What Is the Retiree Assembly?
The Retiree Assembly at Rutgers University was founded as the Emeriti Assembly by Professor Emeritus Richard Wasson who believed that it would be beneficial for retired faculty to assemble and continue to be active in academia and by making the group’s meetings a part of their intellectual pursuits in retirement. The organization began in 1996 when by-laws were formulated to guide in defining membership, structuring meetings, committees, and dues. The term “Assembly” was suggested by the national American Association of University Professors to distinguish the name from other titles used by educational institutions and professions. In 2005 Rutgers Council of AAUP Chapters began a trial joint affiliation with the American Federation of Teachers that became permanent in 2008. Officers of the Retiree Assembly are elected by the membership for two-year terms. The Chairperson and Vice Chairperson are elected in odd-numbered years and the Secretary and Treasurer are elected in even-numbered years. The 2022 election was delayed but is now in process.
Acting Chairperson: Ann Gordon
Immediate Past Chairperson: Jonathan Lurie
Secretary: Jonathan Lurie
Treasurer: Isabel Wolock
Current Chairpersons of the Standing Committees as called for in the bylaws are:
John Krenos, Newsletter Committee
Click here for the current bylaws of the Retiree Assembly, adopted October 24, 2017.
Members of the Retiree Assembly are normally continuing members (in retirement) of the national American Association of University Professors or retired faculty who were members of AAUP-AFT faculty union. Annual dues are payable in September. Please also take a moment to renew your annual membership dues of $10 by mailing a check for this amount, made out to “Rutgers Council of AAUP/Emeriti,” to the following address: Mala Kakkad, Treasurer, Rutgers AAUP-AFT, 11 Stone Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1113.
The mission of the Retiree Assembly is to sustain and enhance the personal and intellectual interest of retired faculty and of the educational functions of the University. These interests will be met through:
- Special programs
- A communications network
- Work with other groups concerned with retiree issues
Members may attend monthly meetings and participate in decisions regarding activities to:
- Improve the status of retirees
- Continue professional interests
- Consider aspects of health policies
- Promote intellectual contacts
- Evaluate economic issues
- Communicate with the Rutgers AAUP-AFT Chapters
- Seek out other concerns that affect life after retirement
In normal times, meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month at 11:30 a.m. in the conference room at 11 Stone Street. In Spring 2020, the pandemic emergency led to the suspension of in-person meetings. The starting time has changed to 12 noon. Instructions for joining the meeting are sent to members via email a few days before the meeting. Any deviation from this practice will be noted in the meeting announcement below.
- Martin Oppenheimer, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, Rutgers-New Brunswick, “The Tragedy of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee: How a Movement Lost Its Way” (January 2023). His talk added details to this timeline about the civil rights movement of our lifetimes, including the speaker’s personal experience with some of the events.
- Gerald M. Pomper, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Rutgers–New Brunswick, “First Thoughts on the Elections of 2022” (November 2022)
- Ron Becker, Retired as Head of Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries, “The Broad Seal War of 1838-1840“ (October 2022). He described how New Jersey’s contested Congressional election resulted in chaos at the Capitol, and how our botched election led to our State not being represented in Congress during an important period in history.
- Judith Weis, Professor Emerita of Biological Sciences, Rutgers-Newark, “New Jersey Tidal Marshes and Sea Level Rise.” This meeting was scheduled for September 2022, but the Zoom connection failed during the meeting. Members were later alerted by email to a link to a Zoom video that will be available for viewing or download.
- Michael Rockland, “Why I Write Two Books at the Same Time, Fiction and Nonfiction: No, I’m Not Crazy” (May 2022). Our retired colleague told us how co-authoring a book on the NJ Turnpike somehow liberated his imagination for the novel he was writing. So he followed this dual strategy twice again, both times with great success. “Eggs in multiple baskets” is how he says he does it.
- Neil Sacks and associates Edgar Lara and Jaime Young, “Your NJ Alternate Benefit Plan (ABP) Pension: Options and Strategies” (March 2022). A discussion (no sales pitches) of ways to maximize dollars and minimize risks. Also, at the March meeting, the Retiree Assembly of the Rutgers AAUP-AFT, approved a resolution to endorse the “Statement against the Russian Invasion of Ukraine,” as drafted and adopted by the Executive Council of the Rutgers AAUP-AFT, and informed the Executive Council of our action.
- Paul Tractenberg, “Justice Delayed and the Strange Case of Lakewood’s Public ‘School Students’: Is the State of New Jersey Trying to Back Away from the Constitutional Guarantee of a Thorough and Efficient Education for All Students?” (February 2022). Our retired colleague from Newark Law School discussed an important case that he and one of his former students are currently litigating before the New Jersey Appellate Division court. Following the meeting, he provided this copy of the decision by the Acting Commissioner described in his presentation.
- Rutgers Online History Association (ROHA), “Archiving Our Years at Rutgers” (January 2022). Director Shaun Illingworth and researchers Kathryn Rizzi and Donald Koger talked about ROHA’s work as it has evolved over the past 20 years to become a nationally recognized center for historical preservation and a central repository for recording the history of Rutgers University.
- Holiday gathering on Zoom (December 2021)
- Representatives of OptumRX provided information about their prescription drug plan (November 2021)
- Patrick Nowlan, executive director of our parent AAUP-AFT chapter, and representatives of the Aetna Medicare Advantage Plan led a discussion of health insurance options (October 2021)
- RU President Jonathan Holloway responded to questions about his view of the future of Rutgers (September 2021)
- Jon Lurie, “The U.S. Senate and Impeachment: All You Need to Know and Maybe Some More” (June 2021)
- James Goodman, “My Year as a Judge for the National Book Awards” (May 2021)
- Ashley Koning, “Polling 101: The Art, the Science, and a Look at the 2020 Presidential Election” (April 2021)
- Sandra Moss, “Newark’s Polio Epidemic of 1918” (March 2021)
- Rudy Bell, “Crazy for Him: A Keynote on Sanctity and Madness” (January 2021)
- Julia Tulovsky, virtual tour of the “Soviet Industrial Design and Nonconformist Art” exhibit at the Zimmerli Art Museum (November 2020)
- Camilla Townsend, “The Aztecs in Their Own Words” (October 2020)
- Barry Qualls, “Victorian Sensations: Queen Victoria’s Subjects Confront Science and the Avant-Garde” (September 2020)
Dues of $10 per year help to sustain the functions of the Retiree Assembly. Donations are accepted. The AAUP-AFT Office provides a space for monthly meetings and also provides services for duplication of notices and mailings.
Benefits of Membership
- Receive notice of meetings and other events
- Ability to vote for Retiree Assembly officers, hold office, or serve on special committees
- Receive the two annual issues of the newsletter (originally named the Rutgers AAUP Emeriti Reporter, changed to Rutgers AAUP-AFT Retiree Reporter with the new bylaws in 2017)
Richard Wasson Leadership Award
The Richard Wasson Leadership Award was established in 1999 in memory of Richard Wasson, founder and first president of the Rutgers AAUP Emeriti Assembly. This award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated leadership in the area of academic retirement. The leadership can take a variety of forms such as teaching, research writing, public service, organizing programs, or promoting the provision of resources and legislation. Recipients of this award are:
- 2017 Ann Gordon
- 2016 Judith Friedman
- 2015 Gordon Schochet
- 2014 Elfriede Schlesinger
- 2013 Gustav Friedrich
- 2012 Benjamin R. Beede
- 2011 Raymond Bodnar
- 2008 Richard Quaintance
- 2007 Theodore Kruse
- 2006 Isabel Wolock
- 2005 Norman Eiger
- 2004 Sy Larson
- 2003 Shanti Tangri
- 2002 Donald Borchardt
- 2001 Todd Hunt
- 2000 Ludwig Geismar
For an archive of the Emeriti Assembly / Retiree Assembly newsletters, click here.
Links to other retiree groups at Rutgers:
- Retired Faculty and Staff Association (the official university-sponsored retiree organization of Rutgers University)
- Silver Knights (the retiree organization for Rutgers staff)
- RWJMS Retired Faculty Association (Retired Faculty Association of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School)
Contact the Retiree Assembly
Rutgers AAUP-AFT Retiree Assembly
11 Stone Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901