March 22, 2017 – Officers Meeting

George Mason University

Minutes of the Retired Faculty Association – Officers Meeting

March 22, 2017, 9:35 AM – 11:10 AM mtg.

Merton Hall 1402


Present:  Don Boileau, Bob Ehrlich, Joan Isenberg, Julie Mahler, Jim Sanford, Janice Sutera Wolfe

The meeting began at 9:35 AM. Jim Sanford presided. Minutes of January 11, 2017 were approved.

I. Treasurer’s Report (Joe Lieb sent through email)  Joe indicated that as of March 17, 2017 there was $562.87 in the RFA account with GMU Foundation.  During the current fiscal year (July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017) there have been no expenditures and the RFA received contributions totaling $280.  The foundation charges a 6% service fee on all contributions.  During the previous fiscal year (July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016), there was no activity in the account.  The RFA expended no funds, received no contributions and the account was not chared a service fee.  Most the the 2015-16 events were held at a local restaurant and participants paid for their own lunches.  The online records of the RFA Foundation account begin in December, 2013 with several initial contributions.  As indicated by the online records, the only time the RFA expended funds from the account was on May 17, 2015 to facilitate a brunch at “George’s” at which Provost Wu and Garry Kreps, Dept. of Communication were speakers.  At that event attendees paid $20. in fees to the Foundation account and the caterer, Sodexo, was reimbursed from the RFA GMU Foundation account.  The fees paid by attendees reimbursed most of the expenses of the event.

II.  Golden Anniversary Project: First 50 Years of Mason Alumni Association! (Christine Clark-Talley, Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations)

A. Class of 1968 had 57 grads and instituted Mason’s Alumni Association which will celebrate 50th anniversary in 2018. Started planning for May/June 2018 Golden Anniversary event in January 2017. Planning to conduct 250 interviews with alumni to create a “story bank.“  Will hold recognition event May 2018.

B. Planning to highlight 50 alumni exemplars. Requesting faculty forward names of alumni (grad students or undergrads) and emails, if available, to Chris at cclarkta with Mason email

C. Chris C-T also offered Alumni mugs as thank you gifts for any alumni presenting or supporting Mason faculty or retired faculty or our students. Please contact Alumni Affairs to request mug(s) as needed.

ACTION:  Bob E. will send email to all retirees in RFA database requesting them to identify names of alumni “exemplars.”


III.  BIS Request – Serve as a “Reader” for a BIS student (Ken Thompson, Director, BIS)

A. Requesting interested retired faculty volunteer as “readers” for BIS students for their degree completion projects/academic program.

ACTION: Ken (kthomps4 Mason username) will provide Bob E. with description and scope of request which Bob E will email to all retired faculty in database.  Description will also be added to “Volunteer” section of RFA website.


IV.   Membership and Organization:

A.  Welcome Message to new retirees and Annual Email to RFA membership: (Jim Sanford)

  • Reviewed updated welcome letter for new retirees in HR packets distributed to faculty when they actually retire. Action: Revise letter annually in June as needed.
  • Reviewed updated annual membership email sent August/September to all RFA members in the database. Action: Revise annually to include/feature activities, officers for the new year.

ACTION: Jim will revise letter and annual email as needed.

B. Elections (Jim Sanford)

  • Slate of Nominees was discussed for VP, Treasurer, and Secretary.

ACTION: Drafts of the following emails will be sent to officers for review after this meeting.

  1. email to be sent in March/April 2017 to entire RFA database to encourage retirees to register as “active” voting members.
  2. April email requesting nominees beyond those identified.
  3. May “request to vote” to be sent to all registered/active members.


V.  Interest Groups (Julie Mahler)

A.  Cheap eats group – Joan Isenberg will begin programming for this group and would be glad to work with others interested.

B. Film group – Julie will identify someone to begin programming for this group

C. House & Garden Tours – Suggested Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond

ACTION – identify those interested in these groups based on their selections in the membership database and share programming dates and ideas.

VI.  Programming/Events (Bob Erlich)

A. Upcoming Events update:

  1. April 12, 10:30 AM, JC Room E — Talk by Marion Deshmukh, Robert T. Hawkes Emeritus Professor of History, based on her recent book, Max Liebermann: Modern Art and Modern Germany
  2. May 10, 10:30 AM– JC Room E — Talk by Don Boileau, Professor of Communication, on Effective Communication and Dealing with Difficult People

B. 2017-18 event draft (Bob Ehrlich)

A list of months for possible trips and talks for 2017-18 was distributed and discussed.  Some adjustments were made at the meeting and in follow up email exchanges.

  1. SeptemberVisit to Mason’s Environmental station (Environmental Studies on the Piedmont) Tom Woods, Director, Associate Professor (a repeat)
  2. October Walk along C & O Canal & lunch at Old Angler’s Inn
  3. NovemberTalk by Dave Hall on the Senior Driver
  4. DecemberTalk by Harold Geller, assoc prof of astronomy, on astrobiology and night sky viewing session
  5. January  Guided tour of National Firearms museum in Fairfax
  6. February Talk by Robert Regowsky, School of Public Policy, “Getting to Happy: Seven Practical Steps to a Happier and More Contented Life”
  7. March Holocaust museum tour with docent
  8. AprilTalk by Evans Mandes, Professor of Psychology Emeritus, talk on Interpreting Visual Art, based on his recent book
  9. MayBob Ehrlich, Crazy Ideas in Science
  10. JuneVisit to the Kreeger museum (art museum in an old mansion) in DC

Other suggestions:

  1. Go to Vint Hill/Warrenton, VA to visit the Cold War Museum, Vint Hill Craft Winery, and Old Bust Head Brewing Company. Eat at the Covert Café.
  2. Udvar Hazy Air and Space Museum at Dulles


C.   Fall 2016 Event attendance:

  1. Aging in Place: Do not blame the house. Talk by Patrice Winter, Assistant Professor, Global and Community Health. March 22, 2017. Attended: 14
  2. National Cryptologic Museum. January 12, 2017. Attended: 18
  3. Luray Caverns tour and talk by Doug Mose, Dec. 14, 2016. Attended: 7.
  4. Talk by Tom Davis, current BOV Rector, former Congressman, former Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. His ‘take’ on the 2016 election results. Nov 10, 10:30 AM, JC rm C. Attended: 29.
  5. Pohick Bay Regional Park Guided boat tour of the river ecology with Chris Jones. Oct 12, 10:30 AM.  Attended: 5 + 7 = 12
  6. Tour of Gunston Hall – with docent and Mason retiree, Libby Hall. Sept 14, 2016. Attended = 16 for tour and box lunch.


VII. 2016-17 Executive Committee Meetings

Next meeting: Wednesday, April 12, 12:30 PM, 4102 Merten Hall


VIII. Adjournment: About 11:10 AM


Respectfully submitted,

Janice Sutera Wolfe, Ph.D.

2012 Retiree