Faculty Benefits Committee Meeting Minutes

March 4, 2009, 9:30 – 11:00 AM


Present:   Bettina Cothran (chair), Wayne Book, Clint Demetriou, Chuck Donbaugh, Blair Funderburk, Barbara Henry, Sharon Ray, Barry Sharp, Teresa Snow

Absent:   Lee Montaña



Minutes from the 2/04/09 Committee Meeting were reviewed and approved.


Old Business

Barbara Henry—Update on Subcommittee to look at Donated Sick Leave

Barbara Henry spoke to an HR rep at Georgia State University (GSU) about their donated sick leave program.  They do not fund the program upfront. 

One HR person oversees program as part of their job responsibilities.  Employees can sign up to participate in the donation of sick leave during the regular open enrollment period.Under GSU’s program, employees can donate both sick leave and vacation time. These are made to a common pool.

Sharon Ray commented that not funding program upfront could be problematic.  For example, over the last few months, GT has paid out more vacation leave than originally anticipated.

Action Item— Subcommittee is waiting to hear back from Chuck Donbaugh regarding day/time to meet with Joel Hercik.  Further updates are pending.


Clint Demetriou and Sharon Ray—Update on TIAA-CREF Project

Survey on retirement plans was sent to FBC members last week for review prior to the meeting.  It was also reviewed by the HR Senior Leadership Team (SLT).  The comments received were relayed to the four MBA management students involved in the study and TIAA CREF.  Pilot testing will be done this week with about 10 employees.  If everything goes well, the survey will then be sent to all employees prior to spring break (~March 18th) for completion.

Action Item— Further updates will be given pending completion of the survey.


Bettina Cothran—Update on Long-Term Care

Although GT does not currently offer long-term care (LTC), the state employee’s credit union (SECU) is now offering LTC insurance.  The insurance is part of an agreement between SECU and CUNA Mutual Group.  So until GT has a program, this may be a viable option for GT employees.



New Business

Sharon Ray- New COBRA Regulations

Cobra Regulations effective March 1st will expand terms.  Any employee who has bee involuntarily terminated between 9/1/08 and 12/31/09 will qualify for premium assistance (65% of premium cost) for up to 9 months. (Cobra typically runs for 18 months, but only 9 months is subsidized).

This will include all group health plans (ex. Dental, Vision) except FSA.

HR will put together task force from Benefits and Payroll to meet with Ceridian and discuss.

There will be a meeting of the HR representatives on Thursday, March 5th to make everyone aware of the changes.


Sharon Ray- Change in Benefits Manager

Sharon Ray also announced to the committee that Linda Mitchell, the GT Benefits Manager, will be retiring at the end of March.   Linda has agreed to come back part-time beginning in May to help the transition period go smoothly as a new manager takes over.


Clint Demetriou— Great Colleges to Work

Program is designed to recognize institutions that have created exceptional work environments.  Yearly results are published in The Chronicle's Academic Supplement in July 2009.

GT will participate in the surveys between Mar 18th -Apr 30th .


Clint Demetriou—Broker Benefit Services

GT benefits are handled through a broker.  Commonly, there is a re-evaluation process every 3-4 years. GT is currently entering such a process, after a somewhat longer term than usual with the current provider.

Action Item—Clint Demetriou will continue to provide updates to committee on progress.


Other Business

Bettina Cothran had received an inquiry about one-time opportunities to switch retirement plans.  Some university systems outside of Georgia offer it.  However, Chuck Donbaugh said that there was no such provision in Georgia.  


Schedule of Upcoming Meetings


Thursday April 9, 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.

                        Tuesday May 5

 Meetings will be held in the OHR Conference Rm (220)