Submitted by Elaine Fox, President
UCLARA continues to grow and meet the ongoing challenges of what once were uncertain times. We adapted to the many changes that were imposed upon us to ensure our safety and responded by offering many ways for our members to remain connected and engaged to one another, the community and the UCLA campus. We expanded and encouraged participation in our online zoom activities and are now slowly beginning to offer in person, interesting, stimulating opportunities for our members.
Sharing and highlighting UCLARA challenges and successes:
Membership: We are a dues paying organization that offers a free first year trial membership. As of March 31, 2023, we are 1023 members strong due to the ongoing efforts of our Membership Chairperson and an outstanding Membership/Marketing Committee. Together, they continue to make opportunities to let new retirees (and those who may have let their membership lapse or retirees who weren't in a mindset to think of joining the organization upon retirement) become aware of our programs and the benefits of belonging to UCLARA.
Programs and Events: The very active Program Committee meets monthly to plan and offer interesting, engaging, and often at no cost (mostly virtual) programs to our members and their guests. The UCLARA Board of Directors recently had a joint meeting with the UCLA Emeriti Association Board to discuss the merits and means of planning activities that would be of interest to both memberships. In the past, we successfully hosted joint After Lunch Lectures held at The Faculty Club. In the fall we will reconvene to further discuss the way forward to expand the partnership. And, next month a few retired staff members have been invited to display their art at the annual Emeriti Association Art Show.
Campus and Community Relations Senior campus administrators including EVC Darnell Hunt, UCLA Athletic Director Martin Jarmond, Assistant Vice Chancellor Dr. Suzanne Seplow of Student Development and Health shared ideas for opportunities for partnerships and collaboration between UCLARA and their areas of responsibility.
The committee is a strong voice for staff retirees advocating on important health, welfare, and California budget matters as these issues affect each of them. Our members are kept up-to-date on these areas of concern via our quarterly newsletter, current website postings, and the electronic bi-weekly newsletter published by the UCLA ERRC.
Supporting Current UCLA Staff:
--Campus Mentorship Program. UCLARA mentors are successfully partnering with existing programs on campus (The College of Letters and Science ACE Mentorship Program and the AMG ProShare Program.) With the scope of this program, it was determined that we would add the Mentorship Chairperson as a permanent member of the UCLARA Board of Directors, effective July 1, 2023.
--Scholarships UCLARA continues to support career staff by funding staff development scholarships at $500 each that are awarded annually through UCLA Staff Assembly. Ten years ago, UCLARA established an endowment fund at the UCLA Foundation to fund these awards in perpetuity. We are embarking on a fundraising campaign in summer 2023 to grow the fund to $100,000.
Other Active UCLARA Committees::
--IT Committee: The IT Committee continues to improve and update our website and social media presence.
--Travel Committee. Worldwide travel programs are expanding and have UC guides to accompany the travelers, Travel agencies Collette and OAT (and other travel agencies) are providing wonderful experiences.
--Interest Groups: As concerns over meeting in person are beginning to ease, many of our interest groups slowly are choosing to meet on campus and in member's homes. The hiking interest group (now under the auspices of the Program Committee) is exploring the surrounding hills of Los Angeles.
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