Faculty Benefits Committee Meeting
Minutes, April 18, 2005
2:30 – 4:00
The following committee members were present: Dale Atkins, Michael Chang, Michael Elliott, Blair Funderburk, John Grovenstein, Jean Hudgins, and Gayle Warren.
Minutes for the March meeting were approved.
Since Heather Gorman has resigned from Georgia Tech, Michael Chang will serve as the Benefits Committee rep to the Office of Human Resources working group on childcare.
The Benefits Committee reviewed the results of our assessment of Georgia Tech and college policies concerning leaves of absence from Tech. These policies, see attached, vary considerably across academic units, with some focusing on early career development and others on mid- and late-career development.
The committee believes that it would be helpful for the President’s Office to explicitly support the efforts of colleges and schools to develop policies promoting professional leaves, where appropriate, but that policies governing such leaves should largely be developed within each academic unit. Explicit support by the President’s Office would potentially promote more explicit faculty leave policies, which could be helpful both in recruitment and in development of current faculty. Michael will develop proposed wording for review at the next meeting.
The upcoming capital campaign provides an opportunity to provide a funding base for faculty development grants. A program of leaves in which 30 to 70 faculty per year were provided at least partial assistance would require an endowment of $50 to $100 million. These could be named fellowships, and variously oriented toward pre-tenure and more advanced faculty development needs. Such a program should require a proposal and be competitively awarded through a peer reviewed process. Dale will look into this for the next meeting.
GT retires 80 faculty per year.
Out of 185 retirees who are working at Tech, 91 are associated with GTRI. Academic faculty usually work for just a couple of years, often helping the academic unit through a transition as new faculty are recruited. GTRI retirees often work for much longer (5-10 years). GTRI often uses retirees to finish up projects.
TRS prevents retirees from earning more than 49% of terminal salary. The policy has been made more liberal over time. The old policy restricted TRS payments plus post-retirement salary to less than 100% of the retirees terminal salary. Hourly employees can work up to 19 hours per week.
The issue of retirees working seems to be mostly a human resource development issue (mentoring, working) rather than a benefits issue.
The remaining meeting will be held on Monday, from 2:30 to 4:00, on May 9th.