Dec. 11, 2013 Founders Meeting

George Mason University

Minutes of the Retired Faculty Association

December 11, 2013     10:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

University Hall, room 4102

Present: Lou Buffardi, Bob Ehrlich, Katherine Haldeman, Joseph Lieb, Julianne Mahler, Jane Razeghi, Janice Sutera, Terry Myers Zawacki

Absent: Esther Elstun, Joan Isenberg, Miriam Raskin, Linda Rikard

I.            The meeting began at 10:30 am.  Socializing occurred prior to the meeting.  Coffee, tea, and snacks provided by Human Resources.

II.            Welcome– Bob Ehrlich

III.            Approval of the Minutes from November 20, 2013 meeting – Approved

IV.            Open Issues

A.     Report on By-laws, Discussion and Motion for Approval – Jane Razeghi

  • Changes were highlighted and discussed.
  • “Dues” will be added to the word donations throughout.
  • By-Laws were ratified with changes.
  • Decided that no further ratification of the bylaws is needed.

Next Steps:

1)         Final version posted on the website.  See: http://rfa.gmu.edu/about/bylaws/

B.  Report on Dec. 4 meeting with Dave Roe on donations – Jane Razeghi & Terry Myers Zawacki

  • Logistics of Foundation acct: form, acct number, banking/accounting, activity statements, purchase orders, reimbursements.
  • Donation advice: donors of $1000+ in President’s Circle, category lists, e.g., $250-$500
  • Purpose Examples: general fund to support mission-consistent activities, scholarships for students administered through Financial Aid, Retiree conference registration and travel, events and activities pool
  • Donation logistics: link to “Give Now” form on Mason website (under Supporting Mason) allows use of credit card and donation allocation.  If folks donate with online form, the Foundation Office will collect and account for funds.  Checks could be sent to Foundation office or can use a deposit form
  • Fund expenditures and taxes:  Checks for expenditures must be requested and could be cut in advance. No tax consequences
  • Discussed exploring further how similar groups (e.g., the Arts group) handle tiers of donations, reservations and registration fees, program sponsors.

Next Steps:

1)      Develop/refine language regarding “value add” or benefits of the Association – Bob E. with Jane R.’s draft

2)      Follow up on whether completion of Foundation form opens account or are funds needed – Jane R.

3)      Explore how similar groups handle tiers of donations, events, programs – ?

V.            New business

A.     Report on status of web site http://rfa.gmu.edu  – Bob E.

Extensive work on the site was reviewed and comments made to cluster items such as:

  • About Us – mission, bylaws, meetings, minutes, officers
  • Benefits – insurance, parking, etc.  Note: May want to link to Human Resources website where such items would originate and be updated more regularly.  Human Resources site itself may benefit from clustering such items for more facile user retrieval.
  • Contribute – donations, volunteering
  • Activities and links to beneficial organizations

Next Steps:

  • Bob work on content with Hossein and will consider putting together a smaller group to continue navigational refinements and adjustments.  Currently, anyone who has suggestions is welcome to send them to Bob at any time as he continues to edit the site.
  • Reference made to http://wac.gmu.edu and http://gradlife.gu.edu for additional formatting and navigational ideas.

B.     Publicity for the association and recruiting active membership – Jane R.

Jane offered the current mission and suggested language to encourage activity and donations:

Wondering how you can stay involved in George Mason University?

Invest in your future retirement experiences?

Join George Mason University’s Retired Faculty Association!

  • Stay intellectually involved via lectures, workshops, seminars, speakers focused on your interests!
  • Participate in fun social activities especially planned for Mason retirees such as lunches, receptions, specially planned “field” trips and much more!
  • Continue your relationship with your college, department….
  • Enjoy special travel with other retirees, faculty and families!
  • Share your special interests and skills with others!

Next Steps:

1)               Bob will incorporate a draft of the document into website

C.     First event and promoting good event attendance –  Julie Mahler and Bob E.

  • “Featured News” on website

Next Steps:

1)      Refine plans, discuss further as appropriate

2)      Invite using HR e-mail contacts for retirees

D.     Possible future events – Julie Mahler & Group

1)      Ideas for Activities or Events from Nov. 20, 2013 meeting (Jane R.):

-Signature Events, Retiree Vision Series, Senior Insight Series (e.g., opposing speakers on a topic)
-On-campus facilities, tours (e.g., Observatory, Krasnow, new Bio labs)
-Volunteer “interest fair”
-University Day event
-Homecoming week event
-Performing Arts event (e.g., pre-event, intermission)

2)      Examples for Suggestions for Activities (from survey) – (Jane R.)

-Top 6 Most Important and Interesting: academic events/lectures, special interest groups (writing, book club, travel, garden, investment, health), retiree reunion, retiree reception w/ President Cabrera, informal lunches, meet with retired colleagues to discuss research & scholarship

3)      Possible RFA Events for Spring (Julie M.)

 Next Steps:

Consider a proposed schedule of events per month, strategies for marketing those events to gather and leverage feedback and future participation from those who attend events

VI.            Next Meeting Date: January 2014  (conference room on 4th floor University Hall) – 10 am-11:30 am.

VII.            Adjournment:  12:15 p.m.