By: Nick Mason, Staff Writer
The Towson University Retired Faculty Association, a group aimed at fostering relationships between retired faculty and the University, is turning a year old this Spring.
TURFA President and professor emeritus Donald Forester, a former biology professor, said that when retiring, it can be common to feel as though you are forgotten.
“When you’re here 40 to 50 years, this is your life and you do bleed black and gold. You want to stay with this university,” Forester said.
Forester is the group’s first president, with Annette Chappell currently sitting as president-elect.
Forester and other founding members of TURFA approached Provost Timothy Chandler about creating the association when they discovered there was not a group for retired faculty on campus. Forester said that Chandler was immediately supportive of the idea.
One of the group’s main goals is to “provide service to the university, primarily through our departments,” according to Forester.
“We feel that we provide a historic service and have been here for 30-50 years,” he said.
He and other members of TURFA want to remain connected to the University and continue to help students.
The group would like to create an annual spring event to “recognize and honor upcoming retirees” and to establish closer relations with the Association of Retirement Organizations in Higher Education and the American Council on Education.
Forester has been with TU since 1974 and works under contract since retiring. He, and many other TURFA members have the rank of emeritus, or emeriti, which Forester described as an academic rank and honorary degree. He said that to earn this title, one must hold the rank of professor and work full time with the University for a certain number of years.
The group currently contains over 50 retired professors from various disciplines, including librarians.
There are over 600 retired TU professors, but there is currently no way to find all of them, Forester said.
The association distributes a biannual newsletter, “The Advocate,” to keep members informed on upcoming events, various tasks and news pieces.
When people are retired, they generally want to have a lot of flexibility with their time, Forester said. He said that he is on campus twice a week, while some of his colleagues may only visit a couple of times a year.