Faculty Benefits Committee Meeting Minutes

November 27, 2007, 9:30 – 11:00 AM


Present:   Chuck Donbaugh, Blair Funderburk, Bettina Cothran, John Grovenstein, Matthew McDowell, Clint Demetriou, Barbara Henry, Barry Sharp, Lee Montana, Teresa Snow

Guest:      Linda Mitchell

Absent:    Dale Atkins


Minutes from the 10/23/07 Committee Meeting were reviewed and approved.

Chuck Donbaugh—update on childcare issue.

o   Funds have been requested for 2nd childcare facility.  Next steps are:

o   12/3 meeting with Provost.

o   12/13 follow-up with Dean.

o   Action Item—Updates from these meetings will be given at next committee meeting.

Clint Demetriou—update on benefits for staff on foreign assignment.

o   Interim policy for compensation is in place to address exchange rate between US dollar and foreign monies (Effective October 2007).

o   Includes staff, tenured and tenure track faculty.  Excludes study abroad.

o   Compensation is paid as supplemental compensation.  Based on average rate effective July 2007 and will be reviewed and adjusted (if necessary) every six months.

o   Adjustment percentage is based on 40% of employee’s gross salary.

o   Approval is on case by case basis determined by the unit’s Chief Academic or Chief Administrative Officer.

o   Steven W. McLaughlin is assuming the lead to develop framework for international assignments.  Currently 2-5 yr is long-term XPAT.  More than 90 days but less than 2 semesters is short-term XPAT.  Eventually 2 semesters to 5 years will be long-term and it will apply to GTRI in Ireland.


Clint Demetriou—update on compensation study.

o   Project team includes members with strong academic and private industry experience.

o   Goal is to assess where GT currently stands.  Then develop, design, and implement plan to get GT to where it needs to be.

o   Want to determine who we are competing against.  Why would someone come to GT & why would they stay?  GT needs to attract and retain high quality employees.

·         Human Resource Advisory Board and Advisory Groups will provide input.  Will have good representation across campus.

·         Advise as to how GT should allocate resources based on organizational needs

o      Discovery Phase is ending and second advisory group will begin in January to review preliminary results

o      Question by Lee Montana— Are we limited on how we hire research faculty vs. academic faculty?

o      Clint Demetriou stated you have to balance market pay and internal equity (how do we value that role?)

§  Current study may help determine equity. 

§  Last comprehensive review was from 1990-1994

o   Bettina Cothran commented that it will be nice to have this information since it can address affiliation with new hires which is very important.

o   Clint Demetriou added that experience and demand conflicts need to be addressed and that this study will help.


John Grovenstein & Linda Mitchell updated committee on 403B Vendors.

o   John Grovenstein pointed out that it is important to look at Fees, Ratings, & Portfolio options when investing in 403B. A lot of people are investing at GT in mutual funds, annuities, etc., but they may not be watching fund closely. 

§  Ultimate goals of restructuring are to improve value of 403B and achieve compliance.  By scaling  back number of vendors (preferably down to one), vendor may be willing to add products that they don’t currently offer.  Also may be willing to negotiate fees.

§   Bettina Cothran stated that employees may be a bit skeptical of having only one option.

·         John Grovenstein stated that there would be many options for investing.  It would just be potentially through one vendor.  This might also allow employees to view/manage complete portfolio online.  In addition, there would be a university investment committee which would meet annually or semi-annually to review performance. Vendor(s) would be determined by a bidding process.

·         Barry Sharp asked if an employee currently has a loan with a different vendor, would they have to pay off early and transfer.  John Grovenstein stated this would not be necessary.  But you could not take out multiple loans.

·         Clint Demetriou stated another option to having a single vendor might be to allow multiple vendors but that you would not be able to take out loans with them except through one vendor.

·         Teresa Snow asked if there were concerns about going to this infrastructure and then having to change vendors later if the relationship with chosen vendor did not work out for some reason.  John Grovenstein stated that with the amount of money involved, this would be highly unlikely.

·         Barbary Henry asked about next steps.

o   John Grovenstein stated that it would be good to have the change endorsed by the Benefits Committee.  Clint Demetriou stated there needs to be a question list generated of things that need to  be addressed.  Barbara Henry added that for employees who have been in another plan long term, there will need to be advisors to help them decide what to do.

·         Lee Montana asked about fees incurred to move account.

o   John Grovenstein stated that with mutual funds, there is typically no fee.  However, with annuities, it could be significant.

·         Teresa Snow asked if other universities had tried moving to this 403B structure. 

o   John Grovenstein stated that many universities were looking at this option for next year due to compliance issues.  If a university is audited and found not to be in compliance, there is a potential impact for both university and participant.

o   Teresa Snow stated that incoming employees would probably not object to this system, but that current employees may be more resistant.

o   Bettina Cothran added that education of current employees would be critical. 

o   Action Item –Committee will hold special meeting on January 15th to further discuss this issue and decide on endorsement.


Due to time constraints, other items were moved to the regularly scheduled benefits meeting on

January 22nd .  Specifically –

o   Domestic Partner Benefits

o   Tuition for family members of GT

Next Meetings

·         Special meeting on Tuesday Jan 15, 2008.

·         Next regular meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 22, 2008.

·         Meetings thereafter on third Tuesday of each month.