The University of Minnesota Retirees Association (UMRA) is an independent organization, incorporated by the State of Minnesota in 1978. UMRA has about 600 members as of Jan 2022, including faculty, P&A, civil service and bargaining unit employees, all of whom retired from the University. Membership is open to all retirees from all U of M campuses, their spouses or partners.
To support the interests of U of M retirees and provide opportunities to learn, serve, and connect. UMRA seeks to benefit members, the University and the community through an array of informational, social, travel, volunteer, and support activities.
More specifically, UMRA Goals are:
- To help retirees successfully deal with the retirement process, both during their retirement year and into their retirement years.
- To provide all retirees broad intellectual stimulation as well as social and recreational services;
- To oversee and assist in the ongoing provision of benefits affecting the health and wellness of retirees;
- To facilitate opportunities for voluntary service to the University and community;
- To contribute to the development and welfare of the University and its mission and goals.
UMRA needs organizational volunteers to keep the retirees association growing and meeting its members’ needs. We are especially interested in involving those who have joined UMRA in recent years and may be able to offer new perspectives to established committees. Your ideas and your energy can contribute in many ways to the organization.
The Resources for Retirees page, under the Membership menu, has valuable resources for seniors. It has aids in finding medical and prescription assistance, legal and advocacy advice as well as support organizations for caregivers. Here are just a couple of the many resources:
Blue Zones: Reports on research and projects of the Blue Zones group concerning areas of the world where people live the longest (“blue zones”), and the reasons for their longevity. Find healthy recipes for both meals and general living.
Wilder Caregiving Services: Associated with the Wilder Community Center for Aging in St. Paul. Provides a wide variety of services and seminars for caregivers including free webinars and support groups. In addition, they offer daycare services for the elderly and “Respite” care.
Mobility Aids: Impartial advice on selecting the best mobility aids to keep you active, including mobility scooters, rollators, walking frames, wheelchairs and home aids such as hospital beds for home, lighting and adaptive clothing and more.
Living at Home Network: (LAHN) is a network of community-based programs that rely on volunteers and resources in YOUR community to support your needs for independent living: cleaning, hospice, in-home care, companionship and more. Simply contact them to learn how they can help.
And many, many more!
Actions UMRA has taken on your behalf:
Professional Development Grants Program—The Office of the Vice President for Research and the University of Minnesota Retirees Association (UMRA) jointly created a grants program in 2007. These grants are awarded annually to support faculty, P&A and civil service retirees wishing to pursue projects related to their research, instructional, or other work history. Details of the programs and awards made are given on this website's grants page.
Faculty Retirees’ Bill of Rights—UMRA led negotiations resulting in a statement of faculty rights and privileges. The document The Rights and Privileges of University Emeriti (Word doc) summarizes the rights and privileges that are guaranteed to retired faculty by the Resolution passed by the University Senate in 1998.
Keeping in touch with University actions
- UMRA tracks discussions of, and seeks improvements in, health insurance coverage for retirees.
- Designated UMRA board liaisons report monthly on the activities of the Board of Regents, the Alumni Association, the Senate Committee on Faculty Affairs, the Benefits Advisory Committee, the University Retiree Volunteer Center (URVC), and the Campus Club.
University E-mail Accounts—In 2005, UMRA clarified a University policy that e-mail accounts were to be continued for all retirees, and the association ensured that this privilege would be communicated to all retirees and providers. If you believe you are qualified as a retiree but do not have a University e-mail account, please notify UMRA at email@example.com.
1666 Coffman active senior living--In the 1980s, UMRA members envisioned, helped to plan, and oversaw the construction of 1666 Coffman, an independent condominium near the St. Paul campus. Direct inquires to firstname.lastname@example.org.