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March 2008

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Vol. 2007-2008 No. 7

April features Provost Karen Hanson

Karen Hanson, provost and executive vice president for IU Bloomington, will speak to the IU Annuitants Association at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, April 9, at the Peterson Room of the IU Foundation. She will present her vision for academic programs and policies on the Bloomington campus.

As the chief academic officer of the Bloomington campus, Hanson oversees academic and budgetary policy and priorities. She reports directly to President Michael McRobbie, who appointed her to the position he had held as interim from February 2006 until becoming president July 1, 2007.

In appointing Hanson, McRobbie said that, “a philosopher by trade, she has the tools necessary to answer the most critical questions facing our university as it enters an era of great change and exciting possibility.” McRobbie said he was confident that Hanson brings “intelligence and energy” and “sensitivity to issues like campus diversity, general education, and the need to support our traditional strengths in the arts and humanities.”

In her more than 30 years on the Blooming-ton campus, Hanson has been a professor of philosophy, serving as department chair from 1997 to 2002. She also is an adjunct
professor of comparative literature, American studies, and gender studies. In 2002 she was named dean of the Hutton Honors College.

Hanson received her bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, in philosophy and mathematics from the University of Minnesota and her master’s and Ph.D. in philosophy from Harvard University.

Annual meeting to follow April talk

Immediately following Karen Hanson’s presentation on April 9, the annual – perhaps the final – meeting of the IU Annuitants Association will convene in the Peterson Room. Should the membership approve recommended changes in the articles of the association, the group will sport a new name at its May 14 meeting. It will become the Indiana University Association of Retired Faculty and Staff. The April 9 meeting also will feature election of three members to the board of directors.

Treasurer Don Weaver headed a committee that has reviewed the articles, which were last revised, it is believed, in 1999. With the other committee members, immediate past president Ted Jones and past board secretary and unofficial historian Bob Dodd, Weaver presented a thoroughgoing revision to the board of directors, which approved it with some slight changes.

Why change the name and membership criteria? The original membership included “annuitants of TIAA-CREF of Indiana University” and “residents of the Indiana University Retirement Community.” With changes in retirement options offered by Indiana University, people now retire from IU who have chosen plans other than TIAA-CREF, and there is no longer an official “Indiana University Retirement Community.” The new name offers membership to “retired faculty and staff,” reflecting what is the norm among Big Ten retiree associations.

The purpose of the association has been revised to eliminate those activities performed admirably by the Emeriti House (“to assist members in continuing and developing their professional interests” and “to support efforts of members to carry on their research, writing, and other scholarly interests”) and the University Club (“to encourage formation of groups of individuals having common interest in hobbies, travel, and special studies”). One of the goals of his administration, says President Bob Ensman, has been to increase cooperation and collaboration between the Annuitants Association, the Emeriti House, and the University Club.

Minor changes have been made to the section of the articles that describes the activities and responsibilities of the board. One example: For the first time, the board is explicitly given responsibility for designating a newsletter editor, a database manager, and a webmaster. These three positions, not mentioned in previous articles, have proven over time to be essential for the association to function effectively.

Vice President Sandra Churchill, chair of the nominating committee, will present nominees for three-year terms on the board of directors: Doris Burton, John Harrell, and Eileen Schellhammer. Nominations may also be made from the floor, with the permission of the person being nominated. The three new members will replace retiring board members Lou Moir, Bob Priest, and Nancy White. Immediate past president Ted Jones also will leave the board. Other members of the nominating committee were Rosemary Dever and Shirley Pugh.

Reprising February...and hospice care

The February 13 meeting of the Annuitants Association featured Ellen Surburg, director of Bloomington Hospital Home Health and Hospice. To the approximately 45 people attending, Ellen explained that Hospice in Bloomington was established in 1979 as an all-volunteer organization. In 1991 it expanded to include a nursing staff. Today 50 employees and 80 trained volunteers serve approximately 70 patients on any one day.

Hospice is palliative care, providing comfort and emotional and spiritual support to individuals and their families. Hospice ensures quality of life by exploring patient goals and helping each individual to have a measure of control. They ask each patient, “What would you like to do?” They then serve as primary partners in a care plan to address social, spiritual, physical, and psychological needs. Hospice is available 24/7, 365 days a year, and provides bereavement support for surviving families. Support groups are available for children who lose a parent, parents who lose a child, and members of the community at large.

Because Home Health Care services are for individuals who expect to get better, the focus is different from that for Hospice patients. Specialties include physical, occupational, and speech therapies and personal care. These services are provided in people’s homes and are geared to help individuals regain their independence.
Bloomington Home Health and Hospice staff and volunteers travel more than 284,000 miles a year. This not-for-profit hospice serves Monroe, Brown, Daviess, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Morgan, Orange, and Owen counties, with offices in Bloomington and Bloomfield.

Future challenges include locating enough home health aides, particularly as baby boomers begin to retire. A major effort is addressing several assessment criteria to be sure 174 standards are met. Medicare has a Web site,, where you can see how services in Bloomington -- as well as throughout the United States -- stack up.

Ellen would like to speak to the group again when plans are fleshed out for a proposed Hospice Home. Her dream is to have a home with eight private rooms with patient and family beds, a patio, kitchen, and a warm home-like atmosphere. Such a dream is at the feasibility study stage.

Marge Belisle introduced the speaker. Refreshments were provided by Marge Belisle, Doris Brineman, Rosemary Dever, Gerald Marker, and Byron Smith.

It’s not too early to plan for May

A special treat awaits members at the musical program and pitch-in dinner that completes the academic year. Special guests at the event are soon-to-be-retiring Curt Simic, president of the IU Foundation since 1987, and his wife, Judy. To honor them, we will have the musical talents of renowned soprano Sylvia McNair, two-time Grammy winner and a teacher at the Jacobs School of Music. Piano accompanist will be Adam Burnette, a master’s conducting student who has
just been chosen by Leonard Slatkin as one of four national winners to conduct the National Symphony Orchestra later this spring.

Circle May 14 on your calendar, and start thinking of a delicious dish to share at 5:30 p.m. in the Peterson Room. Meat and beverages will be provided. So that adequate tables and chairs will be available, please let Sandra Churchill know you’ll be coming. Her e-mail is, and her telephone number is (812) 336-2469.

A letter to the editor

It may be a first. Newswatch proudly inaugurates its letter-to-the-editor column with the following real letter (yes, it came in an envelope, complete with a stamp) from Joe Belth, professor emeritus of insurance in the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, editor of The Insurance Forum, and author of Life Insurance: A Consumer's Handbook.

I just saw your review in the January 2008 issue of Newswatch of the Graham/Cody book about Bill Garrett. I read the book several months ago and enjoyed it greatly. As long as you are into such things, I suggest you review the very recent book entitled Taliaferro. The author is Dawn Knight, who teaches English at Westfield High School in Westfield, Ind., just outside Indianapolis. It is a very good book about George. I’m sure many of the annuitants know him quite well and would enjoy the book.
Keep up the good work!
Joe Belth

From the president

It has been a distinct pleasure and gratifying experience working with the IU Annuitants Association board of directors and the membership at large these last two years. Serving as vice president and program chair my first year on the board was a definite challenge. As president this year, I applaud the board, which has worked hard to support several initiatives that will foster our future growth, organizational stability, and relationships with other university groups and offices.

A major step being offered for a membership vote at our April 9 annual business meeting is a revision of our Articles of Association. This revision, after several proposals offered by the committee, has been approved by the board to stand for a vote of the membership.

Discussions with leadership of the University Club and the Emeriti House have already suggested that cooperative ventures can enhance the missions of each in serving retirees.

The process of working toward our sponsorship of the Big Ten Retirees Conference here at IU in August of 2010 has begun. An Operations Manual for board and committee chairpersons is being compiled to simplify governance, list duties of officers, describe resources, and set timetables for yearly tasks. Meetings with key IU administrators are being scheduled to serve as a basis for enhanced co-operation for the benefit of the university as well as its retirees. Other goals include a fully functioning membership committee and a consolidation of tasks under a new hospitality committee.

Volunteers to serve on any one of several committees are needed and will be welcomed. Please contact any board member to indicate that you would like more information about serving on a committee, as planning for next year will soon begin.