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President's Message

By Peter Gourevitch, Founding Dean, GPS, and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Political Science

Dear Colleagues,

As the incoming EA President for 2023-2024, it's my turn to report on activities and new developments. We have been reviving steadily from the many restrictions imposed by COVID. Under the leadership of Past Presidents Jake Jacoby (2020), Steven Adler (2021), and Allen McCutchan (2022), we have maintained the activities of the Emeriti Association continuously through online meetings.

These activities include: Our Emeriti Mentoring Program for Chancellor’s Scholars, led this past year by Mae Brown, our Emeriti Lecture Series organized each year by the Vice President for that year (this past year by me, and this coming year by Barbara Parker), the Emeriti Book Club, led by Roger Spragg, and the quarterly publication of EA Chronicles, edited in past years by Sandy Lakoff.

It is important to note that after eighteen years of impressive service, Sandy Lakoff has retired as Editor. His place is being taken by former EA President Steven Adler, with Suzan Cioffi serving as Managing Editor. This past year the EA also successfully recommended that Dickson Awards be given to Professor Richard Attiyeh and Professor Peter Cowhey for their post-retirement service to UCSD. It also nominated former Provost Ann Craig for the systemwide Panunzio Award.

Our energetic and skilled administrators, Suzan Cioffi and Vania Bailon, have been very effective supporters of these activities. They have done so despite the considerable loss of their office space on campus. Because of planned new construction, the Retirement Resource Center (RRC) will have very limited administrative space on campus for the two associations which serve retirees; the Emeriti Association (faculty) and Retirement Association (all retirees). The RRC moved in Winter 2023 into three small administrative offices in Building 409 just east of the Student Services Building and directly west of the Prebys Music Center. But this space will not accommodate even moderate-sized groups (e.g., EA and RA Board meetings, or our Book Club).

The EA General meetings will return via Zoom in September and the Book Club will experiment with different locations, including the Faculty Club. Many Retirement Association lectures and the International Film Series, an RA program much-loved by many Emeriti Association members, will continue to be offered to Emeriti Association members in different modalities.

Many EA members look forward to meeting again in person. COVID treatment and risks seem to make this possible but EA leadership continues to be sensitive to the substantial risks of serious COVID complications for persons in our age group and tracks the treatment recommendations that are available. The issues of live meetings and hybrid ones remain of great concern.

Our attendance at the EA lectures has expanded several-fold during the Pandemic in our Zoom sessions. Members also appreciate having an online repository of EA lectures. We recognize this. The Retirement Association has purchased software that enables both online and in-person “hybrid-mode" events. EA members with limited mobility and/or impaired immunity may be unable or unwilling to participate in person as the COVID threat continues. Thus, we plan to continue to provide access to our lecture series and other events in both ways. The EA Book Club held hybrid meetings at the Faculty Club in May and June 2023 and will continue to experiment. The Emeriti Lecture series held a hybrid meeting at the Faculty Club for its final meeting of the year in May 2023 with about half of the attendees joining the event live at the Faculty Club and half attending via Zoom.

In late May, the Chancellor's Scholars & Emeriti Mentor Programs held their annual Closing Reception at the Faculty Club at which a number of awards were given to graduating mentees.

Another year meant the graduation of another cohort of students, so new Alumni. It also marked a new series of retirements from the faculty so a new group of Mentors and Emeriti to participate in the vital life of the campus across the generations!

Peter G.