Election of UMRA’s 2022–23 officers and directors to be held online

This year’s election of UMRA’s officers and new board members will be conducted via an online poll from May 17 to 22. 

While our bylaws state the slate of nominees shall be “… presented at the annual meeting for election,” they also state “Elections may be conducted by alternative means as needed and as authorized by the Board.” Because of the difficulty in coordinating voting in a hybrid meeting, the Board decided to conduct the vote online in advance of our annual meeting on May 24, with the results to be announced at the meeting. Online voting will also give more UMRA members a chance to vote than does a vote by meeting attendees only.

The bylaws permit members to nominate individuals not put forth by the Nominating Committee, provided the nominating person has the consent of the nominee. If you have such a nomination, please submit it to Nominating Committee Chair Frank Cerra by May 13 for inclusion on the ballot. You will also need to state which proposed officer or board member you wish to contest. If there are no additional nominations, the question on the ballot will be the approval or disapproval of the entire slate of candidates. Terms of those elected will begin in July.

Also included in the poll will be a vote to approve the 2019 and 2021 UMRA Annual Meeting Minutes.

The Nominating Committee presents the following slate of candidates for approval:

Eric Hockert retired in 2016 from the Office for Technology Commercialization after serving eight years helping faculty and companies transfer patented technologies from the University to industry for product development. His 40-year career included 3M, Imation Boston Scientific and a small local manufacturing company (Vision-Ease Lens) as vice president for research, along with a few years as a liaison between faculty and industry at IPRIME, a University-industry partnership in the College of Science and Engineering. He is past chair and a current board member of URVC, current UMRA Board member, chair of the UMRA Communication and Outreach Committee, member of the UMRA Program Committee, the UMRA-URVC reaffiliation group, and the URVC Communication Committee. Eric is currently focused on increasing UMRA’s engagement with the University through volunteer activities and other support we can provide to the University and its various units and departments.

Julie Sweitzer (nominated for reelection) served the University for 32 years. Most recently, she was executive director of the College Readiness Consortium and co-director of the Educational Equity Resource Center with Michael Rodriguez in the College of Education and Human Development. The Consortium created Ramp-Up to Readiness, a school-wide postsecondary readiness curriculum for Grades 6-12 and worked on education policy issues systemwide. Previously, Julie was director of the Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action office (1998–2006) and associate general counsel (1989–98). In those positions, she worked with people from all campuses and every college and administrative unit. She holds a Master of Public Affairs degree from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and a JD from the U of M Law School. Julie served three terms on the St. Louis Park School Board and currently chairs the Minnesota Council on Economic Education.

Kristy Frost Griep began her career as a certified public accountant at Deloitte & Touche. Following that, she spent six years as accounting manager at Bloomington Schools and five years at the Wilder Foundation. Kristy made her move to the University as finance manager in the Office of the Vice President for Health Sciences, eventually transitioning to finance director for the Office of Academic Clinical Affairs (OACA). She retired in 2021, but still works 25 percent time assisting that office. Her duties during her 21 years at the U included managing a finance team and hands-on support to OACA units, as well as liaison to finance staff employed by other OACA units. Responsibilities were in the areas of non-sponsored and sponsored budgeting, reporting, analysis, and pre- and post-award grant support, as well as financial policy interpretation at the project, department, collegiate, and executive levels. 

New Board members
Russell Luepker joined the University in 1976 with an appointment in public health and medicine, serving for 14 years as chair of the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health and practicing clinical medicine at University Hospital. He retired in 2020 but continues to teach two courses in the Clinical Research Master's Program and to perform research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Russell is known worldwide for his NIH-supported research in community programs for disease prevention and surveillance of cardiovascular diseases in populations. His numerous honors include distinguished service awards from the American Heart Association and the Council on Epidemiology and Prevention; a 2010 U of M President’s Award for Outstanding Service; a National Merit Award from Delta Omega, the public health honorary society; and being named Mayo Professor of Public Health. Throughout his career, Russell has also been successful in maintaining work-family balance.

Kate Maple served as assistant dean for student services in the College of Design from 2006 until her retirement in 2019. Before joining the College of Design leadership team, she served as assistant dean in the College of Human Ecology (1989–2006) and director of student services in the College of Agriculture (1983–89). She has been active in a leadership capacity on a wide range of boards and committees at the University as well as in the non-profit sector, including a term as president of the Campus Club Board. She is a recipient of the John Tate Award for Academic Advising and the College of Human Ecology Dean’s Award for Excellence. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in theatre design from the University and is now active in the local arts community, focusing on painting and drawing. 

Continuing Board members
Ron Matross automatically moves from president-elect to president. He joined UMRA after retiring from the Office of Undergraduate Education in 2013. He currently chairs the UMRA Program Committee, serves on the Communication and Outreach Committee, and is a member of the board of the University Retirees Volunteer Center (URVC). After receiving his Ph.D. in psychology from the University, Ron became an institutional researcher specializing in student data. He was responsible for much of the University's enrollment management analysis, including enrollment modeling, applicant surveys, and program evaluations. He led the development of the University's first student retention reporting system, its first comprehensive graduate survey, and the freshmen admissions tracking system used by the Office of Admissions. Ron is very much looking forward to using his presidency to help UMRA fully embrace its mission of providing opportunities for retirees to learn, serve, and connect. 

Jan Morlock automatically continues as an officer, as immediate past president. She served as director of community relations for the Twin Cities campus. She coordinated the U’s engagement with local and regional government and campus-area community initiatives. After retiring in 2017, she and her husband moved to Wisconsin, where they are converting part of an old dairy farm to pollinator habitat. Jan says retirement is a reminder of how much she values connections with the good people in her life, and that being an UMRA member has made her life richer. 

Will Craig has served on the UMRA Board since 2017 and is UMRA’s liaison to the University of Minnesota Alumni Association (UMAA). He facilitated development of an UMRA-UMAA partnership agreement in 2020 and now facilitates the posting of video recordings of UMRA webinars on UMAA’s Gold Mind website for viewing by a wider public. Earlier, he compiled a report on UMRA’s Professional Development Grants for Retirees program to examine its impact. The results were published in the UMRA News, Minnesota Alumni, and UMRA’s Journal of Opinions, Ideas & Essays. In 2014, Will retired from the Center for Urban and Regional Affairswhere he served as assistant, then associate director for 44 years. His early work pioneered the development of GIS (geographic information system) technology to document losses of wetlands, leading to the creation of Minnesota’s Wetland Conservation Act. His later work examined urban vitality and the state’s achievement gap. Will has served on a range of University, state, and national boards and study committees, and is in the University YMCA Hall of Fame.

Other continuing members include John Bantle, Bill Donohue, Cathy Lee Gierke, Cherie Hamilton, Greg Hestness, Laura Coffin Koch, Jan McCulloch, Jerry Rinehart, Barbara Shiels, KaiMay Yuen Terry, Cathrine Wambach, Diane Young.

UMRA sincerely thanks Jan Morlock for her outstanding leadership and contributions and energetic commitment to the Retirees Association. And a round of applause for Gary Engstrand for his meeting records and commitment to the board during his tenure as UMRA secretary.

—Frank B Cerra, MD, UMRA past president and Nominating Committee chair

Publication date: 
April 18, 2022
At A Glance
Tuesday, May 24, 2022

2022 Annual Meeting and Forum

Welcome back!

Campus Club, Fourth Floor
West Wing Dining Room
Coffman Memorial Union


10:45 a.m.

Check in


11:15 a.m.

Buffet lunch


Annual Meeting and Forum

Featured speaker
John Coleman, dean
College of Liberal Arts

Chicken in heirloom tomato sauce with roasted Yukon Gold potatoes and seasonal vegetables. GF.
For vegetarian/vegan option, please request when making your reservation.

RSVP by May 13

Prepayment of $25 per person.

Reserve and pay online or contact Diane Young at young054@umn.edu.

Cancellations and refunds will be honored until May 13. We are not able to accommodate registrations on the day of the event.

For a discount of $1 per hour in University parking facilities, use the QR code on the back of your UMRA membership card when exiting. Credit cards only.

UMRA policy requires all participants to be vaccinated. Masks are optional.

Make your reservation today!

Unable to attend in person? Please register and join UMRA’s 2022 Annual Meeting and Forum via Zoom.