ASEF Executive Council Meeting
March 17, 2009

Present: Drs. McCarthy, Stinnett, Kefalides, Hess, Downes, Schleyer, Steinberg, Heppenstall, Saunders, Goldfine, Asbury, and Dalinka

Proposed retirement community - Dr. Saunders reported that Penn Executive Vice President Craig Carnaroli has called a meeting for March 24, 2009, to continue the discussion of the proposed Penn Retirement Community. Drs. Neville Strumpf and Saunders will attend this meeting. Drs. Strumpf and Saunders have outlined the parameters for the community so that they can discuss these parameters at that meeting. Dr. Steinberg asked if there was still a possibility that the retirement community could be a newly constructed building built on a new piece of land, and Dr. Saunders said that that this is still an option.

Speaker’s Bureau – Dr. MacGregor said that he will put out an announcement to ask for volunteers for the proposed ASEF Speaker’s Bureau.

Dr. Saunders said that, barring disagreement, he would renew ASEF’S membership in the Association of Retirement Organization in Higher Education (AROHE). Dr. Saunder’s presented at the AROHE Annual Meeting last year.

Dr. Saunders will send out an announcement asking for more volunteers to review Educational Databases (EDBs) for the Office of Academic Programs. Dr. Saunders believes ASEF’s contribution to the review of these documents has increased the organization’s credibility within the Medical School.

21 Penn Tower Space – Dr. Saunders believes that ASEF should take the space on 21 Penn Tower that has been offered to it by the Health System. He said that the Executive Council should let Kevin Mahoney know that ASEF wants the space. The space is supposed to be vacated by its current occupants by mid-April.

Dr. Asbury said that he spoke to Eric Weckel, the Executive Director of Space Planning and Operations. SPOTS has a whole warehouse of used office furniture. Dr. Saunders suggested that he and Dr. Asbury should visit that warehouse to select furnishings for ASEF’s new office space. Dr. Saunders also suggested asking Mr. Weckel to look over the 21 Penn Tower space after it is vacated.

Dr. Saunders said that the “study area” will have 4 or 5 carrels in it and that the smaller space will be used as a consultation area for emeritus faculty. He also suggested that the recessed wall space in that area should have the file cabinets removed and coat hooks installed. Dr. Saunders also suggested that half-height file cabinets should be place there and that a copier or coffee maker be placed atop the new cabinets. He also said that he would like to see 2 hard-wired desktop computers in that space, as well as a wireless connection to allow use of personal laptops. Dr. Saunders has two older desktop computers that are currently being stored in his laboratory that he is willing to donate to ASEF. He stated that the organization should also look into purchasing a wireless printer.

Dr. Saunders raised the possibility of ASEF starting a fundraising campaign to equip its new office space. Dr. Steinberg stated that ASEF should let the space remain as it is for the time being and wait for the economy to improve. Dr. Steinberg commented that his department has tried to raise money recently for a lecture series and that it is very difficult to get people to donate now.

Dr. Kefalides noted that when ASEF first started the membership voted down the idea of charging dues. Given that membership in ASEF is free, Dr. Kefalides does not believe that it’s wise to ask members for money now. Dr. Stinnett suggested that ASEF wait to embark on any fundraising activities. Dr. Heppenstall concurred with Drs. Steinberg, Kefalides, and Stinnett. Dr. Downes agreed, as well.

Dr. McCarthy raised the question of whether the Health System would allow the internet connection on 21 Penn Tower to remain in place for ASEF. He commented on the fact that offices have to pay monthly fees for internet connectivity and wondered whether ASEF’s budget could cover those fees every month.

Dr. Asbury stated that ASEF cannot ask for any renovations to this space at this time. He said that ASEF will have to live with the space and see what adjustments may be needed in time. Dr. Asbury also noted that there are expenses related to renovations that people may not know about; if you move one wall, you have to make expensive changes in the airflow for that area.

Dr. Saunders summarized the discussion by agreeing that the consensus is that now is not the time to do any fundraising for ASEF’s new office space. Dr. Asbury commented that ASEF needs to ensure that people are using the space all the time, that there are activities going on frequently so that the space gets used. Dr. Saunders agreed, saying that ASEF has to develop a plan for how this space is going to be used.

Dr. Steinberg added that he thought that ASEF should host an open house in the new space. The organization could offer cocktails and food at this event. Dr. McCarthy asked whether this space would be available on weekends. Dr. Saunders didn’t know the answer to that question and said that we will have to check on whether one needs to key access to enter the building on weekends. Dr. Saunders said that ASEF has to think about how to make this space effective and productive.

New Executive Council members – Dr. Saunders reminded Council members that ASEF needs a new Secretary/Treasurer, another At-Large Council Member, and a President-Elect. Anyone who has ideas for new Council members should e-mail Dr. Saunders.

Committee Updates – Data Committee – Dr. Steinberg said that the Data Committee got updates on new Emeritus and Senior Faculty since November 2007. The membership has now gone from 448 to 538 faculty members, so it’s grown by 90 new people.

Dr. Steinberg also said that he thinks that Human Resources should be doing more to educate people about retirement. He believes that PASEF and ASEF should unite to put more pressure on HR to do this. Dr. Saunders reported that Dr. Heppenstall read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Retirement and really liked the fact that it was a faculty-initiated publication.

Events Committee – Dr. Steinberg asked if the Executive Council could have more input to choosing speakers for ASEF-sponsored events in the future. He said that Dr. Kefalides has been able to get higher profile speakers for his luncheon programs than ASEF has been able to get for big events. Dr. Steinberg said that ASEF needs to be able to tap some great speakers. Dr. McCarthy suggested that ASEF could work with PASEF to find some non-medical speakers for its events. Dr. Schleyer stated that he believes that ASEF should do more in the realm of talking about medicine.

Luncheon Programs - Dr. Kefalides added that perhaps ASEF should get more input from its members about topics they’d like to hear about. PASEF’s president is really pushing hard on “hot topics”, such as Guantanamo, the economy, President Barack Obama, etc. ASEF should do more in these areas.

Dr. Kefalides said that he met with Laury Cousart at the University Club about the possibility of using the Hourglass Room (the second dining room, behind the large dining room) for larger talks. She told him that the University Club would be willing to purchase a computer AV projector for ASEF’s use.

The next ASEF Executive Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 14, 2009.

Respectfully submitted,
Rachael J. Berget