Faculty Benefits Committee Meeting

Monday, April 9, 2012 8:25 – 9:55 AM


Present:   Bettina Cothran (Chair), Amy Heron, Tommy Little, Dave Millard, Stella Richardson, Barry

                 Sharp, Teresa Snow, Darlene Wright (Dir. Benefits), Amy Laviers (student  rep.)

Absent:   Debbie Lee, Wayne Book (retiree rep.)



Minutes from 2/27/12 were reviewed and approved.


Darlene Wright:  Great Colleges to Work For Survey


OHR has taken over the Great Colleges to Work For Survey.  Survey is sponsored by The Chronicle of Higher Education and ModernThink LLC.


Survey is currently out and OHR would like everyone to encourage people to participate if they were one of the 600 employees randomly selected to receive the survey request.


Darlene Wright:  Process Enhancement

OHR is conducting team meetings where individuals will be selected to present information regarding their expertise.  Purpose is to help cross train employees so that people can fill in as needed and also better answer questions that may come up.  Team meetings are generating good discussion and can help OHR find better ways of doing things as questions and ideas are generated from these discussions.


Darlene Wright:  Retiree Open Enrollment

Retiree open enrollment has been a manual process. OHR benefits is  currently working on plans to streamline the process for next year.  Plans include:


            Build out website  (e.g. clarify difference between retired and retired/working part time)

            Create video resource for information

            Schedule additional Silver Jackets Meeting

            Reduce some open enrollment forms (for example, emergency contact form)


Darlene Wright: Calculator for Plan Comparisons

An on-line tool that employees could use to compare medical plans is in the works to be up and running for the next open enrollment.   


Brokers have identified a suitable plan comparison tool. 

Darlene confirmed that it would include cost of medication in calculation.


Darlene Wright: Volunteer Activities


OHR has been working on increasing volunteerism. 

Currently department has been doing some fun social activities centered on volunteerism—

May try to roll something out to the larger campus community to increase involvement.


Family Friendly Task Force

The Provost has established a Family Friendly Taskforce which will study benefits related to work/life balance in a comprehensive way.  A team of about 15 campus employees is serving on the taskforce, including Bettina Cothran and Darlene Wright.

The team has identified categories important to balancing work and family demands.  They will compile information regarding resources and needs and present it to the administration. 

Categories identified include:  Special Needs, Schedule Flexibility, Support Groups, Connecting the Community, Meeting Financial Demands, etc.

The Task Force considers this as beneficial in GT”s quest to attract and retain   employees.

One example of expanding benefit options is Purchasing Power through an employee purchasing program.  Company buys bulk items and sells at discounted rates.  Can work out payment plan with no interest for 12 months.  It may benefit individuals who might not otherwise qualify for credit.  Currently OHR is meeting with marketing and communication to discuss.


Teresa Snow:  Employee Health and Fitness Day

GoTECH, in conjunction with OHR, will be having a Health Fair at GT on May 16 to coincide with National Employee Health & Fitness Day.  Health Fair will be held in the Student Center Ballroom.  CRC will also be holding special events that week such as a Free ExpressFit class (May 15) and a campus walk (May 17).  Flyers are ready and will be sent out soon.


A number of vendors will be present, including HealthCheck.  For anyone who needs to get an annual blood test, a number of options will be offered at significantly reduced costs.  Employees can file the

bill with insurance for reimbursement.  Healthcheck will accept HSA debit cards in addition to standard methods of payment.


FBC Year End Summary: comments/updates regarding “old business”:


(1)   Stella Richardson suggested there needs to be follow up to close the loop on Crime Alerts.  Dave Millard stated the Welfare and Safety Committee should address this.

(2)   Benefits will be changing Cobra vendors—working on switch now.  Want to make it an automated process.

(3)   Dentist at Stamps Health Services—should happen soon.  Details are still being worked out.

(4)   PPO—Darlene Wright stated that, upon request, OHR will try to help with getting doctors to join network.

(5)   Electronic Sick Leave—There is a new electronic program called Time Out.  Some departments are already using it.  Program is being rolled out to different units at different times.

(6)   Summer Camp—Info has been sent out.

(7)   Staff representation on FBC—Bettina Cothran stated we need to address next year how to make staff and retiree representation on FBC permanent. 

(8)   As a follow up to point #7, a statement was made that the institute wants to involve retirees more.  Increased involvement can come through volunteering, mentoring, advising students, etc.

(9)   FBC would like to explore ways to better interact with constituents on campus in order to increase visibility and utilization.  Dave Millard stated that the executive board is pushing to redo the Faculty Handbook.  That may provide an opportunity to help address this issue.

     (10) FBC feels salary compression should continue as an item on  the agenda—There is  a growing         discrepancy  between long-term employees and new hires.

     (11)  Bettina Cothran would like the FBC to focus more on needs of graduate students, including post-docs.



FBC meetings for Fall Semester


All meetings to take place from 8:30 – 10:00



First meeting of fall semester is scheduled for August 27th

Monday, Sept. 24th

Monday, Oct 29th

Monday, Dec. 3rd


Meetings will occur in the OHR Conference Rm (229) unless otherwise noted.