President's Column

Agnes O’Connell, PhD Professor Emerita - Psychology

Welcome to The Emeriti Times, the first e-news publication of the Montclair State University Emeriti Association.

When we began in 2007 to collect data for our 41-page proposal, my reasoning and that of the Founding Committee (Warren Heiss, David Kelly, and Maria Schantz) was that a Montclair State University Emeriti Association would be a valuable resource of knowledge, expertise, and wisdom for the benefit of the University, community, and academic disciplines. Other universities and colleges across the country have long had organizations of retired distinguished faculty and administrators. An organization that was designed for MSU was long overdue. The Provost sanctioned our Association mid-year 2008.

At the conclusion of our Inaugural Year it was clear that the MSUEA had fulfilled a need and is successful on a number of dimensions.

(1) The response to the Association has been very positive.

(2) From 1993 to the present, the Board of Trustees has granted the distinction of emeritus or emerita to some one hundred retiring faculty or administrators. To date, more than half of the emeriti have become members of the Association.

(3) MSUEA programs have been very well received.

(4) Our dues are minimal and some members have made generous voluntary contributions to the Association.

(5) We are now recognized members of the international Association of Retirement Organizations in Higher Education (AROHE).

(6) A formal election of officers was held in Spring 2009; the elected officers, in addition to myself as President, are David Kelly, Vice President; Rosemarie McCauley, Secretary; Tim Sullivan, Treasurer; Maria Schantz and Margaret Mukherjee, Members-at-Large.

To begin our second year, we conducted an electronic and paper survey of our membership re their expectations and preferences to guide the Executive Committee in making plans for the Association. The respondents indicated that that the two activities of highest interest were attending a play, concert, or dance performance at the Kasser Theater and a guided visit to the Montclair Art Museum. (For complete survey results, see July 31st e-mail to members.)

In order for the Bylaws to reflect the functioning realities of the Association, I have appointed an Ad Hoc Committee on Bylaws (David Kelly, Margaret Mukherjee, and me) to review and revise them. The revised Bylaws will be presented for a vote by the membership in Spring 2010.

A highlight of the Fall 2009 events was a delightful day that included guided tours of the Cezanne and American Modernism Exhibit and self-guided tours of the Montclair Art Museum. The tours followed the membership meeting and preceded lunch at a Turkish Restaurant. Carole Stone, Programs/Speakers Committee Chair, made the arrangements for the day. (For further details, see News and Events on our website.)

In our second year, we can say with some confidence that we have an Association whose many purposes include encouraging social activities but also professional, cultural, and community activities as well. The Association publicizes the continuing scholarly, professional, educational, and community service activities of its members. Emeriti accomplishments enhance the reputation and status of the university.

The Association encourages and publicizes achievement through its international electronic publication, The Emeriti Times. The purposes of The Emeriti Times are to provide an opportunity for specialized publication of articles by emeriti on their scholarship, accomplishments, and activities; articles of interest to emeriti; and reports on the Emeriti Association’s major events.

The purposes of the Association’s multifaceted website are to offer a broad range of information, news, announcements, and links to relevant websites. The News and Events portion of the website is updated several times a semester. David Kelly, the editor of The Emeriti Times, and Tim Sullivan and David Kelly, the co-webmasters, and I are working closely with Cindy Meneghin to accomplish transformations of both the Association’s publication and website.

We look forward to a great year for MSUEA.