Faculty Benefits Committee Annual Report
Sept. 2011 – Sept 2012
Committee Members: Bettina Cothran (Mod Lang) Chair; Stella Richardson (Library); Richard Dagenhart (Arch) [until Dec 2011]; Jason Freeman (Music) [starting Aug. 2012]; Dave Millard(GTRI), Executive Board Liaison; Darlene Wright (Director of Benefits); Barry Sharp (GTRI)[until May 2012], Teresa Snow (Applied Physiology) Amy Laviers (Stud. Rep.); Scott Morris (OHR), ex officio member;
Appointed Staff members as of October 2010: Amy Herron (Controller's Office); Debbie Lee (OIT -Resource Management); Tommy Little (Facilities);
Appointed Retiree Representative: Wayne Book (ME)
The Faculty Benefits Committee had an active year focusing on some significant initiatives; some highlights:
The 2nd Child Care Center up and running; the donated leave program is well received; holiday camps for children covering Federal holidays are fully utilized.
Focal Points this year include:
The FBC is pleased to see that the Provost established the Family Friendly Task Force which is studying benefits related to work/life balance in a comprehensive way and is taking up some of the issues the FBC has dealt with over the last year.
The committee is targeting areas such as camaraderie on campus, healthy living, partner benefits, financial security, maternity leave, and others.
Committee members include Darlene Wright and Bettina Cothran.
The FBC is concerned about the prolonged period of no raises for faculty and staff, as well as effects of salary compression and considered ways how to mitigate this.
As part of this larger issue we discussed faculty/staff recognition. Currently employees are recognized at 10 and 25 years. Also, practices of recognition vary widely within the Institute, ranging from formal dinners with monetary rewards, to recognition at faculty meetings, etc. It was determined that official recognition is important and “best practices” should be shared and established.
As Medical plans are getting increasingly complex, the FBC recommended adding a Calculator for Plan Comparisons on the OHR website which is now up and running. OHR has also added an expanded line of employee voluntary benefit programs, including an option for discounted legal services through ARAG and is in the process of offering two new dental plans through Delta Dental. There is also a new on-campus dental facility serving students, faculty and staff.
The FBC has operated in an expanded version this past year, including three representatives of Staff and one Retiree representative. We feel this set-up has worked very well, integrating concerns of employees on all levels on one forum. We would like to see this change made permanent.
The FBC is currently studying ways of further aiding the transition of an active work life to retirement.
In general, the FBC supports more volunteerism opportunities and activities across campus.