Faculty Benefits Committee Meeting

Monday, April 1st, 2013 8:25 – 9:55 AM


Present:   Bettina Cothran (Chair), Amy Heron, Tommy Little, Dave Millard, Nazia Zakir (Executive Board Liaison), Stella Richardson, Teresa Snow, Darlene Wright (Dir. Benefits) & Athena Jones (guest, OHR Sr. Benefits Specialist).


Absent:   Wayne Book (retiree rep.), Jason Freeman (sick).




Minutes from 02/25/13 were reviewed and approved.




I. Update 403B Investment Committee—Darlene Wright.


The investment committee will be meeting with vendors late April – May.  Each vendor has been scheduled.  The committee is considering adding Valic as a third provider for the plan, in addition to TRS and Fidelity.

Action Item:  Updates will be provided at May meeting.



II. Update OHR New Hires—Darlene Wright.

OHR is still trying to hire a Total Rewards Specialist.  They have interviewed some very good people but it is hard to compete with corporate after 5 years without merit increases.


OHR is trying to differentiate in terms of benefits, work flexibility, and time off.

Action Item:  Updates will be provided as they become available.


III. FBC was introduced to Athena Jones (Senior Benefits Specialist – Leave)

Ms. Jones spent 8 ½ years with Ga. Perimeter.  Prior to that, she worked in the corporate environment.  Her primary role at GT is medical leave, although she is also a support person for questions regarding educational leave (to ensure benefits coverage while faculty member is on leave).


Ms. Jones will work with FMLA—12 weeks of job protected leave, which is a federal program governed by specific rules and regulations.  FMLA is mandatory leave and needs to be declared if you are out for more than 3 consecutive days. It is currently decentralized, and plans call for administering it centrally.  To this end:

(1) Athena is reaching out to HR reps & asking for 12 months of historical data. 

(2)  OHR has requested a FMLA audit as a proactive measure.

 OHR expects to get identification of issues and suggestions through the audit.



OHR is also working on manager training.  They now have videos on FMLA. 


Bettina Cothran stated that it would be good to have a spot on the faculty meeting agendas for all colleges to present information.

Darlene Wright stated that they are redesigning the new hire orientation.  They may move to online tutorials.  New hires might not be allowed to sign hiring packet until they watch all videos.  FMLA could be a part of that.

With respect to FMLA, questions have come up already.  For example, 9 mo. faculty could run into problematic situations during the summer semester, which is not part of the regular workload assignment.

Action Item:  Updates will be provided as they become available.


IV. Update on Changes for Jan 1st New Hires—Darlene Wright.

Medical funding changed.  For employees hired prior to 1/1/13, when eligible to retire, funding of medical premiums is same for everybody.

For retirees hired after Jan 1st, the amount of system funds has changed to 15% of medical plans.  As you increase service time, the percentage goes up.  After 30 service years, it is 70%.


New Business

I.  Job Classifications—Nazia Zakir

    The Provost is looking at getting rid of general faculty classifications.  Has asked committee to come up with a transition plan.

 Action Item:  Updates will be provided as they become available.


Other Items

Due to time constraints, updates on Childcare, Service Awards and Family Friendly Task Force will be moved to May meeting.



FBC meetings for Spring Semester

Monday, May 6th


All meetings to take place from 8:25 – 9:55. Meetings will occur in the OHR Conference Rm (229) unless otherwise noted.