the University. He said that periodic tenure review (say, at 5 year intervals) was considered, but rejected as being a superstructure burdensome to already stressed faculty.
He quoted a University of Chicago study by Stigler that had investigated the retention rate each year between ages 65 and 70, and had thus arrived at an estimate that (at Chicago) between 8.3% and 12.5% of the faculty is expected to be between the ages of 70 and 80 by the year 2006. Chicago is considering various phased retirement plans (buy-outs) as incentives to retire. The University is also considering capping their contribution to pensions, if that can be accomplished legally.
Using Stigler's model and UM statistics yields a comparable figure of from 8.3% to 12.5%. Actual experience at UM since 1991 indicates that 42% of faculty chose to continue after age 70. If this is indicative of the retention rate, then by the year 2006 UM will have from 6% to 8% of faculty between the ages of 70 and 80. The UM retention rate was also studied by a questionnaire sent to UM faculty; thc result predicts an annual retention rate of 58%, with an estimated 5.8% to 9.6% being between 70 and 80 in 2006. [The questionnaire, which asked about plans for retirement, did not take into account prospective mortality or changes in plans due to declining health or energy.]
At UM, the number of faculty over 60 increased by 35% in the past decade, suggesting that there might be a scarcity of young scholars for replacement. This effect is countered by those postponing retirement, as well as the downsizing at some institutions.
Extended discussion followed this presentation. It was noted that retirement decisions are partially fueled by finances, such as prospective income and the effects of inflation. Nevertheless, it was emphasized that non-financial factors were an important consideration in the decision to retire. These include privileges such as office space and secretarial support and, more generally, continuation of status as a faculty member. However, retirement needs vary widely, with some faculty wishing to continue as before, and others finding fulfillment in a variety of activities unrelated to their university role.
F. Beutler indicated that there should be little hardship if a university capped contributions to pensions after 35 years of service, as numerical studies have shown. P. Cartwright suggested that such a change might violate an implied employment contract; however, one could apply such a policy to new faculty, anticipating long-range savings. W. Kaplan mentioned that benefits intended as incentives to retire must legally be available to all retirees.
Several present who had retired in the 1970s pointed out that their annuities were based on the salaries of that time, when less comprehensive policies were in place. [Certain institutions did not participate in the social security system, so that some retirees are not receiving social security income.] This has led to considerable financial hardship for many older retirees.
Session closure. J. Mount moved that the group express its appreciation to UM for its presentation. The motion was seconded and carried unanimously.
P. Cartwright moved that UM receive an expression of appreciation for hosting the entire meeting. This motion was also seconded and carried unanimously.
BIG TEN RETIREES ASSOCIATION
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN RETIREES ASSOCIATION
4021 Wolverine Tower Ann Arbor MI 48109