By Bob Dodd
Although the Indiana University Annuitants Association is now 29 years old, to the best of my knowledge no one has ever documented its history. Indeed its early history is difficult to document because few records of the early years of the organization remain if they ever existed. A few records have been passed down from secretary to secretary in the organization in a portable yellow plastic file case, but most of those records are of fairly recent vintage and many are not very informative. The brief outline of our history below is mainly based on these limited records and copies of the Newswatch. We now have a fairly complete file of the newsletter from 1991 to May 2004 but few earlier issues. In fact the Annuitants may not have had a regular newsletter in its earlier years.
The limited documents that have been preserved are now on file with the I.U. Archives office for safekeeping. I.U. Archives also receives copies of the Newswatch to add to a file they maintain. To better preserve our history I urge future secretaries and other officers to save records of activities of the Board of Governors and any other activities of the society. The Newswatch usually contains a good summary of our meetings and other matters of concern to the membership. This has become the best record of our history, although unfortunately our file of past copies is probably far from complete.
Foundation and Articles of Association for the IU Annuitants Association
According to a document that was at one time sent to new members, the I.U. Annuitants Association was initiated as a result of conversations between then Chancellor Herman B Wells and Professor Harry Sauvain, the first president of the association. The story goes that the two men had a conversation during a trip to Indianapolis at which time the value of an association of retired faculty and other participants in the TIAA-CREF program at Indiana University was discussed.
Newell Long was a member of the first Board of Governors for the organization. His widow, Eleanor Long, is still living and recalls a bit of the early days of the Annuitants. Although her memory on the reason for the founding of the organization is not clear, she thinks it may have been an outgrowth of the University Club designed to meet the needs and interests of retired faculty and other TIAA-CREF annuitants. Ironically, in recent years the most active members in the University Club have been from the older generation, retired faculty and others.
The original Articles of Association adopted by the association in 1975 have been amended at least five times (in 1979, 1980,1986, 1988, and 1999). The 1975 document established a Board of Governors consisting of five members, each member being elected for a one-year term. The board selected a president and secretary-treasurer from its membership. In 1980 the articles were amended to provide for a six member board, three members to be elected each year to serve two year terms. A major change occurred with the 1986 amendment of the Articles of Association. The board was increased to nine members, three members to be elected each year to serve three year terms. The office of president-elect was added, this person to act as vice-president for a year before assuming the office of president. The secretary-treasurer position was divided with a separate secretary and a treasurer, each serving two-year overlapping terms. The amended Articles of Association also established two standing committees: a program committee of two members and a membership committee of three members. This governance structure still exists today although it has not always been rigorously followed.
The original Articles of Association indicated that membership in the association was open to individuals “1. Who have emeritus titles at Indiana University, Bloomington; 2. Who are annuitants of TIAA-CREF or of Indiana University by reason of employment by Indiana University, Bloomington; 3. Who are widows or widowers of individuals described in the first two clauses of this article; 4. Who are spouses of individuals described in the first three clauses of this article; 5. Who are residents of the Indiana University Retirement Community.” Presumably “group five” included residents of what became the Meadowood Retirement Community, which did not exist then but must have been anticipated when the original Articles of Association were adopted. In 1979 the associate membership category was added. “Associate membership may be extended by action of the Board of Governors to persons not eligible for regular membership whose interests are compatible with those of the members.” I am not aware of any associate members currently in the organization and can find no records of past associate members. In 1999 the articles were amended to remove “Bloomington” from the membership clauses. Presumably that allows retirees from IU campuses other than the Bloomington campus to join the annuitants. IUPUI has its own retirees association, the Senior Academy, as does the IUPU Fort Wayne campus.
The 1975 Articles of Association list seven goals for the society. Although many portions of the articles have been amended, these seven goals remain unchanged in the present articles. 1. To provide for its members opportunities to come together for social, recreational, and educational purposes. 2. To assist members in continuing and developing their professional interests. 3. To encourage formation of groups of individuals having common interests in hobbies, travel, and special studies. 4. To support efforts of members to carry on their research, writing, and other scholarly interests. 5. To provide liaison between annuitants and the active faculty as well as the administrative officers of Indiana University. 6. To provide a central source of information about retired persons who are ill or infirm and to encourage visits to the unwell by those who are well. 7. To engage in such activities as may contribute to the general welfare of the Indiana University community.
Activities of the Association
Much of the emphasis in the association today is related to goal number one, and that seems to have been true for much of the history of the organization. Apparently activities of the association in the early years were similar to those today. The organization held regular meetings at which speakers discussed a variety of topics. There were picnics and luncheons much like we have today. The records show little evidence of an organized effort to carry out most of the other goals, although simply having an organization bringing retirees together encourages fulfillment of some of the goals. Especially in its early years the association did contribute some to goals five and seven, i.e. serve as a liaison with the university and work to promote the university community. Documents related to the establishment of the Meadowood Retirement Community suggest that the Annuitants Association was an active participant in organizing discussion and meetings proposing the facility. Some correspondence also suggests that the Annuitants were involved in protesting the possible loss of campus parking privileges for retirees. In the late 1980s and early 1990s the association had an insurance committee that advocated the interests of retirees in negotiations with the administration and Blue Cross. In 1992 the association protested the new policy of the School of Music in charging admission to many musical events that had previously been gratis. That policy was soon rescinded, probably more because of small attendance at events than due to efforts of our association. At least since 1990 the association has served the campus and community by soliciting contributions for United Way. In recent years about ten percent of the amount contributed to United Way from IU has come from annuitants.
Although we have no clear documentation, the relationship between the association and the IU administration seems to have changed through time. Herman B Wells was apparently a strong supporter of the association and was closely involved with its founding. A few of the early association board members and officers had been prominent members of the IU administration. For example Joseph Franklin, the first secretary-treasurer, was the retired treasurer of IU and Claude Rich, the president in 1977-78, had been director of the Alumni Association. A memo concerning benefits for retirees in the annuitants files written by Delbert Miller indicates strong support from then vice president for the Bloomington campus, Robert O’Neil. The limited records have little to say about annuitants-IU administration relationships after those early years. At present the association has little regular contact with the administration. The Dean of Faculties Office handles emeritus relationships, but at least during the years when the author has been involved little interchange has taken place. The Dean of Faculties Office maintains an emeriti web page which includes a link to the IU Annuitants Association. Since the fall of 2002 the link has included the most recent issue of the Newswatch. But the Dean of Faculties Office has not worked with the association in planning the Emeriti House (opened in 2004) or other programs concerning retired faculty and the association and IU administration have had no regular communications. The only recent example of interaction between the association and active faculty at IU was a request in 2003 for representation by the annuitants on a subcommittee of the Bloomington Faculty Council to investigate better ways of communicating health insurance benefits to retired and retiring faculty. Two representatives from the annuitants served on that committee.
News Bulletin and Newswatch
An important activity of the association today is publication of the Annuitants Newswatch. The oldest copy in our files of a newsletter called the Newswatch is dated September, 1989. If earlier issues were published we have no record. We do have a few News Bulletins dating back to October, 1979. Notes in those early bulletins suggest that they were published on a regular basis. We hope that early News Bulletins or Newswatches will come to light to expand our records. In recent years the editor of the Newswatch has been the secretary of the association, but this was not the case for the earlier issues in our collection. Virginia Savage was editor in 1989-90. Georgia Woodard became editor in 1990 and continued in that role until 1994 when Dale Hall took over as secretary and Newswatch editor. Dale continues as Newswatch publisher to this day. The publisher duplicates and mails the copy prepared by the editor. The policy of having the secretary act as Newswatch editor continued in 1997 when Catherine Siffin became secretary and editor. Pegge Ewers followed her in 1999 and Bob Dodd became editor in 2001. Judy Granbois assumed the editorship in 2004.
The main function of the Newswatch and the prior News Bulletin was to announce upcoming meetings and to remind members to pay their dues. Early issues of the Newswatch carried items about activities of members and a memorial section eulogizing recently deceased members. Perhaps that section was too depressing to the membership because it was soon dropped. Notes about activities on campus and in the community of interest to our membership were added later as were occasional cartoons and humorous articles. Recipes have even been included a few times. The Newswatch has never exceeded in length both sides of a single page and has sometimes included lots of white space at that.
Comparison with other Retirees Associations in the Big 10
All of the other Big 10 universities with the possible exception of Northwestern have an organization of retired faculty and/or staff. These organizations have formed a Big Ten Retirees Association. Representatives from the member organizations meet once a year in August at one of the member institutions. Each of the Big 10 organizations has a different organizational structure, membership, and goals. For example, the Purdue University Retirees Association has over 3000 members including all retired faculty and staff with at least 10 years of service. They have no dues as their organization is financed by the university. Most of the other organizations take a more active role in advocating for retirees interests with the university and in some cases the state than we do. Dues for the organizations in 2002 ranged from zero at several of the universities to $21 at the University of Illinois. With approximately 300 members, our organization is the smallest in the Big 10. The IU Annuitants Association differs from other Big 10 retiree organizations in being almost entirely social in orientation All of the other organizations have a social component, some more extensive than ours, including travel and educational programs.
Chronological listing of News Concerning the Association
Old copies of the Newswatch and its predecessor News Bulletin plus a few notes from other documents give a glimpse of some of the activities of the annuitants through the years. Although scarce, a few documents give information about the Early Years (1975-1982). A gap occurs in the Middle Ages (1983-1988), a time for which we have no newsletters and little else in the way of documents. The record is more complete during Modern Times, from 1989 to the present. We are missing Newswatches for 1991-92 and 1992-93, but we have copies of most other Newswatches during these years. Below are a few samples of happenings involving the annuitants during each of these three time periods.
The Early Years (1975-1982)
“The association, founded in 1975, consists of retirees from IU and their spouses who receive retirement annuities from TIAA-CREF or Indiana University". (from press release by Bernard Clayton, Jr., dated Oct. 11, 1979)
The Annuitants sponsored meetings on December 6 and 7, 1976 at the First Baptist-UCC church to discuss retirement housing for IU faculty members. Faculty who were approaching retirement age were asked to join with the Annuitants for these meetings. (memo in files of IU Archives Office)
IU Vice President Robert O ‘ Neil worked with the Annuitants (represented by H. Sauvain) and others on selecting a site and establishing a residential housing community (which became Meadowood). Among the papers in the IU Archives is a map with the Meadowood area outlined in pencil. (memo dated 2-16-77 at IU Archives Office)
People expressing interest in the retirement housing project paid a $1000 deposit. Among the initial 48 individuals and couples paying a deposit were H.B Wells, H. Sauvain, and Joe Franklin, Sr. (notes on file at IU Archives)
A note in a June 1978 memo indicated that the "March meeting [was] cancelled due to severe cold weather and energy crunch."
In 1978 mailings were billed through the IU Alumni Association.
The Association had a picnic on Monday, June 19, 1978, at the farm of Lloyd Keisler west of town. A bus (or buses) was hired to transport members from the Union Building.
On April 10, 1979, Vice President O'Neil spoke to the Annuitants and had three requests for help from our organization: 1. Start a mentoring program, 2. Work with the administration to help with faculty retention, 3. Have emeritus representation of the liaison committee with the state legislature. (text of speech in IU Archives)
Vice President O'Neil seemed to be especially communicative with the Annuitants. His files contain several memos and notes in the late 1970s. (IU Archives)
Sara McNabb, Assistant Business manager, sent a memo to Jack Spencer, Director of Transportation, saying she has had no luck in eliminating the fringe benefit of low cost parking decals for annuitants. She turned the matter over to Spencer. At this time (1979) emeritus faculty paid $5 for a parking sticker (category not specified). (memo in IU Archives Office)
At this time (1979-80), the IU Staff Council worked to obtain the same benefits for retired staff as were received by emeritus faculty (including such things as parking stickers, free IDS, Alumni magazine, bus pass, etc.). (IU Archives Office)
Meetings in 1979 were held in the Coronation Room of the IUM.
Post cards containing reminders of meetings were sent to members in 1980 and 1981.
The Association had a picnic at Sherwood Green Clubhouse on June 18, 1980.
Meetings in 1981-82 were held in the Showalter House (non-luncheon) and the Coronation Room (luncheon).
In 1981 Joe Butcher, Harold Jordan, and Bob Belden represented the Annuitants in supporting a bill in the Indiana State Legislature to appropriate funds to increase pensions to offset inflation. They worked with representatives from Purdue and the other state universities. Before "signing on" they asked President Ryan if he saw any problems with this as they did not want to take funds away from the regular university budget. (memos in Ryan files, IU Archives office)
The IU hearing clinic stopped providing free exams in 1981. (note in News Bulletin from the director)
The annual picnic was held in the Big Red Room of Showalter House on May 20, 1981.
The September 1982 meeting was held at the Bloomington Country Club. Meals were to be ordered from the menu and ranged in price from $3.75-5.00.
The Middle Ages (1983-1988)
No information is available from this period.
Modern Times (1989-2004)
The Annuitants had a Financial Planning Committee, probably in the early 1990s (notes on meeting are not dated). The Committee consisted of R. Keith Michael and Jack Mulholland (Co-Chairs), Doris Brineman, Dave Martin, and Ward Schaap. The purpose of the committee was to provide people with advice for financial planning after retirement.
The Annuitants established an Insurance Committee in 1989 consisting of Jack Ray, Le Roy Bannerman, and York Willbern. In 1996 its members were Mitchell Novit, Richard Pfister, and Nevin Raber. The records are not clear as to whether or not an insurance committee functioned throughout that time.
In 1989 the Annuitants was in communications with IU and Blue Cross about rates being charged for health insurance to retirees. Jack Ray was active in this discussion.
The September luncheon meeting in 1989 was held at Terry’s. This may have been the first time for a luncheon at Terry’s, but there are no records from the “Middle Ages”. Previously the association held luncheon meetings at the Coronation Room and the Country Club.
The October 1989 Newswatch announced that all retired faculty and staff can get free flu shots at the Student Health Center.
The fall 1989 Newswatch issues announced a United Way campaign headed by Jane Butcher. United Way campaigns seem to have been conducted every year since that time.
In the October 1990 issue of the Newswatch Jack Ray reported that the insurance committee met with the Faculty Council Fringe Benefits Committee. Representatives of that committee and the annuitants committee plus IU administrators also met with representatives of Blue Cross-Blue Shield to discuss premiums for retirees.
The October 1990 Newswatch issue announced a driving course for mature drivers (55-Alive). It was a “reminders and/or training [course] for safe driving” for senior citizens.
In April of 1990, the Board of Governors decided to invite those retiring after the first semester to join the Annuitants without having to pay dues until the fall of the following year.
Georgia Woodard lamented the fire in the Student Building in the January 1991 issue of the Newswatch.
In early 1991 the Bloomington faculty Council Fringe Benefits Committee voted to recommend to the council that “calculation of retiree health insurance premiums should not be differentiated by age from those for active employees.” The February Newswatch issue suggested we not get “too excited” about the recommendation as there are many hurdles to clear before adoption. The entire faculty council tabled discussion on the recommendation in March, citing concern about the effect on younger, lower paid faculty and staff.
Ruth Chesmore was perhaps our longest serving “cookie lady”, filling that position for four years between September1992 and May1996.
In September of 1992 President Bob Burton wrote to Music School Dean Charles Webb expressing concern of the Annuitants over the new policy of charging admission to certain concerts that were previously free. Dean Webb responded that this new policy was experimental and was being undertaken at the urging of the campus administration.
Bob Burton also sent a memo to the Bloomington and University Faculty Councils, the president of the IU Board of Trustees, and the president of IU (Tom Ehrlich) expressing concern over proposed changes in health care coverage for retired faculty and staff.
At the Board of Governors meeting on May 18, 1992, Tom Meglemore reported a balance in the treasury of $711. Because of the good state of the treasury, the Board decided to contribute $250 to the IU Foundation in appreciation of their services to the Association. ($250 was also contributed in 1990 and1991.)
At the May 18, 1992 Board of Governors meeting there was a contested election for vice president and secretary. In more recent years offices have been filled after a bit of gentle arm twisting – or in some cases in the absence of the candidate.
Dues in 1993-1994 were $4 per person ($8 per couple).
In the early 1990s, Georgia Woodard was asked to serve as Newswatch editor although she was not a member of the Board of Governors. In more recent years the Newswatch editor has been the Secretary and thus a board member.
From the October 1993 Newswatch: “The turnout [around 120] for the annuitants opening meeting in September exceeded both expectations and the number of reservations! But Terry’s proved to be up to the challenge, and some of the diners were treated to fish and ham instead of the beef which had disappeared.”
In 1993-94 the annuitants had a series of programs on “Nearby Treasures”. Speakers included Rudy Pozzatti (local art), Rosemary Miller (local architectural treasures), Jim Mason (Star of Indiana drum and bugle corps), Dick Bishop (with Gary Wittlich and Cathy Spiaggia playing and singing music of Hoagy Carmichael), Bud Kohr (Bloomington Hospital), Herman B Wells (Things I’ve learned to Treasure), Don Brineman (the limestone industry), Jim Weigand (the treasure of laughter).
The November 1993 Newswatch stated that Bruce McQuigg and Dale Hall were on a committee for “Senior Net”, to teach senior citizens about computers. It looks like the Annuitants were teaching computer skills before the Emeriti House got into the act.
There were 290 members of the annuitants in December, 1993.
In the spring of 1994 the dues were raised to $5 per person, $9 per couple.
On November 16, 1994 the IU Human Resources Office had three special sessions explaining the new health insurance options for retirees. One of the sessions was specifically for members of the IU Annuitants.
New IU President Brand spoke to the Annuitants at their February 1995 meeting.
In 1995 the board contributed $300 to the IU Foundation “for its hospitality” and $100 to Habitat for Humanity “in response to Bill Verhagen’s program on Habitat for Humanity”.
The March 21 meeting was cancelled because of the weather (snow). In fact the entire University was closed that day.
In the October 1996 issue a new committee was announced “to help the personnel office in providing financial planning for annuitants and future retirees.” The committee was chaired by Keith Michael and Jack Mulholland.
Because several organizations at IU have overlapping membership the IU Foundation has started a common information source listing speakers, programs, tours, etc. set up by the Annuitants, University Club, Alumni Association, Varsity Club, Continuing Studies, etc. (September, 1997 Newswatch)
The September 1997 issue of the Newswatch began a series of notes (Info Corner) describing fringe benefits available to IU retirees. The notes were written by Don Hattin.
In January 1998 the regular meeting place was changed from the IU Foundation to the IU Cyclotron facility. The reason for the change was renovation of the Foundation facilities.
In 1998 the May potluck supper was held at St. Paul’s Catholic Center (due to the IU Foundation renovation).
The December 1998 Newswatch mentioned the possibility of establishing a committee to investigate expanding software availability under the IU-Microsoft agreement to retired faculty using their computers at home rather than on campus. The March 1999 Newswatch indicated no success in this endeavor despite efforts by the University negotiators.
The January 1999 meeting was cancelled because of icy weather.
In December 1999 the board adopted an official policy of not releasing our association mailing list to any outside organization without the approval of the Board of Governors.
IU hosted the Big 10 Retirees Association annual meeting on August 20-22, 2000. Bill and Kate Kroll were chairs of the organizing committee.
The annuitants returned to the IU Foundation Peterson room for its May potluck in 2001 and began holding regular meetings there in the fall of 2001.
The October 2001 meeting was held in the Hoosier Room under the west stands of Memorial Stadium.
In August of 2002, editor Bob Dodd asked for anyone with old copies of the Newswatch to submit them so that we could have an historical record of the annuitants. Richard Hickam responded with copies of the newsletter, nearly complete for several years in the 1990s and 2000s. (dating from September, 1993)
In the fall of 2002 a webpage for the association was added to the emeriti website managed by the Dean of Faculties office. The September 2002 Newswatch was the first issue included on the site.
The Association of Retirement Organizations in Higher Education held its inaugural meeting at IU on October 15-17, 2002. Members of the association helped in hosting the event, which was organized by Susan Eklund, Associate Dean in the Dean of Faculties Office.
In August of 2002 the board was informed that Emeriti House would be opening in an IU owned house on Atwater Avenue. The house opened in February of 2004.
In the spring of 2003 the old records of the annuitants were filed with the University Archives office for safe keeping.
The association was a co-sponsor of the Emeritus Art Exhibit, the inaugural event held at the new Emeriti House in February of 2004. Several association members exhibited art work.
Two annuitants, Bob Dodd and Dick Dever, served on a special subcommittee of the Bloomington Faculty Council Benefits Committee that reviewed ways to better inform retirees and soon-to-become retirees about their health insurance options.
Many long-term members of the IU Annuitants Association surely could fill in additional information about the history of the association, perhaps even filling in the gap of the “middle ages”. Hopefully this brief and incomplete summary of some of the highlights of our history will be of interest and can serve as a basis for continued recording of our history in the years to come. Anyone with information that would be appropriate for addition to this record is encouraged to submit it to J. Robert Dodd or the secretary of the association in future years.
Addendum (April 2009)
Many changes have occurred in the history of the Annuitants since this outline was written in 2004. Not the least of these has been renaming the organization Indiana University Association of Retired Faculty and Staff (IUARFS). Many of those changes began in the fall of 2007 during the presidency of Robert Ensman. Among the activities started at that time was exploration of cooperation with the Emeriti House and the University Club. Both of these organizations cater to many of our members and potential members, so cooperation instead of competition seemed to be in order. As a result of those talks our newsletter now lists programs at the Emeriti House and some University Club events. Emeriti House may soon publicize IUARFS activities. The Dean of Faculties Office, sponsor of the Emeriti House, includes our newsletters on its website. Communication avenues remain open for further cooperation with those organizations. In September 2007 the Newswatch under the editorship of Judy Schroeder published its first four-page edition containing more news of interest to IUARFS members.
Among other activities initiated by the Board of Directors under Bob Ensman’s leadership was establishment of a committee chaired by Don Weaver to review the organization’s Articles of Association. That committee met during the 2007/2008 academic year and recommended several substantive changes. One was changing the name to better reflect our present membership. Another recommendation was to open membership to all retired faculty and staff, not just those participating in the TIAA/CREF retirement program as required by the old articles. The purposes statement was changed slightly to remove those activities now covered by the Emeriti House and the University Club. Other changes clarified appointment of the Newswatch editor, database manager, and webmaster by the Board. The membership approved these fundamental changes at the annual meeting on April 9, 2008.
Ensman arranged meetings with various IU administrators to acquaint them with our organization and to explore development of relationships with units within the university. Increased cooperation with the Office of University Human Resources Services seems especially promising. Such cooperation would bring IUARFS more in line with other Big Ten retirees associations.
Under Ensman’s leadership Board members have prepared an organizational manual listing in detail duties of the various officers and committees. The committee structure has been revitalized. Activities such as program planning and nominations that until recently have been handled by the entire Board are now being conducted by committees that report to the Board.
IUARFS will host the 2010 convention of the Big Ten Retirees Association. A planning committee is in place and plans are well underway for this major undertaking.