February 4, 2014 – Founder’s Meeting

George Mason University

Minutes of the Retired Faculty Association – Founding Members Meeting

February 4, 2014, 11:16 a.m. – 12:50 p.m.

Faculty Lounge, Johnson Center

Present: Louis C Buffardi, Bob Ehrlich, Esther Elstun, Katherine Haldeman, Joseph Lieb Julianne Mahler, Miriam Raskin, Jane Razeghi, Janice Sutera, Terry Myers Zawacki

Absent: Joan P Isenberg, Linda Rikard

Guest: Hossein Kord, Senior Application Architect for the Provost IT Team

I.            The meeting began at 11:16 am.

II.            Approval of the Minutes from January 2, 2014 Officer’s meeting Approved by e-mail prior to meeting.

III.            Spring Event Planning:   (Julie Mahler)

First event is planned for February 23.  Julie made contact with additional speakers and proposed event topics for March, April, May, September and fall 2014.

Suggestions/comments made:

  • Broaden topics to Humanities, e.g., Fall for the book event in the fall
  • Define “local” for colloquia
  • Note “senior” rates, if possible
  • Link to Vision series
  • Identify other retirees at larger or local events, e.g., Vision Series by offering a meeting spot or pre-event refreshments

See https://rfa.gmu.edu/activities/featured-events/ for the latest details.

  • Sunday, February 23, 2014, 11:00 AM – 1:15 PM: Nana Technology: Improving the Quality of Life for Seniors. Dr. Andrew Carle, Mason Health and Human Services.  Brunch – Brion’s Grill.
  • Thursday, March 27, 2014, 7:30-9:30 PM:  Tour of the night sky. Harold Geller, Observatory Director, School of Physics, Astronomy and Computational Sciences. In Showcase, at foot of Observatory tower.
  • Thursday, April 17, 2014, 7:00-9:00 PM: The History of Old Age. Peter Stearns, Provost.
  • Thursday, May 8, 2014, 7:00-9:00 PM: The Coming Era of Cognitive Computing. Jane Snowdon, Chief Innovation Officer, IBM Federal and Director, IBM Federal Cloud Innovation Center. Cosponsored with SPACS (School of Physics, Astronomy & Computational Sciences)
  • Sunday, May 18, 2014, 1:30 3:30 PM: A walking tour of the Virginia side of Great Falls. Douglas Mose, Geology professor.  An OPTIONAL pot-luck picnic at noon.  
  • September, 2014: The Potomac—by boat.  Chris Jones
  • Fall: The recent financial crisis and the global economic downturn. Steven Pearlstein,

IV.            Website:  (Bob Ehrlich with Hossein Kord)

Bob and Hossein answered questions, shared website progress, encouraged founding members to register, and clarified the following:

  • Members must register to view the contact info (e-mail, phone), bio, and interests of other members
    • Access is authenticated against the university Active Directory used by all IT sites.
    • The database resides on a secure and protected server
  • “Breadcrumbs” are showing up across the top of the page once you choose a drop –down topic
  • Benefits menu will emphasize direct links to the info maintained and updated by HR wherever possible, e.g., Retirement Connection:  http://hr.gmu.edu/worklife/connection/
  • Suggestion to emphasize the menu bar items as links that contain content was made.

V.            Dues/Donations  (Jane Razeghi)

  • Foundation account is open.
  • Reported on the Association of Retirement Organizations in Higher Education: http://www.arohe.org/ and its resources:
    • Kathy has an individual membership.  Suggested we have an institutional membership at $120.00 annually (July 1- June 30) for next year and perhaps expand Kathy’s membership to institutional for the rest of this year.  Membership allows for up to 8 contacts.  Kathy will ask HR about paying the institutional membership.
    • Relayed National descriptions regarding “how your annual contribution is used,” e.g., maintain status, operating expenses, database, RSVPs, events, scholarship fund.
    • National office recommended describing added value (newsletter, website, events, reduced fees to “contributing members,” tax deduction).
  • Discussed and tabled Jane’s recommendations for publically identifying an annual contribution for active membership at this time including fund groupings: General Fund, Scholarship Fund, and Endowment Fund.

VI.            Office Space in HR  (Kathy Haldeman)

  • A work station, computer, printer, copier, and fax are available on Tuesdays from 9 AM to 5 PM and Fridays from 9 AM to 1:30 PM this semester.
  • A storage area and file space are also available
  • Those Association members using the office space must sign a confidentiality form and provide general contact info to the HR Office Manager, Helga Yunker.

VII.            February 23 event (Bob Ehrlich)

  • 40 RSVPs; registrants will be reminded to bring cash.
  • President Cabrara has been invited and will attend if schedule permits.
  • Bob is bringing nametags, markers, AV
  • Jane and Janice will collect $17.00 for the brunch, etc.
  • Julie will take photos
  • Brunch will be first, then speaker, then Bob will introduce more info about the RFA and the website.
  • Jane will draft a brief survey/comment form to give those in attendance

VIII.            Next Meeting Date for officers:

March 6, 2014, 10 AM – noon, location TBD

 IX.            Adjournment:  12:50 PM