Visit here OFTEN for a summary of News & Announcments specific
to UI Retirees. Read the Gray Hawk Newsletter
for full articles and more news. Select any title below for details
or click Top of List to scroll through
Software Options do Retirees Have ? (Jan, 2015)
Brief Report of the Benefits Meeting - Includes Full Video ! (Nov
UIRA Awards Program for Outstanding Contributions (Dec Gray Hawk
for Retirees: Part-time Temp and Volunteering (Dec 2014)
Book: Yesterdays: Memoirs from the Gray Hawk Writers (Dec Gray Hawk
Archivist (Dec 2014)
Will Be Observing its 20th Anniversary (Nov, 2014)
Annual Travel Photo Contest Invites Entries (Nov, 2014)
Board to Establish Awards Program (Nov, 2014)
of UIRA Members On Their Contributions to the UI as Volunteers (Oct,
Message From Our New President (Sept, 2014)
Robalino Replaces Departing Roy Justis as President Elect (Sept,
Photo Contest Enters Second Year (Sept, 2014)
Represented at Big Ten Retirees & AROHE (Sept, 2014)
Hawk Editor, Webmaster and Archivist Wanted for UIRA (May, 2014)
Hawk Plans to Drop Paper Version (March, 2014)
UIRA Officers Nominated (March, 2014)
Iowa Now Offers News/Info at No Charge (March, 2014)
Services Offers Help (March, 2014)
Greeters Needed (Feb Gray Hawk, 2014)
Up For New Study on Cognitive Disease (Feb Gary Hawk, 2014)
Library Thrives With Renovation (Feb Gray Hawk, 2014)
Report Compiles Data On Iowa Health (Feb Gray Hawk, 2014)
of Iowa is a Member of AROHE (Jan, 2014)
Announces Health Insurance Benefits for 2014 (Oct, 2013)
Inaugural 2013-14 Travel Photo Contest (June, 2013)
Photos Now Available Online (April, 2013)
Website Changes (Feb, 2013)
Charitable IRA Rolller (Feb, 2013)
to Preserve History (Jan, 2013)
for Preventive Intervention Center Research (Nov, 2012)
at the Shelter House Deli (Sept, 2012)
in Long Term Care Insurance Provider (June, 2012)
Exercise Classes Available at CRWC (June, 2012)
Perks for Retirees (April, 2012)
Registry (March, 2012)
Membership (March, 2012)
Us Know If You Move, or Change Email or Phone No. (November, 2011)
Software Options do Retirees Have ? (Jan, 2015)
That question has been debated at length by UIRA Board members
over several years. The latest response (3-6-14) received by Board
member Pam Willard comes from Tracey Schmidt of
UI Information Technology Services (ITS): “We simply have
no licensing options for retirees. Microsoft does not offer any.
Here is a link to some options:
A Brief Report
of the Benefits Meeting (Nov 6, 2014)
Medicare Supplements (“Medicare carve-out”,
“Medigap”, "Medicare Advantage”)
the full video of the November 6 program (length: 1 hour, 15 minutes).
Currently offered to UI faculty and spouses is the UIChoice plan
(through Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Iowa). The premium for eligible
faculty is $254/month, after subtracting the amount UI contributes.
Spouses pay double that amount. The premium will increase to $264
in 2015. For the coming enrollment period, the UI is offering two
additional plans through Health Alliance Co. of Champaign-Urbana,
- A plan on a PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) format: This
is very close to UIChoice in terms of coverage, costs ($279/month,
close to UIChoice for 2015), and doctors and hospitals choices
(e.g., UIHC, Mercy of Cedar Rapids, but not yet Mercy of Iowa
City). This also covers prescription drugs (generics are free).
Thus, spouses could choose this plan at roughly half the price
- A plan on the HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) format:
(a) Premium is only $39/month, but with larger deductible and
more for out-patient visits, (b) is restricted to UIHC doctors
and hospitals and UI Health Alliance Providers, (c) has a built
in “doughnut hole” for coverage costs and (d) free
generic prescription drugs can only be obtained from Walmart or
Sam’s Club (other pharmacies would charge $8).
Also, new this year: Participants may switch back and forth between
UIChoice and a Health Alliance plan at each enrollment period. That
is, one may want to try out a different plan for a year and may
do so without penalty if one wants to return to the original plan.
Delta Dental: Currently at $40/person/month. Premiums will rise
to $42 in 2015.
–by Gene Spaziani
for Retirees: Part-time and Volunteering (Dec, 2014)
See page 2 of the UIRA
Dec 2014 Gray Hawk for a list of part-time and volunteering
Other Volunteer Opportunities—The UIRA has
recently listed on its website (www.uiowa.edu/~uira/) several UI
websites for academic units and organizations on and off campus
that advertise for volunteers. On the UIRA home page (reached through
our address, above), click Resources in the list
on the left, then click Volunteerism opportunities for UI
retirees in the upper right. These sites and many others
(mostly for students) may also be found by going to the UI home
web page, entering Volunteering in the search box
in upper right, and then hitting the Return key.
Jean Hood, who served as UIRA president 2010-11,
is replacing Ken Yerington as UIRA archivist. The Board appreciates
Yerington’s years of service.
Will Be Observing Its 20th Anniversary (Nov, 2014)
UIRA WILL BE OBSERVING the twentieth anniversary of its founding
during the coming year. The association came into being October
19, 1995, with the adoption of bylaws which stated as its purpose
“to facilitate support of the University of Iowa by retired
faculty and staff members and to promote the interests and welfare
of those retirees.” UIRA’s first president was Arthur
Canter, a retired clinical psychiatrist and professor emeritus
of psychiatry. Canter, 93, and wife Miriam have lived in Iowa City
for more than 50 years. Both were students at UI, where he completed
his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and was invited to join the faculty
of the Department of Psychiatry in the College of Medicine.
Second Annual Travel
Photo Contest Invites Entries: (Nov, 2014)
Second Annual Travel Photo Contest Invites Entries;
Rules Similar to Last Year with December 31 Deadline
The deadline for submitting entries in UIRA’s second annual
Travel Photo Contest is December 31, 2014.
Rules are much the same as the past year. Photos must be submitted
in digital format and will be judged on originality, creativity
and photo quality. There is no entry fee. Current UIRA members are
eligible to participate. Entrants may submit no more than three
photos in one or more of the three categories. The three categories
are photos taken (1) in the state of Iowa; (2) in the USA outside
Iowa; and (3) outside the USA.
Send contest photos to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos taken over the past two years can be entered. When submitting
photos, an entrant must include (1) his/her name, (2) email address,
(3) number of photos submitted, (4) category in which each photo
is to be judged and (5) brief captions for each photo (or group
Complete contest details are posted at: www.uiowa.edu/~uira/pdf/travel-photo-contest.pdf.
Winners of the contest will receive cash awards. This year’s
contest is being sponsored by Hills Bank and Trust Company. Last
year’s winning photos can be found at: uira.shutterfly.com/pictures/396#396.
Board Approves Establishing an Awards Program (Nov, 2014)
UIRA Board Approves Establishing an Awards Program
For Outstanding Contributions to Community, University
The UIRA Board voted unanimously at its monthly meeting October
14 to establish an awards program that annually will recognize two
UIRA members for outstanding voluntary service—one for contributions
to the community and another for contributions to the University.
The program has three purposes: (1) to recognize UIRA members for
their service; (2) to draw attention to contributions that retirees
make; and (3) to encourage retirees to offer their talents and skills
in ways that benefit the community and University.
Details of the awards are still being worked out by the Board,
though an outline of the program is emerging. To be eligible, nominees
must be retired for at least two years. Any UIRA member may nominate
a UIRA member, including him/herself. Award recipients will be announced
at the annual spring business meeting. The Board will appoint a
five-person selection committee comprised of two staff, two faculty
members and the UIRA president. Deadline for submitting nominations
to the UIRA president has been set for January 31, 2015.
Watch The Gray Hawk and email for further details.
Survey of UIRA
Members on Their Contributions to the UI as Volunteers (Oct, 2014)
The UIRA recently conducted a survey that asked what, if anything,
members have done in the past, or are doing, for the UI as retirees.
The results showed an astonishing variety of volunteer activities,
which vitally assist the UI in its missions. Our findings have been
transmitted to all administrators in the University, to remind them
of our continuing value and to encourage administrators to seek
here to view (a) the letter sent to administrators, that includes
an invitation to advertise volunteer openings with us, and click
here to view (b) a table of survey results listing our volunteer
A Message From Our
President (Sept, 2014)
A Remarkable Tribe Called Retirees—and How to Join
It’s late August, and I’ve just returned from five
days of remarkable meetings attended by remarkable people from all
over the country. They’re part of an emerging tribe I joined
a few years ago. We’re called retirees. That means it’s
time for life’s encore.
Welcome to the expanding world of retirees in higher education.
First there was the annual Big Ten Retirees Associations Conference.
There were a few musings about Big Ten football, but the focus was
on the serious business of retiring and retirees’ relationships
to their institutions. That was a warm-up to the larger 7th Biennial
Conference of the Association of Retirement Organizations in Higher
Education (AROHE), also held on the University of Minnesota campus.
AROHE’s theme was building connections.
Relationships and building connections—those thoughts are
still bouncing around in my mind as I contemplate the year ahead
for our Retirees Association. Our organization has come a long way
since it was founded two decades ago by our perceptive predecessors.
Based on my observations in Minnesota, we still have a long way
to go in building relationships with the university and contributing
to our own well-being as well as that of our community.
We hope you take this opportunity to become acquainted with UIRA
as a first-time member or, if you’re already a member, to
renew your membership (see form accompanying this newsletter). It
will be a good way to build new relationships and connections—and,
as I’ve discovered, to be around remarkable people.
--Ken Starck, UIRA President
Replaces Departing Roy Justis as President-Elect (Sept, 2014)
Beverly Robalino will step in as UIRA’s President-Elect with
the resignation July 4 of Roy Justis who notified UIRA officials
that he and his wife, Rita, are moving from Iowa City to Cedar Falls.
The UIRA Board approved a recommendation from President Ken Starck
to appoint Robalino to the position. This was in accord with UIRA
Bylaws for filling unexpired terms (see Section 3, Vacancies). Robalino
had been on the short list of candidates compiled by the Nominations
Committee. See the Biographies
web page for more about Beverly Robalino.
Photo Contest Enters Second Year (Sept, 2014)
UIRA’s Travel Photo Contest, inaugurated last year and attracting
more than 50 entries, will continue for the second year. Most of
the rules remain unchanged.
There will be three categories: photos taken (1) in the state
of Iowa; (2) in the USA outside Iowa and (3) outside the USA. Prizes
will be awarded in each category. Entrants may submit no more than
three photos in one or more of the three categories. There is no
entry fee. Current UIRA members are eligible to participate. The
deadline to submit entries is December 31. Photos must be submitted
in digital format and will be judged on originality, creativity
and photo quality. Photos taken over the past two years can be entered.
To see winning photos in the 2013 contest, go to the UIRA website
at this link:
at Big Ten, AROHE Meetings (Sept, 2014)
UIRA President Ken Starck attended the annual
Big Ten Retirees Associations Conference August 8-10 followed by
the biennial conference of the Association of Retirement Organizations
in Higher Education (AROHE) August 10-12 at the University of Minnesota,
A photo report of the two conferences with quite a bit of detail
in the captions can be found at the UIRA’s website at: uira.shutterfly.com/pictures/433.
The University of Minnesota Retirees Association (UMRA) served
as host to the meetings. Purpose of both conferences is to share
ideas and address retiree-related issues, from preparation for retirement
to retirees as a community/university resource, from health to institutional
Registered for the Big Ten Conference were a total of 54 persons:
49 representatives from all Big Ten universities (that includes
27 from host UMRA) except for new Big Ten members Rutgers and Maryland
and 5 special guests.
Registered for the AROHE Conference were about 110 persons from
more than 30 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. Also attending
the AROHE meetings was Ken Kuntz, president of the UI’s Emeritus
Faculty Council and past president of UIRA (2011-12).
The next Big Ten meeting will take place August 14-16, 2015, at
Michigan State University, East Lansing. The 2016 AROHE Conference
will take place at the University of Washington, Seattle.
A popular event at the Big Ten Conference is a session on “best
practices.” Takeaway tips included: creating a website for
interest groups; offering lifetime memberships (at Ohio State the
cost is $250); establishing awards for service that can go to individuals
or institutional units; sponsoring a reception for new retirees;
organizing a group book reading and discussion; and instituting
a travel photo contest (the latter suggestion from the UIRA).
Gray Hawk Editor,
Webmaster and Archvist Wanted for UIRA (May, 2014)
Opportunities abound to contribute to UIRA and the welfare of its
members. Here are three expected openings: Gray Hawk Editor,
Webmaster and Archivist. If you have the interest and the
expertise—the former taking precedence over the latter—please
inform Ken Starck (Kenneth-Starck@uiowa.edu)
or one of the UIRA Board members. Compensation is comparable to
other purely voluntary positions, which means that satisfaction
and goodwill can be rewarding parts of one’s retirement package.)
Gray Hawk Plans to
Drop Paper Version (March, 2014)
Beginning with the September 2014 edition, The Gray Hawk will be
delivered to UIRA members only electronically. The UIRA Board at
its meeting February 11 voted to discontinue publication and distribution
of the paper version of the newsletter. The consensus of the Board
was that the electronic-only version will not only be more economical
but also result in speedier delivery. The annual cost of The Gray
Hawk is about $1,800, including paper, addressing and postage. An
additional major benefit to electronic production and distribution
is flexibility in size (more pages) and content (photographs, color,
special effects, etc.). Please send any comments to Dick Johns,
using e-mail (email@example.com), postal
service (2731 Oakmont Ct., Coralville, IA 52241, or phone 319 354-1904)
New UIRA Officers
Nominated (March, 2014)
The following are those who have been selected by the Nominating
Committee. The Committee was chaired by Charlie Anderson.
The list will be presented at the Annual Business Meeting and Luncheon
on April 24.
A reminder that other nominees for each position may be introduced
by any attendee at the meeting. They will then be added to the slate.
1. President-Elect Roy Justis
2. Secretary Alice Atkinson
3. Board Member-at-Large Pamela Willard
4. Board Member-at-Large Richard Borchard
UI's Iowa Now Offers
News/Info At No Charge (March, 2014)
Here’s a no-cost way to keep up with UI events: Subscribe
to Iowa Now
Produced and distributed electronically each weekday by University
Communication and Marketing, the website carries news and announcements
under the headings of Arts, Athletics, Campus, Community, Health
and Research. Each day’s announcements offer a summary of
the Top News. There is no cost to subscribe or unsubscribe.
Services Offers Help (March, 2014)
Elder Services Inc. may be the organization you need to provide
assistance or a volunteer opportunity – or that a friend needs.
Founded in 1980, “Elder Services, Inc. (ESI) provides programs,
services, and resources to assist persons age 60 and over in Johnson
County and east central Iowa to stay active, independent, and safe
in their homes.”
Elder Services Inc. provides a wide range of services and assistance,
including geriatric assessment, coordination of volunteer services,
RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program), Meals on Wheels, Nutrition
services (including Meals on Wheels and the Elderberry Café),
Elder Answers, Medicare Senior Health Insurance Initiatives, bill
paying management, medical transportation, home assistance, and
Please phone Elder Services Inc. at 319-338-0515 or see their
for a more complete description and contact information.
U of Iowa is a Member
of AROHE (Jan, 2014)
The University of Iowa is a member of an international organization
of retirees in higher education. Its acronym is AROHE—Association
of Retirement Organizations in Higher Education. The UI Provost’s
office provides payment of dues. Check out AROHE at
Health Insurance benefits for 2014 (Oct, 2013)
According to a statement from Richard Saunders, Assistant Vice
President for Human Resources, there is no change in the rates or
the plan design for UI Choice for 2014. There is also no change
in the rates for Dental II for 2014. The limit for care provided
under Parts B & C will increase from $1500 to $2000 for 2014.
Retirees without Medicare will be eligible for the new plans coming
out under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). They should look for information
concerning the new Exchange Marketplace, where these plans will
be offered. In some cases they may be eligible for a government
subsidy to help offset the premium cost. Compare carefully before
making your decision, since if a person leaves the University of
Iowa's health and/or dental plans, they can never return.
Retirees with Medicare will not be able to participate in the
Exchange Marketplace, since these new plans do not coordinate with
Medicare. The retiree with Medicare will not be eligible for any
subsidies from the government towards the cost of the health plans.
2013-14 Travel Photo Contest (June, 2013)
Camera enthusiasts, enter your prize (or best?) images in the UIRA's
inaugural 2013-14 Travel Photo Contest.
A few details: Eligibility? Current UIRA members, excluding UIRA
officers. Entry fee? None.
Entry categories? Three photos taken:
- (1) in the state of Iowa;
- (2) in the USA but outside Iowa; and
- (3) outside the USA.
Prizes? Yes, plus top photos to be displayed on the UIRA website.
Submission? Digital format.
Judging criteria? Originality, Creativity, Photo Quality.
Entry period? Each year—Jan. 1 to Dec. 31
here for complete details.
Event Photos Now
Available Online (April, 2013)
Check UIRA's website. Go to www.uiowa.edu/~uira/ and click on “Photo
Gallery” in the far left column.
That will take you to a series of albums at a site called Shutterfly.
Shutterfly serves as the host site for the UIRA albums. The main
heading is UI Retirees Association. Click on the album/event you'd
like to view. Or you can go from “Home” to ”Pictures
& Videos” and see the albums one after another. (By the
way, there are no videos on the UIRA site.)
Here's a list of the album/events currently at the site:
- Learning about water—especially when there's too much
- Retirees tackle UI football facilities 101 (2-28-13)
- Retirees learn about "Alien Worlds" at meeting Jan.
- “Innovations for the Next Decade:” AROHE's 10th
Anniversary Conference (a report on the Association of Retirement
Organizations in Higher Education)
- Participating in the 10th annual meeting of the Big Ten Retirees
- Touring Historic Johnson County Courthouse Sept. 27, 2012
- Meeting Nov. 15, 2012, to Discuss UI Health Care Benefits
- Ken Starck, Director.
Recent Website Changes
A few months ago at a UIRA Board meeting, someone commented—and
I paraphrase: “We've got to become more active.” He
was referring to our UIRA organization and members....That led to
development of a brochure encapsulating the UIRA story. Once the
brochure was designed and copies reproduced, someone suggested putting
it on the UIRA website. You'll find it at UIRA's Homepage (www.uiowa.edu/~uira
). Click on “UIRA: A Quick Take—Printable Brochure.”...How
about a Photo Gallery? ... Click
here to read complete article.
2013 Charitable IRA Rollover
Congress recently extended legislation that allows seniors who
are 70 ½ or older to make tax-free gifts directly from their
IRAs to qualified charities through the end of 2013. This “charitable
IRA rollover” provision was part of the American Taxpayer
Relief Act of 2012. It permits distributions of up to $100,000 from
an IRA to a qualified charity in 2013. The IRA owner does not report
the distribution as taxable income, nor does the owner claim a tax
deduction for the gift. The effect will be a “tax wash”.
The distribution to charity will count towards the owner’s
annual required minimum distribution. Click
here for more information about this legislation including who to
Volunteer to Preserve History
DIY History: Your chance to help preserve Iowa history:
About the project: UI Libraries’ digital collection includes
hundreds of thousands of items—far more than library staff
could ever catalog alone. We need your help in converting these
documents into a format people can use. Click
here for complete article.
Register for Preventive Intervention
Center Research (Nov, 2012)
The University of Iowa College of Public Health, Preventive Intervention
Center (PIC) researchers are currently inviting participants aged
18 and older to enroll in the Preventive Intervention Center Volunteer
Research Registry. The purpose of the Registry is to collect basic
information on specific areas of research interest which we may
use to contact potential participants for future clinical studies.
For more information and to enroll, please go directly to the online
Preventive Intervention Center website: www.picstudies.com
If you wish to enroll offline, please contact a PIC research staff
member at toll free: 1-800-887-6917 or local: 384-5048
or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteer at the Shelter House Deli
Culinary Starts, a Shelter House culinary training and catering
program, operates a deli in the University Services Building (USB)
Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. They need a
daily volunteer for each 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. shift to provide
support during the lunch period. If you are interested, please e-mail
Caitlin at email@example.com
or call her at 338-5416 ext. 241.
Change in Long Term Care
Insurance Provider (June 2012)
The University Benefits office has announced that Genworth Financial
Long Term Care Insurance is replacing John Hancock Insurance as
the University's Long Term Care provider. The initial Genworth enrollment
date will be announced when the final contract is signed (anticipated
by June 30). To enroll with Genworth, those 65 or older will have
to answer medical questions.
This change resulted from John Hancock’s notification that
it would no longer accept new applications from our faculty and
staff effective January 1, 2012. If you are currently enrolled in
John Hancock you may stay with John Hancock, though that insurer’s
rates will be going up an average of 28%, effective November 1,
2012. If you choose to leave John Hancock, you will still retain
accrued long term care benefits. You may contact John Hancock for
information on your current coverage.
Group Exercise Classes Available at
CRWC (June 2012)
A membership in the University of Iowa Recreational Services is
available to us as retirees, and group exercise classes at the Campus
Recreation and Wellness Center are also included in your membership.
A membership provides access to all recreation facilities on campus,
including the Campus Recreation & Wellness Center (CRWC), Field
House, Hawkeye Tennis & Recreation Complex (HTRC), Fitness East
and the Recreation Building. Once inside, most activities, including
swimming, fitness, rock climbing, racquetball, basketball, volleyball,
and Group Exercise classes are included with the membership. Beyond
access to all recreation facilities on campus, members also receive
discounts on program registration (including Lesson Programs, Rowing,
Tennis Programs, Aquatics and Adventure Trips), and reduced tennis
Also, a qualified UI Faculty/Staff member or UI Retiree may sponsor
one adult at the same rate as the sponsoring member. The adult must
reside in the same household as the sponsoring member. A yearly
Membership is $310; 4 months membership is $155; monthly membership
is $47 and daily drop-in fee is $7.
For more information and other perks available to UI Retirees visit
Perks and Discounts for Retirees on the navigation
panel on the left.
Use Perks for Retirees (April 2012)
Did you know that your HawkID remains active after
you become a UI retiree? Even if you do not use
the University email system, you may continue to use your
address. In addition, you are eligible for discounts on computer
purchases through the ITS Computer Purchase Program and for discounts
on Microsoft software covered under the Home Use Program of the
campus agreement; and you have access to the ITC computer labs on
campus and the UI Wireless network using your HawkID and password.
For more detailed information, select Perks & Discounts
for Retirees and scroll down to “ITS Services for
University of Iowa Retirees”.
STAR Registry (March 2011)
The STAR Registry is a database of Iowans over age 50 who are interested
in volunteering for University of Iowa research studies (compensation
is generally provided). Older adults are typically under-represented
in scientific research, making study results less helpful to the
older population. Read more and sign up at
Associate Membership (March
Associate Membership (non-voting, non-office holding) is open to
those who have present or previous ties to the University. Individuals
may become members upon submission of the Membership Form and payment
of dues of $10.
Let Us Know If
You Move, or Change E-mail or Phone No. (Nov 2011)
Have you moved, or do you have a new e-mail address or phone number?
The UIRA needs your help in keeping your postal and e-mail addresses
and phone number current so we can keep you informed of program
announcements and other relevant information. If you have moved
or changed e-mail addresses or phone numbers, please notify the
UIRA Membership Chair, Ruth Dawson, by regular mail at 2601 Hickory
Trail, Iowa City, IA 52245 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.