Late in 1997, a group of Colorado State University senior faculty members gathered to discuss life after retirement and their continued relationship with the University. There was much uncertainty about CSU’s commitment to an organization of retired faculty.
Professor R.L. Zimdahl was asked by CSU’s Faculty Council to chair a special task force on emeritus issues. In December of 1998, the task force recommended establishing the Society of Senior Scholars – now known as the Society of CSU Faculty/AP Staff Retirees – as an integral part of the University. The Society was endorsed in principle by the Faculty Council Executive Committee.
Budget limitations and other problems in 1999 prevented the immediate establishment of the Society. However, the idea remained alive and desirable. In 2005, James Boyd, professor in the Department of Philosophy, and Robert Zimdahl, professor in the Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management initiated a new request to the Faculty Council. At the same time, a partnership was established with the Division of Continuing Education.
The Society was ultimately established as a special unit under Section B.2.6 of the Academic Faculty and Administrative Professional Manual. The Provost serves as Responsible Administrator for the Society and the Society provides biennial reports to the Provost.
A number of significant changes occurred in the 2009-2010 academic year. Among them were exhaustive public relations efforts to make the Society much better known on campus, the launch of a Newsletter, adoption of a modernized set of By-Laws, and the first annual Retirement Planning Seminar. At the request of the Provost, the Society developed guidelines for deans and chairs to standardize the administrative process of retirement across campus. The Society has submitted wording changes to the Faculty manual which would recognize retired faculty as continuing members of the CSU community. We have delegated leadership in our major activities so that 7-8 individuals now each have specific responsibilities. And at the request of Faculty Council, the Society now provides retiree representation on the University Benefits Committee.