Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

OLLI Wilmington

Committee Manual

The Osher Organization

Committee Descriptions

Budget Procedures for Council Committees

About Osher

Osher Organization

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Delaware in Wilmington is part of the University of Delaware’s Division of Professional and Continuing Studies. The mission of Osher Lifelong Learning is to provide opportunities for intellectual development, cultural stimulation, personal growth, and social interaction for people 50 years of age or older in an academic cooperative administered by its members who volunteer their time and talents. The program is centered on classes developed and led by fellow members.The Osher Council, in which management of the program is vested, consists of fifteen members who serve three-year terms. The Council Chair and Executive Vice Chair are elected annually. The Council Chair appoints the leadership positions of Vice Chair Academics, Vice Chair Membership, and Finance Officer.

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The Vice Chairs and the Executive Vice Chair appoint chairs of the standing committees in their areas of responsibilities. All appointments are for one year.

Osher members are solicited at the beginning of each semester to join a committee which will best serve as an outlet for their particular strengths and talents. Membership on a committee lasts for one year, but members may be encouraged to sign up again.

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The primary responsibilities of the staff are administrative to facilitate the operation of the program and to connect with other University staff in other divisions.

Major roles include:

  • University coordination
  • Registration and marketing support
  • Course scheduling and catalog production
  • Support of instructors, courses, and other activities and programs
  • Audio/Visual support
  • Accounts receivable and payable
  • Fiscal operations and management

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Committee Descriptions

There are 34 committees of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Delaware in Wilmington. These committees are composed entirely of volunteers―members who join the leadership―bringing energy, experience, and dimension to this dynamic academic community. Thus everyone is enriched by the cooperative spirit, and the program’s purpose and philosophy is fulfilled. All of the committees are critical to the success of Osher Lifelong Learning.

Each committee is important; the function of one is often dependent upon the performance of another. This makes it important that the committees interact with each other in the spirit of the intellectual cooperative which the Osher program represents.

Each committee makes decisions about work in the committee’s area of responsibility. When a change has implications for another committee, or perhaps for the entire Osher program, the issue must be brought to the Executive Committee, which will review the matter and channel appropriate communications to Council for decisions.

  • Art―Organize exhibitions and sales of original art works by members of Osher Lifelong Learning.
  • Book Sale―Organize and conduct an annual sale of books donated by members.
  • Bulletin Boards and Displays―Transmit information on Osher Lifelong Learning courses and activities to program members.
  • Cannon Reading Room―This committee staffs and monitors the Reading room. The Reading room contains class-related materials, periodicals, and newspapers in a quiet and comfortable atmosphere.
  • Computer Coordination―Provide advice and assistance, work with various committees in developing computer-related courses and instructional activities, acquiring computer equipment, and serving as liaison for Osher members.
  • Curriculum―Organize all aspects of Osher Lifelong Learning’s curriculum. This includes maintenance of academic standards, recruitment, approval, and support of instructors, and the selection and approval of courses.
  • Duplication―Duplicates material related to Osher courses and committees.
  • Equipment―Provide leadership and technical skills to help insure that appropriate audiovisual and related technical facilities are available.
  • Facilities/Safety―Conduct and evaluate an evacuation drill each semester and recommend appropriate procedure and facility changes to insure the safety of the Osher program. The committee works with the Manager on issues relating to the maintenance and operation of Arsht Hall and the surrounding property, including start-of-semester parking assistance.
  • Finance Committee―Provide leadership with Finance Office as chair and Manager in preparing and reviewing the Osher Lifelong Learning budget prior to Council approval.
  • Fundraising Committee―To cultivate a culture of giving, the Fundraising committee works in concert with the Office of University Development and Council to design and implement a comprehensive development program in support of the Wilmington Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. The program seeks annual, planned and major gifts, as well as corporate and foundation support.
  • IT Pro Team―Coordinate with UD’s Information Technologies on the operation of the IT network facilities and the use of computer technologies in classroom instruction.
  • June a la Carte―Plan and organize a week long lecture series, two (2) lectures per day, during the month of June.
  • Marketing―Organize and implement a public relations program designed to achieve the membership goals and Osher image desired by the Council in the community.
  • Member Relations―Organize and carry out a program that has as its primary goal to welcome new members. This includes staffing and operating the Name Tag table at the beginning of each semester and assisting with Open House, Bring a Friend Week, and New Member Orientation.
  • Multicultural―The Multicultural Team works to broaden the membership of OSHER Lifelong Learning to include a greater representation of persons from our wider community. The Team shares with our current members the vision of expanding our program and contacts other programs with information about opportunities at Arsht Hall and at other potential locations.
  • Music―Coordinate and guide the Music Program at Osher Lifelong Learning, including instrumental and vocal groups. These groups of Bands, Instrumental Ensembles, and Singers are all represented on the Music Committee.
  • Newsletter―Produce a newsletter three times a semester to keep Osher members informed regarding courses, activities, and policies.
  • OLLI at the Ocean―Plan and organize a four-day session at Rehoboth Beach. Members decide on topics, speakers, and other details of the program.
  • Outreach―Provide speakers and performing groups for community organizations and publicize the Osher program.
  • Reception ―Serve as a welcome center for members and visitors, provide general information about the Osher program, and relieve the Osher staff of as much of the everyday routine as possible.
  • Socials ―Plan and organize the three (3) socials per semester, organizing cookie bakers and volunteers to help set up. Plan and organize holiday and semester-end luncheons.
  • Special Events Wednesdays―Plan, coordinate, and implement programs each Wednesday from 12:40-1:45 p.m. Programs include a balance of topics including current events, medicine, music, science, and the arts.
  • Strategic Planning―Targeted long-range studies of Osher operations as directed by Council Chair.
  • Summer Courses (July)―Plan and organize a summer course activity schedule for a month long summer session, obtaining instructors, and arranging schedules; works closely with Curriculum Committee
  • Travel―Facilitate trip organization to assure compliance with Osher Lifelong Learning and/or University policy
  • Volunteer Development―Recruit volunteers, matching the interests, skills, and talents of members to specific needs of Osher Lifelong Learning and its Committee Chairs. Affirm and celebrate volunteer commitment honoring those who sustain the Osher program.
  • Weekly Activities Notice―Inform membership of weekly activities, reminders of important coming events, changes in calendar, and special announcements by hardcopy or e-mail by each Monday morning. Notices must pertain to a majority of Osher members and don’t include non-Osher activities or items which are otherwise broadly publicized. Information must be placed in the “Weekly Activities” mailbox in the Reception Desk area or e-mailed to the current editor by noon Wednesday of the prior week

Note: At times, a few other ad hoc committees function at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Delaware in Wilmington with members appointed by Council.

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Budget Procedures for Council Committees

When the Council establishes a committee and appoints a chair for that committee, it is not expected that the chair or co-chair will need to use his or her personal funds in the operation of the committee. Some chairs may choose to make some expenditures themselves rather than request funds from the Council budget, and that is certainly their allowed choice, but this document will outline the way in which they can create a budget and obtain the approved funds. It will also cover certain other budget requirements concerning handling of funds. The information herein is drawn from the Osher Financial Handbook and other sources.

The following general principles apply:

  1. Items for personal use by members should normally be purchased by the members themselves. This includes copies of music, music stands, books, study guides, etc. If costs for these items are expected to be more than approximately $25 per semester, this should be specified in the course syllabus.
  2. Except for certain approved Special Events functions, if the committee receives gifts or donations, or collects funds from members for Osher-sponsored trips or other Osher-sponsored events, those funds must be processed through the Osher office.
  3. With narrow exceptions, such as art sales and book sales by author/speakers,
    solicitation is not allowed at Osher and members are not allowed to personally benefit from Osher activities. For details and concerns about activities in gray areas, consult your Council Vice-Chair.
  4. The fiscal budget for Osher is prepared in November of each calendar year, for the next academic year, starting in July, i.e. Fall and Spring semesters. Therefore, except as noted below for the Special Events committees, any committee budget request must be submitted by November 1 of each year. Committees are not required to request a budget unless funding needs are anticipated.
  5. The budget request should be prepared by the committee chair (or co-chairs), and submitted to the Council Vice-Chair responsible for that committee. The request must include the program needing the funds, the amount requested. and the type of expenditure. It is expected that most routine committee requests will be for no more than $200 per year. Larger amounts require additional justification and Council review.
  6. Minor supplies, i.e. paper. pencils, catalogs, copying, etc., are estimated and included in the Osher office budget. and items such as this may be obtained in the office. For committee needs such as banners. signs, and other than the items mentioned above, it is preferable that the items be purchased using a UD credit card, which requires that the request be placed with the office person responsible for the credit card, currently Ellen Saienni. It is possible to obtain after-purchase reimbursement, but Osher procedures require more justification than if the purchase is made by Osher directly.
  7. Limited honoraria and other expenses are allowed for non-Osher speakers and performers, usually but not always for the Special Events Committees. Committee chairs should request these funds from their Academic Vice-Chair as soon as the need is identified to assure compliance with Osher procedures.
  8. Because the planning cycle for Special Events does not realistically allow scheduling speakers and guests through the next fiscal year, a standby budget for honoraria and expenses is listed in the Council budget, and money can be requested when the need is known; it is not necessary to estimate the needs through the budget cycle. Committee chairs should contact their Council Vice-chair when the needs are defined.

For additional information and clarification, consult the Council Chair or Vice-Chair responsible for your committee.

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About Osher

Osher Experience

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Delaware in Wilmington differs from many other educational organizations both in its special goals and in its way of functioning.

At Osher, volunteers present subjects they enjoy and are knowledgeable about to students who are enthusiastic about learning. The absence of exams, grades, or attendance requirements helps to keep both learning and teaching enjoyable. In addition, the Osher program offers an opportunity to form new friendships among mature peers and to explore or improve skills for personal use. Finally, many Osher members see a benefit in simply keeping intellectually and socially active. The Osher program offers many opportunities to promote mental and emotional fitness through the stimulation of new experiences.

Since it offers an environment directed toward the needs and enjoyment of people age 50 and older, the Osher program operates in a different way than most other academic institutions. All of the instructors are members and any member may submit a proposal for a course he or she would like to teach. Therefore, an Osher member may be simultaneously an instructor in one class and a student in several other classes.

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Book Purchases

In person at UD Bookstore on Newark Campus.

  1. Online at www.udel.edu/bookstore
  2. By phone at 302/831-2637
  3. By internet purchase through Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble, etc.

The UD Bookstore no longer sells Osher books at Arsht Hall.

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Building Evacuation Procedures

Evacuation Drill: The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute practices evacuation drills each semester at a time to be determined by university personnel, in keeping with the directives of the University Fire Marshal.

During an evacuation drill, the Ground Floor will be evacuated through the plainly marked Exit doors in lobby, South stairwell, and ground floor classrooms. Ambulatory students will leave first. Some able-bodied students should stay to help any persons who need assistance in reaching the sidewalk and rally point. Do not enter the hallway, but exit directly from lobby, stairwells, or ground floor classrooms.

Second Floor Classrooms: During an evacuation drill, ambulatory students should proceed to the nearest stairway. The elevator will be inoperable. Those who are disabled, or who cannot climb down the stairs, and their companions should congregate on second floor stairwell landings marked, “Areas of Refuge,” where in an actual emergency they would be evacuated by the arriving firefighters. The stair towers are the safest locations in the building and are designed to withstand fires for at least two hours.

Those exiting by the North Stairway (Pennsylvania Avenue side) should exit the building through the first floor door at the foot of the stairwell and proceed to the nearest rally point.

Those proceeding down the South Stairway should exit on the first floor and then through Rooms 108-109. They should then proceed to the nearest rally point.

Evacuation Rally Points: The fair weather rally points are the parking lot, 200 feet from the building for those exiting the South and West sides of the building, and the Garden area for those exiting the North and East ends of the building. In cold or inclement weather move to Goodstay Center.

Do not remain on the sidewalks near exits or in the street in front of the building. University regulations require moving 200 feet away from the building. As soon as the emergency or evacuation drill is over, our campus police officer will signal a return to the building.

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The Class Bulletin Board in the Lobby between the front entrance and the entrance to the Osher office displays Class Schedules, Extracurricular Activities, and Special Notices regarding classes. A bulletin board on the second floor across from the elevator lists classes and room locations.

The Events Bulletin Board located in the hallway off the Lobby, beyond the Osher office displays Osher general information To have items posted on the Events Bulletin Board, place your request/materials in the mailbox labeled “Bulletin Boards inside the Reception Office (114), on the left.

An additional Bulletin Board near the Reading Room posts Travel information and Calendar Postings.

The Lifelong Learning News is published six times per year. To determine the article submission deadline and issue date consult the previous Newsletter.

A weekly bulletin, Osher Lifelong Learning This Week, is available each Monday morning with the week’s schedule. These will be placed in the Lobby and posted on the Bulletin Board. E-mail distribution occurs on Friday of the previous week.


Osher Lifelong Learning This Week has deadlines to ensure that it is distributed in a timely manner. Information should be e-mailed (allhovsep@verizon.net) by the end of the day on Wednesday or a note put in the “Weekly Activities” mailbox behind the Reception desk by Wednesday noon. The person submitting the information must include a name and contact information if questions arise.

Weekly Timelines for Osher Lifelong Learning This Week

Wednesday: All information received

Wednesday evening: First draft prepared and distributed by e-mail to the reviewers. Note: Reviewers include the Editor of the Newsletter (Bob Ehrlich), Official reviewer(s) (Karen Foster), appropriate Office Staff (Carol Bernard, Joni Bero, Jenna Ford), appropriate Committee Chairs, and member(s) submitting information. The Council Chair, Executive Vice Chair, and appropriate computer advisor (Saul Reine) are reviewers.

Thursday: Comments received and corrections made. If necessary, reviewers contacted for clarification. A final draft is prepared on Thursday evening.

Friday noon: Electronic and/or hardcopy draft submitted to Joni for electronic and hard copy distribution.

Preparation of This Week

To ensure that the text of Osher Lifelong Learning This Week remains in a reasonable file size for electronic distribution, information received may be edited for conciseness, grammar/spelling, and appearance. Focus in on communicating the name and purpose of the activity, date/time, and location. Graphics are selected based on minimum size.

Computer Policy

Osher members using University computer facilities, web sites and computer programs must comply with University policies applicable to student use of such facilities.

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Friday Afternoon Programs

The Friday afternoon Programs present a diverse and interesting combination of speakers and events for the edification of Osher Lifelong Learning members and the general public. Programs begin at 1:00 p.m.; questions and answers continue until 2:30 p.m. This weekly series is held during the spring semester only. This series is free and open to the public; so please invite your friends.

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Lunch is a great opportunity to get to know one another. Room 105 is open every day from 11:30 to 1:00 (Wednesdays till 1:30). Purchase hot or cold food in the Garden Café Mondays through Thursdays; or bring your lunch any day if you prefer. Vending machines are also available in the area for drinks and light snacks. On Fridays, members may bring lunch or use vending machines and eat in Room 105 from 11:45 to 1:00 p.m.

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Mailboxes/Reception Room 114

Council Members and Committee Chairs have mail slots on the back wall. U.S. Mail and inter-University mail is delivered to the main Osher office. Checks or other valuable items should be left in the main office, not placed in mailboxes.

Reception Volunteers, located at the Reception Counter to the right of the main entrance, provide services which include greeting people, answering phones, and providing information.

Volunteers will:

  • Keep a calendar with notices of meetings, cancellations of classes, etc. Instructors and committee chairs notify the Osher office of meetings and changes in schedules. The information will be passed on to the Reception Desk.
  • Provide forms for duplicating requests, word processing and/or mailing requests, requests for audio-visual equipment, and trip approval forms.
  • Maintain the Osher Lifelong Learning Information Notebooks which contain much necessary information, Council Meeting Minutes, and answers to commonly asked questions.

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Medical Emergencies

Arsht Hall


For serious life-threatening medical emergencies, call 911 from a personal cell phone or call 9-911 from the nearest University phone. Someone should also be sent immediately to the Lifelong Learning Office (Room 115) or call the University’s Lifelong Learning staff at 302-573-4486, who will contact UD Public Safety. The University’s Public Safety staff assigned to the Wilmington Campus are trained as first responders and equipped with medical equipment.

For less serious medical problems that do not require an immediate call to 911, notify the Office staff immediately, and the University’s Public Safety officer will be contacted.

It is essential to get a trained person to the scene as soon as possible. Do not move an injured or incapacitated person. The assistance you provide should not be given to treat the illness or injury, but to expedite securing professional assistance and treatment as soon as possible.


Cover the person with a blanket to prevent chilling while waiting for help to arrive. A blanket is available in the Lifelong Learning Office. Again, do not move an injured person unless they are in danger of further injury.

Assist by removing bystanders. If the incident occurs in a classroom, the other members of the class may be dismissed to the lobby. A person who feels ill or faint should lie down on the floor. If a person has fallen and cannot get up by him/herself, do not assist them in rising to a sitting or standing position until trained personnel arrive and assess the situation.


A medical emergency can be frightening and embarrassing. The first response of the victim is often to deny that anything is wrong. Holding a hand, keeping fellow members from swarming around the scene and making sure personal belongings are safe can often provide comfort.

Please remind your students and fellow members that PREVENTION IS THE BEST POLICY. Trips and falls are the most preventable incident at Osher Lifelong Learning. Keeping all bags and belongings out of the aisles and areas where a member could trip will help to prevent accidents and injuries.

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Name Tags

New members receive name tags and lanyards. They are available in the lobby during the first two weeks of the semester and afterwards at the Reception Desk. To promote fellowship, all members, new and continuing, are urged to wear their nametags at Osher. Replacements can be obtained at Reception.

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Parking and Entrance Roads

Osher parking hangtags are available without charge. Hang them on the rear view mirror while parked. Returning members receive update stickers while new members should bring their car license number to the Reception Desk and complete the appropriate form to obtain a hangtag. Watch signs for traffic patterns. Please drive SLOWLY. Posted speed limit for the Wilmington campus is 10 m.p.h.

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Public Policy

When offering opinions or perspectives for publication on any subject, Osher members are to acknowledge that they are expressing personal opinions and perspectives and not the opinions or positions of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute or of the University of Delaware.

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Request for Equipment

This form is located in a slot near the “completed” Equipment form slot in the Reception Office, located to the right of the main entrance. Place the completed form in the “Request for AV Equipment” mail slot, located to the left of the entrance to the Reception Office. Please allow one week advance notice so the AV Technicians can respond to your equipment set-up needs.

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Request for Duplication

This form is available in the mailroom to the left of the entrance in the Reception Office, located to the right of the main entrance. Place your duplication request form in the “Duplicating” mail slot located to the left of the entrance to the Reception Office. Allow one week between submission and needed dates. Please follow the directions on the “Request for Duplicating” form when filling out a duplication request.

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Request for Room Usage

One of the things we especially enjoy at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is having a place to call our own. Arsht Hall is one of the finest educational facilities in the country devoted to learning in retirement and we are grateful for that.

However, it is important to recognize that although we may think of Arsht Hall as exclusively ours, Arsht Hall is a University of Delaware building and is shared with other University organizations.

Osher has first priority on space during the weekday hours for the fall and spring semesters and for upstairs rooms during the summer session.

Credit courses meet here on weekday evenings. UD Conference Services rents out space for special events such as meetings or weddings during the weekends, summers, and throughout the week when rooms are available. These other uses are important because they help to pay the operating costs of the facility.

If you need a room for a meeting, schedule with Pam in the Osher office. If audio-visual equipment or a special set up is needed, use the “Request for Equipment Form” (located in the Reception Office) at least a week in advance and include a floor plan or other special instructions.

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The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is a program of the Division of Professional and Continuing Studies of the University of Delaware. Osher members must therefore comply with policies and procedures of the University. Thus, except for designated Osher activities, sales or solicitations on campus are not permitted.

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Special Events Wednesday

This weekly program showcases our in-house talents as well as speakers/artists of interest from outside of Osher. Coordinated by the Special Events Committee, these events are held on Wednesdays from 12:40 to 1:45 in the lunchroom.

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Osher Lifelong Learning Relations / University Liaison

If you plan to ask a faculty member from the University to be a guest speaker, first contact the Manager, Carol Bernard. This is important so that any one particular speaker is not overused by Osher and is appropriately recognized.

A database of guest speakers is maintained by the Curriculum Committee and instructors planning their guest speakers should consult this to assure no conflicts exist. Selected guest speakers not in the database should be added with the dates used.

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