Retired profs continue publishing in new journal

Members of the University’s association for retirees just re-launched a research journal.

Tiffany Lukk

Retired professors can now continue to publish research in a recently revived University of Minnesota Retirees Association publication.
The Journal of Opinions, Ideas and Essays, which launched this month, will allow retired professors to publish their research after they’ve left the school. It’s one of a host of resources UMRA offers to help retired faculty and staff members feel connected to the University.
Originally, microbiology professor Martin Dworkin started the journal in 2013. His death last winter halted JOIE’s publication. But this October, a few of the journal’s founding members re-launched the publication with retired history professor John Howe as editor-in-chief.
“I was on the committee that [Dworkin] put together to develop JOIE, so I stepped in to ensure that JOIE would continue,” Howe said. “With assistance from my wife, Judy Howe, and other JOIE board members, we’ve been making good progress and are now ready to promote JOIE actively in the University community.”
Retired professors have more freedom than active professors in deciding what kind of research they do, said John Anderson, UMRA membership committee chair.
“You have more opportunity to determine what you want to do so you can do the things that you like to do as opposed to the things you need to do,” he said.
A relatively new publishing service started by the University Libraries puts out JOIE annually.
All professors and staff members are eligible to submit work to JOIE — retired or not — and they can submit papers even if they’re not experts in the field. This gives UMRA members a chance to submit papers from research they’re interested in, and not just things in their field, Howe said.
Articles in the most recent volume of JOIE address subjects like environmental activism, art and politics.
Many retired professors are still very active on campus and do things outside of the University’s retirees association, Anderson said. They participate in research programs, practice English conversation with international students and volunteer at events around the University, he said.
UMRA also provides grants of up to $5000 for retired professors and staff members to continue research, Anderson said.
Other activities and services the association offers include a book club, photography club and a support committee for those who are losing or have lost their spouse.
“Some of us who have been at the University for a long time, when we retired it’s not as though we went away or wanted to go away,” Anderson said. “We wanted to still feel as though we’re a part of the University. It’s been a big part of our lives, and we want it to continue that way.”