On November 6, 2009, the Retired Faculty Association took special note of its first decade of its growth and began the process of charting the future for the organization.
Originally the date was chosen for a meeting where the group would have the opportunity to meet the new Vice President for Faculty and Staff Resources, formerly known as University Human Resources.
Brent D. Ruben, who did the research and provided the early groundwork for forming the RFA, suggested that the event was an opportunity to conduct a focus group on the needs of retirees and strategies for planning the next five to ten years of growth. His Center for Organizational Development and Leadership (ODL) took responsibility for planning the focus group facet of our meeting.
Another layer of opportunity and excitement followed: ODL invited leaders of the Rutgers Administration to join in what now had evolved into a 10th anniversary celebration. President Richard L. McCormick and several vice presidents of the university as well as the Rutgers University Foundation accepted the invitation and joined the program.
It was decided to offer an enhanced continental breakfast at The Rutgers Club to attendees at the event. The meal, and the services of a photographer to document our celebration, were all donated by various friends of the RFA.
Director Todd Hunt welcomes university administrators and RFA members and guests to The Rutgers Club.
Rutgers University President Richard L. McCormick lauded the insight retired faculty members have: “You know the institution as well as anyone. You have contributed to making Rutgers what it is today and what it will be for future generations.”
Executive Vice President for Academic affairs Philip Furmanski noted that faculty retirees are dedicated to and invested in the university and are able to contribute by commenting with objectivity on the challenges that Rutgers faces.
Joseph J. Seneca, University Professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, was vice president for academic affairs when the RFA was formed. He gave thanks to Prof. Brent Ruben for nurturing and supporting that idea of the association and bringing the idea to fruition. He said that Hunt’s and Ruben’s efforts had “connected the faculty in new and beneficial ways, even as the institution and the broader world have changed.”
Attending were representatives of the three other retiree-oriented groups at Rutgers who are our partners in the campaign to raise funds and support for the Capstone Center for Retirees. Front row L to R: Sally Kitzie, president of the Silver Knights Staff Retirees Association, David Cayer, co-founder and past president of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute of Rutgers – OLLI-RU, and Don Borchardt, past chair of the AAUP Emeriti Assembly; back row: Marvin Schlaffer, director of OLLI-RU, Shanti Tangri, chair of the AAUP Emeriti Assembly, and Joan DeBoer, membership chair of the Silver Knights.
Officers of the RFA are (Front L and R) President Raymond Bodnar and Secretary Emily Fabiano; back: Sergeant at Arms Richard Quaintance and Vice President Isabel Wolock.
Vice President for Faculty and Staff Resources Vivian Fernandez said “We are committed to improving services and increasing the number of retired faculty who are part of the association.”
RFA President Ray Bodnar talks with James Dawson, Vice President for Gift Planning at the Rutgers University Foundation (right) and his new marketing director Bryan Nemeth, formerly associated with the athletic department. In his program remarks, Dawson spoke of ways the Foundation plans to continue working with the RFA and its members to support their goals and objectives.
Brent Ruben – dubbed the Founding Father of the RFA by Todd Hunt – chats with Jorge Schement, Dean of the School of Communication and Information. Ruben is a professor in SC&I, as was Hunt, who served as acting dean of the unit before retiring. The school’s assistant dean and Director of Information Technology Jon Oliver is the webmaster for the RFA’s website.
Brent Ruben of the Center for Organizational Development and Leadership conducts the focus group of our members that will guide strategic planning for the RFA’s future. Recording the suggestions from members is Sherrie Tromp, Associate Director of ODL.
RFA regulars include (Front, L to R) Kathleen Appleby, Alan Appleby and Jim Quinn, and in the back Bea Susman, Sylvia Griffin and George Strauss.
Hey, it’s Hy! Francine and Hyman Zimmerberg also are RFA regulars.
RFA Director Todd Hunt thanks Rutgers Human Resources personnel for the services they provide to retirees (L and Center) Associate Director Carolyn Knight-Cole and Valerie Hunter, Benefits Specialist.
Ben Beede, retired librarian, makes a point during the focus group discussion.
Gesturing while participating in the focus group discussion is Gerald M. Pomper, Board of Governors Professor of Political Science. Gerry has spoken to RFA members frequently over the years, giving his expert views on why state and national elections turned out the way they did.
During a break after the speeches and before the focus group, attendees had an opportunity to revisit the Rutgers Club buffet for two kinds of frittata as well as bagel, cream cheese and lox, along with a magnificent fruit platter.