Records indicate that retired faculty were gathering for an annual Christmas party as early as 1999. Also retired faculty gathered for lunches each Friday. Serious discussions about formalizing The University of Lethbridge Retired Faculty Association (ULRFA) began in the spring of 2002 led by Dr. Paul Lewis, a long-time faculty member and Professor of Biology (Parasitology) from 1967 - 1996. Bob Anderson, Laurence Hoye, Marty Oordt, Doug Petherbridge, and Ed Webking were also involved in the steering committee.
A founding meeting for ULRFA was held on 3 December 2002 in AH100 with Paul Lewis as the first President. Subsequent Presidents include:
- Ed Webking (2003-2008);
- Marty Oordt (2008-2011);
- Mark Sandilands (2011-2015);
- Lynn Ambedian (2015-2017);
- Ian Maclachlan (2017-2019); and
- Sharon Yanicki (2019-present).
ULRFA was incorporated as an Alberta Society in 2004.
The purposes articulated by the founders of the ULRFA were:
The purposes of the Association were and remain to:
- facilitate the membership’s continuing contribution to the University of Lethbridge and the wider community;
- act as a liaison between the University and the community of retired academic staff;
- sponsor and support programs and activities that enhance the welfare of the University and the wider community;
- maintain contact with the local, provincial and national community of retired academic staff, their activities, and concerns;
- promote and safeguard the status and privileges of retired academic staff; and
- provide opportunities for social and intellectual interaction among the membership.
In 2018-2019, two major accomplishments were realized:
- the Bylaws for the ULRFA were revised extensively and officially approved at the 2019 AGM. These changes included a change to the name of the Association.
- ULRFA negotiated an official agreement, the Memorandum of Reciprocity, for post-retirement support (benefits) with the University of Lethbridge administration (effective December 2019)
Following the 2019 AGM and the approval of the revised Bylaws, ULRFA officially changed its name to the University of Lethbridge Retired Academic Staff Association (ULRASA).