Retired Faculty and Staff Association

Recent News

April 2023 Technology Update: Protect Yourself Online

Dec 27, 2022


By Kyle Gustafson and Joe Grimes 

Version #4


The suggested solutions provided in this document are good, but there may be others that exist that could be better for you as an individual.

  1. The Internet is composed of three parts: open web, deep web, and dark web. All three can be thought of as good and bad, depending on how it is being used. The open Web contains sites that you can search for using standard browser such as chrome. Many people use the terms, deep web and dark web interchangeably, but they are not the same. It is not possible to search for locations on either, but the biggest difference is that activity on the dark web is encrypted. The search engine called “The Onion Router” (TOR) can be used for privacy and on the dark web. I (Joe) have no plans to use it and don’t know much about it because of the dangers of the dark web. The dark web may be used positively for communication between individuals or groups that want to keep it private, but it is also used for nefarious things like the sale of illegal drugs.
  1. A virtual private network (VPN) will provide security for everything that you do on the network.  Many companies require their employees to use one in order to better protect their intellectual property. Other than access to the Cal Poly portal, Cal Poly requires us to use their VPN to access work on computers on the campus. If I (Joe) want privacy when I’m using the web, I use their VPN because when I turn it on, it will be used when I go to any website. There are numerous free and use-for-a-cost versions of VPN available, but I (Joe) don’t want to recommend one.
  1. To maintain good security on your technology devices, you should keep all software current by installing updates. Many updates provide fixes of security problems that existed in the previous version of the software. The following are some devices that have software that should be updated regularly. It is best to keep all software up-to-date, but it is most important to keep your device’s operating system and browsers current. It is recommended that you enable the receipt of software update notifications so you will receive notification of updates when they become available. Also, it is recommended that after the installation you check to be sure the update was actually installed when you tried to do it. 
  •      Computer, With applications (Office, Chrome, Firefox, etc.)
  •      Mobile Devices, With similar applications to those of a computer 
  •      Other possible devices, e.g. router 
  1. There are several ways to provide antivirus software security for your technology devices. These are some of the possibilities, but others are available. 
  •      The latest versions of Windows and Apple operating systems provide good security protection. 
  •      Some Internet Service Providers offer various forms of security support. 

             If you have Spectrum Internet service, information about Spectrum security support may be found at the following websites. Scroll to the bottom of the page for Mac security support. (You may also call them.)



  •      Sophos Home Free is available for your computer at the following website. When you access the website, you will have to scroll down to find the free version.  

  1. Paraphrases (Passphrases) as passwords. The following website provides information about the two types of security and the trade-offs between the two methods.  
  1. Because of the many passwords that we use today, it is good to use password management.  
  •      Apple: iCloud Keychain. Initially, this was only available for Safari on an Apple product, but we understand it is now available for Windows with a Chrome extension. You have to be on iCloud in order to use this. The following website provides information about how to set up this password manager.

  •       Apple or Windows: 1password is another password manager that you may obtain for yourself individually or as a family. There is a charge for this product ($2.99 for an individual or $4.99 for a family of five) and the following is the website for it.  

  • 1password University contains a set of courses on security.
  1. Do not share sensitive data (passwords, credit cards, etc.). There is NEVER a valid reason for anyone to ask you for your password. 

In the future, we anticipate credit card companies will use sophisticated tools to protect your cards. We have not used one of these tools, but Capital One has one that allows you to use a virtual credit card instead of the real one for online transactions using a tool called Eno. You must be a Capital One customer and there are a lot of positive and negative comments in the reviews of this product.  This tool helps protect you from giving your credit card information to the wrong people. 

  1. Back up important material: 
  •      For Apple and Windows computers and some devices you may use either iCloud or Microsoft OneDrive. The following are the websites for these resources information. 



Fall Program Features Presentation on Library Transformation Plans

Oct 13, 2022

On September 20, 2022, retired faculty and staff learned about the $73 million Kennedy Library transformation project scheduled for completion in Fall 2025, with move-in during 2026. While noshing on a delicious complimentary luncheon hosted by Library Services, attendees heard from Dean of Library Services Adriana Popescu about this much-anticipated renovation, which will feature an energy efficient, sustainable design with improved student study spaces and more.The project, Popescu said, will receive $68 million in funding from the Chancellor's Office; the remaining amount must be funded by the University.

In June 2023, the current library will close. During the renovation, some services will move to Crandall Gymnasium.

Goals for the library's transformation include:

  • Connect + Enrich: Strengthen campus community, internally and externally.
  • Showcase + Celebrate: Showcase work that embodies Learn by Doing, the Teacher-Scholar model, and collections.
  • Strengthen Learn by Doing: Support student, faculty, and staff success.
  • Optimize Building Performance: Reduce operating costs while increasing thermal comfort; upgrade building systems; reduce energy use; improve lighting and daylight; increase usable space without building an addition.

Zach Smith, Vice President for Advancement, spoke to the group about identifying donors interested in funding a "Reading Room in the Sky," which will require an addition $5 million. Spanning the library's fourth and fifth floors, this unique space would celebrate Cal Poly's beautiful surroundings while adding 3,000 square feet of new seating.

To lend financial support to the Library's transformation, click here. To view the slides Popescu used in her presentation, including an artist's rendering of the "Reading Room in the Sky," click here.

CSU-ERFSA Offers Special Dues Program

Aug 19, 2022

To celebrate the (hopefully) end of the pandemic, the California State University Emeritus and Retired Faculty and Staff Association (CSU-ERFSA) is offering a half-price membership sale for new members. The sale applies to members who join CSU-ERFSA from July 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022.

To be eligible for this discount, you must mail the application including your check as payment.

You will receive an annual dues renewal notice in 2023 during the month you originally joined CSU-ERFSA. At that time, you will be given several options to renew your membership at the full rate:

  • Monthly dues deductions from your CalPERS warrant
  • Payment via credit card online
  • Check payable to CSU-ERFSA

Membership dues are calculated as a percentage of your gross monthly retirement benefit.

CSU-ERFSA is a statewide organization which devotes itself to addressing the concerns and protecting the rights of all retired CSU faculty and staff. Pension and health care benefits are a particular focus. Dues are nominal, ranging from $5 to $10 a month depending on your monthly pension benefit. A plus is that a portion of these dues gets returned to the Cal Poly Retired Faculty and Staff Association (RFSA) and helps to fund member programs.

To learn more about CSU-ERFSA and membership benefit, click here.


Important News from RFSA's University Technology Liaison

Aug 19, 2022

"There are five important topics regarding Computer Technology that all Cal Poly retirees should be aware of," says Joe Grimes, RFSA's University Technology Liaison:

  • Email Communications from RFSA
  • Desktop Microsoft Office License for Retirees
  • Updating Your Email Software
  • Security Software for Your Computer
  • Cal Poly Retiree Email Alias versus Cal Poly Employee Email Alias

Each of these topics is addressed in depth below. Joe will be happy to answer any questions retirees might have regarding these topics. Send him an email or call him at 805-540-0678.

Topic 1: Email Communications from RFSA

Not getting Emails from RFSA? Email is the primary method RFSA uses to communicate with its members. We share updates regarding events and field trips, Cal Poly technology, and learning opportunities. Recently, we found that some retirees have accidentally unsubscribed for RFSA emails.

Important note: For each email sent by Cal Poly, there is a choice of unsubscribing from that particular email list (i.e. department-specific emails) or from all email sent by Cal Poly.

If you'd like to subscribe (or re-subscribe) to RFSA email correspondence, click here to complete the short re-subscription form.

It would be helpful when you are talking to retiree friends, that you let them know about this possibility, especially if they have accidentally unsubscribed from our email list.

Topic 2: Desktop Microsoft Office License for Retirees

Recently you may have received an email from Cal Poly that your desktop license for Microsoft Office will be terminated. However, it is possible for you to have it reinstated if you are:

  • volunteering with Cal Poly;
  • involved in research and/or developing a publication that will be associated with Cal Poly; or
  • doing something related to Cal Poly that requires the use of the software.

Click here to link to the technical support service area where you may request the reinstatement of your license. At this location, you will have to provide your email address and you will then go to the service request location.

When you get to the service request location, you should do the following:

  1. Under general, state, “Microsoft license.”
  2. Under description, state the reason you believe you should have the license reinstated for you. For example, you might state “I am a volunteer tutor of students in the mathematics department.”
  3. Submit your request.

You will continue to have access to the Internet version of Microsoft Office. To use this, log into the portal, select mail and calendar, the Microsoft applications will appear on the left side of your screen, and then you can select the one that you want to use by clicking on it.

Topic 3: Updating Your Email Software

Some of you may have received an email from ITS which stated, in part:

"Microsoft will stop allowing older technical methods to log on to email servers starting October 1, 2022. You are receiving this email because our logs indicate that your email software uses one of these methods to log on to your email account. This early notification is to assist you in updating your software this summer and avoid the fall rush of things to do...If you have any questions, please email or call the Help desk at, 805-756-7000."

If you received such an email, our recommendation is that you go to this website and submit a request for information about your particular device(s)--such as an iPad--and the software on that device which needs to be updated. When you receive that information, you can then either update the software yourself or call the Help Desk, 805-756-7000, and have them help you complete the update.

Topic 4: Security Software for your Computer

For at least 10 years, Cal Poly has not officially supported security software for emeritus retirees. There is no guarantee that this is something that the university would ever be able to officially support, but it really isn't needed anymore, for the reasons discussed below.

The following details how Windows, Macintosh, and some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provide security software that we would advise you to use. Cal Poly ITS provided the following information regarding security options:

  1. Any emeritus who uses Windows should be using Windows 10 or 11. If anyone is using anything older than Windows 10, the absolute first thing they should do is upgrade to Windows 10 or 11 as Windows 7 and older versions of Windows are no longer supported (and have not been for years) by Microsoft. This is the biggest risk to any user of these devices, especially if they go online. Windows 10 and 11 both come with built-in security software (Windows Defender) that works well for personal computers. Click here for a good guide on how to configure it. This protection covers most, if not all, necessary security needs for personal devices. In addition to this, the best thing to do is keep the device up to date with all necessary security updates and Windows Defender definition updates. On a personal note, I use Windows Defender on my personal Windows computers. The only computers I use Sophos Home for are my kids' devices and that is really only for the extra layer of web control capabilities to protect them online as minors.
  2. Any emeriti user who uses a Mac has built-in security software as well. Like most things from Apple, these are a bit of a black box to the user of the device, but they are still there. Click here to read more about security on Macs. The trick is, they must use a supported version of MacOS. This is generally the latest version and the two previous versions. Unfortunately, there is no official policy from Apple on this, so we really can't give much more guidance than that. The best thing we can say for emeriti users of Apple computers wanting to be secure is that you need to be prepared to replace the device every five years (occasionally longer) to stay on a supported version of the software. Just like Windows though, the device needs to be kept up to date with security updates to be secure.
  3. In addition to the above, some users may still find that they feel more comfortable with a third-party security software. Many vendors offer a free home version, just like Sophos does. In addition to that, though, most ISPs (Internet Service Providers) like Spectrum (for the San Luis Obispo area) offer it for free as well. Click here for information on how to install it for Spectrum users. I am not sure if this is still the case, but several years back this was just a re-skinned version of F-secure's security software. For those who live in other areas and/or don't have Spectrum, ISPs like Verizon and Cox offer equivalents. They can reach out to their ISP directly for assistance getting that software.

We are working with ITS and hope to put together a session on what things retirees should do to protect themselves online. If such a workshop is developed, we will notify you by email. The human is the most important element in security. Being aware and following good fundamentals will always be the best way to stay secure. That is why we are trying to put together such a session facilitated by ITS so you will be current in your knowledge of technology. We will notify you by email when such a session will be provided.

Topic 5: Cal Poly Retiree Email Alias versus Cal Poly Employee Email Alias

Unless you have unsubscribed from the Cal Poly retiree email alias, you are receiving emails that are sent to that alias. Because some emails sent to the Cal Poly employee alias are not sent to retirees, some retirees who volunteer or work with the university in some capacity have requested being placed on the employee alias. We are working with the university to develop a process that will allow retirees the option of being placed on that alias. When that process is developed, we will notify you by email of the opportunity.

Join the RFSA on a Trip to Monterey

Aug 19, 2022

Cal Poly’s Retired Faculty and Staff Association invites you to join us October 19, 2022 for a day trip via chartered bus to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and 17-Mile Drive.

Spend the day with fellow retirees while enjoying the amenities of the Aquarium, which is known for its playful sea otters, flashy fishes, mesmerizing jellies, swirling sardines, and many other amazing exhibits, as well as enjoying the breathtaking views of 17-Mile Drive in Pebble Beach.

All sites at the Aquarium are accessible to those with disabilities. Wheelchairs are available free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis at the Information Desk inside the Aquarium's Main Entrance.

Attendees will leave from the Performing Arts Center (PAC) in San Luis Obispo at 7:00 am, and from the former K-Mart parking lot in Atascadero at 7:35am. We expect to return to the PAC at 6:15pm. 

The cost for attending the event is $100.00 per person; $110.00 per person if you RSVP and pay after September 1, 2022. (Add $10 more if you are under 65 due to the cost of admission to the Aquarium)The price includes charter bus travel, entrance to both the Aquarium and 17-Mile Drive, and snacks on the bus. A meal is not included. The Aquarium has a Cafe, or feel free to eat at any of the restaurants across the street, or bring a sack lunch.

You are encouraged to reserve early, as the space on the bus is limited to 54 attendees. RSVP to Dana Azevedo at or 805-441-8691. She will provide you with payment options. Attendees may also let Dana know if they want to be picked up at Cal Poly or Atascadero.

We need to have a minimum number of attendees to make this trip possible. If we do not meet our minimum number by September 15th, we will postpone the trip to a future date. If this occurs, everyone will receive a full refund.

If you cancel after we’ve met the minimum number of attendees (September 15th), your deposit is not refundable as we are obligated to pay for your seat on the bus.

We hope to see you there!

June Jubilee 2022 Celebrates Retired Faculty and Staff

Jul 7, 2022

On June 30, 2022, Cal Poly retired faculty and staff gathered in the lobby of Harold Miossi Hall in the Performing Arts Center on the Cal Poly campus for June Jubilee, hosted by Vice President for University Development and Alumni Engagement Zachary K. Smith.

The program featured a complimentary luncheon, live music by a student ensemble, and remarks by Retired Faculty and Staff Association (RFSA) President Bill Kellogg, Past President Joe Grimes, and Zack Smith.

Bill Kellogg's remarks included the introduction of the RFSA Board members in attendance, a welcome to incoming association vice president Charlie Crabb, and a thank-you to outgoing vice-president Jim Murphy for all the work he did to arrange three exceptional RFSA programs during academic year 2021-2022. Zack Smith's remarks paid tribute to the many contributions made by retired faculty and staff, their importance to the Cal Poly community, and their dedication to the ongoing support of the University.

Following their remarks, RFSA Scholarship Chair Laura Dimmitt introduced the 2021-2022 Centennial Scholars Payton Southwick (COSAM) and Cherokee Trent (CLA), each of whom received a $3,000 scholarship award.

The Retired Faculty and Staff Centennial Scholarship is the official philanthropy of the Retired Faculty and Staff Association. As of the 2021-2022 academic year, 24 students have received Centennial Scholarships, which are awarded to top scholars entering Cal Poly as freshmen who have demonstrated leadership and meritorious service to their schools and communities. The first scholarship was awarded in 2003.

Spring Quarter Tour and Lunch

Mar 24, 2022

Our Spring Quarter Program was held on April 21, 2022, at the JUSTIN and J. LOHR Center for Wine and Viticulture, Building 156, Mt. Bishop Road, Cal Poly Campus.

The program began  at 11 am with a tour of the new JUSTIN and J. LOHR Center for Wine and Viticulture, led by Andy Thulin, dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences; Benoit Lecat, Wine and Viticulture department head; and Jim Shumate, winery manager. The tour included the viticulture lab, fermentation hall, enology lab and research analysis lab, barrel rooms, sensory lab, and the Dean's Conference Room.

The JUSTIN and J. LOHR Center for Wine and Viticulture is the largest completely donor-funded capital project in the history of the CSU and will enhance the Wine and Viticulture program at Cal Poly for years to come. The complex includes a state-of-the-art 5,000-case bonded winery complete with a fermentation hall, bottling room, barrel rooms and research labs. The adjacent E. & J. Gallo Winery & Family Building includes viticulture, enology and sensory labs, shared offices for faculty and students and an expansive conference hall.

Following the tour, participants enjoyed lunch together provided by the Agricultural Engineering Society (AES) student BBQ group, and tasted two student-made wines--one a blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot; the other a blend of 61% Petit Verdot and 39% Petite Sirah.


Continue reading Spring Quarter Tour and Lunch...

Winter Quarter Program and Luncheon

Feb 10, 2022

RFSA's Winter Quarter Program and Lunch was held on February 16, 2022 at the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) on Higuera Street in downtown San Luis Obispo. The CIE helps students and community members acquire the tools, develop the skills, and cultivate the mindset of an entrepreneur. The program included a walk-through of the facility, a presentation by the CIE's executive director, John Townsend, and a complimentary lunch courtesy of the CIE.

Cal Poly Offering Emeriti Free On-Campus COVID Testing

Jan 13, 2022

The Cal Poly RFSA is pleased to report that Cal Poly will test emeriti faculty and staff for COVID-19 for free.  Here is the link for emeriti faculty and staff to sign up for testing at Cal Poly’s saliva testing site:  Testing can be done via appointment or by walk-in.  Folks testing by either appointment or walk-in will need to ensure they get a 6-digit code at least one hour prior to arriving at the testing site. Use the link above to get the code.

RFSA Visit to Monterey Aquarium and 17-Mile Drive POSTPONED

Jan 11, 2022

Our planned trip to The Monterey Bay Aquarium and 17-Mile Drive had to be postponed. Stay tuned for when the trip will be rescheduled. These were the details:

Retired faculty and staff are invited to travel by charter bus to visit The Monterey Bay Aquarium ( ) and 17-Mile Drive ( on Wednesday, March 9. 

Spend the day with fellow retirees while enjoying the amenities of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which is known for its playful sea otters, flashy fishes, mesmerizing jellies, swirling sardines, and many other amazing exhibits, as well as enjoying the breathtaking views of 17-Mile Drive in Pebble Beach.

All sites at the Aquarium are accessible to those with disabilities.  Wheelchairs are available free of charge and on a first-come, first-served basis at the Information Desk inside the Main Entrance.

All visitors must present proof of full vaccination, or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 24 hours of our visit and wear a mask to enter the Aquarium.  You can enjoy faster entry to the Aquarium with a digital vaccine card from CLEAR ( ). This serves as both identification, and proof of vaccination, and gives you access to their express entry line.  Please visit their site for more detailed information regarding this. 

Attendees will leave from the Performing Arts Center (PAC) in San Luis Obispo at 7:00 am, and from the former K-Mart parking lot in Atascadero at 7:35am.  We expect to return to the PAC at 6:15pm. 

The cost for attending the event is $95.00 per person, and $105.00 per person if you RSVP and pay after Feb 1st.  The price includes charter bus travel, entrance to both the Aquarium and 17-Mile drive, and snacks on the bus. 

A meal is not included.  You may bring your own sack lunch or arrange with Dana Azevedo to have a boxed lunch picked up from Compagno’s Market and Deli in Monterey after we depart from the Aquarium for an additional cost of $23.  We’ll eat on the bus while enjoying the amazing views of 17-Mile Drive in Pebble Beach.

You are encouraged to reserve early, as the space on the bus is limited to 54 attendees.  RSVP to Dana Azevedo at or 805-441-8691.  She will provide you with payment options, as well as the deli form (if you would like to order a boxed lunch).  Attendees may also let Dana know if they want to be picked up at Cal Poly or Atascadero.

We need to have a minimum number of attendees to make this trip possible.  If we do not meet our minimum number by February 8th, we will cancel the trip and reschedule it for a future date. If this occurs, everyone will receive a full refund.

If you cancel after we’ve met the minimum number of attendees (February 9th), your deposit is not refundable as we are obligated to pay for your seat on the bus.


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