The history of LUFA-R has its beginnings in 1992 when the Laurentian University Faculty Association (LUFA) decided to form a committee whose objectives were to assemble recently retired faculty and also to study whether and how such retirees in other Canadian universities faculty had established their own organizations.
After a one-year existence, this committee became the Laurentian University Faculty Association – Retirees (LUFA-R) in 1993 established mostly by retired faculty from the Social Sciences. Dr Jean Havel, retired that same year from the Department of Political Science, was its founding member and president. LUFA-R’s original objective was to organize social events, such as luncheons, and thus serve as a friendly society/amicable. Early on, it acquired a second objective: lobbying the university administration for benefits such as stipends for medical expenses.
The Association was ensconced in the Collective Agreement between Laurentian University’s Faculty Association (LUFA) and its Board of Governors in order to protect its Members’ health benefits and the research fund, the latter negotiated in 2007 by Don Rousell, president from 2004 to 2006.
In order to establish their separate identity from LUFA, retirees decided at their Annual General Meeting in May 2015 to adopt the name of Association of Retired Academics at Laurentian University (ARALU).
When faculty and librarians retire from the university and cease being members of LUFA, they automatically become members of LUFA-R/ARALU. Spouses, former administrators, part-time faculty, technicians can also become members but cannot serve on its Board of Directors. To become an active member, he/she has to pay an annual fee whose amount is decided by the Board (it has been 10 $ since the Association’s foundation).
The Board of Directors, composed of about nine members, meets monthly from September to April. The Association’s Annual General Meeting is generally held in May at which time members elect the Board of Directors and decide other matters relating to their common interests. The Board has non-voting representatives on LUFA, the university’s pensions and benefits committees as well as on the LUFA Collective Agreement Negotiation Committee. It is also a member of the Colleges and Universities Retirees Association of Canada (CURAC)
The Association’s original constitution, written shortly after its foundation, seeks to advocate for retiree benefits as well as maintain collegial social contacts. Periodically a directory of members’ contact information is published and a newsletter is distributed. The Secretary arranges for gifts and cards to be sent to members who may be ill and to families of members who pass away. Fundraising is active for the Association’s Memorial bursary in honour of past members; it is awarded annually to a Laurentian student.
Since its foundation, the Association has succeeded in obtaining a number of benefits for its members, such as:
- The same library privileges as full-time faculty;
- The same exemption from tuition fees for themselves, spouses and dependants as full-time faculty;
- The same eligibility for Physical Education facility membership for themselves, their souses and dependants;
- Annual access to a Research Fund worth 20 000 $ upon application for research, publication and/or conference attendance expenses;
- Those with at least fifteen years service to the university can be reimbursed for medical and health care expenses including premium payments to insurance plans;
- Free parking in allotted lots.
The Association’s office, located for a number of years in room C-318 of the Arts building was relocated in the Fall of 2015 to room L-625 of the Parker building. Members can contact the Association through its new website, by email (LUFAR@laurentian.ca) or by telephone at extension 1098.
Françoise Arbuckle with additional material from Donald Dennie