Faculty Benefits Committee

Annual Report




Committee Members:Jackie McGill (GTRI), Christina Shalley (MGT); Michael Elliot (Arch); Marc Goetschalckx (IsyE); Jim Higgins (GTRI); Kristine Morrow (Student)


Ex-Office Members:Chuck Donbaugh (OHR); Blair Funderburk (Advisor); John Grovenstein (OHR); Andrew Harris (Presís. Office); Nile Hartman (Exec. Comm. Liaison)



  1. The Faculty Benefits Committee met five times during the year 2000-2001.The minutes of the meetings are available at http://www.facultysenate.gatech.edu/committeeminutes00-01.htm.
  2. The committee discussed the following issues:


Health Insurance

Significant changes for calendar year 2001 were instituted by the State of Georgia.The premiums for the traditional BoR indemnity plan increased dramatically.Two HMO organizations were not renewed.The BoR indemnity plan is the only and expensive choice for employees and retirees living outside Georgia.For the first time active response/selection was required from all employees and retirees.The massive open enrollment process worked smoothly, which is a compliment to the OHR personnel and staff.At this time, changes for calendar year 2002 are not yet known.


Retirement Benefit Reporting for ORP Participants

Misleading statement on payroll stub created lots of confusion because GT and ORP-vendor amounts did not match.A temporary explanation was printed on the pay stubs starting with September 2000.During the spring of 2001, TRS reported to the State of Georgia that it was fully funded.The unfounded liability funding was removed immediately by the State.The GT and ORP-vendor amounts now match, eliminating the source of confusion.


Tax-Deferred Annuities, 403B Plans

To limit Georgia Techís liability in an IRS audit a new contract for TDA vendors was under development.The new national retirement legislation of the fall of 2001 changed the rules and regulations for retirement plans.Issue is tabled until the new regulations are fully understood.Note that a 457 Plan for government employees allows another $11,000 pre-tax retirement savings in addition to the $11,000 allowed by the 403B Plan in calendar year 2002.This is an excellent savings opportunity.


Comparative Review of Benefits

The benefits of hourly employees were compared with benefits offered nationwide based on a free survey by BVC consultants.The benefits offered by Georgia Tech to classified (hourly) employees and research faculty were judged to be comparable or better than the benefits described in the survey.A review of faculty benefits is a difficult and complicated task, since no comparative information is available.External reports are expensive to obtain, any in-house report would require a significant effort.CUPA (College University Personnel Association) is currently doing a salary comparison and will next do a comprehensive faculty benefit review and repeat this on a bi-annual cycle.Issue was tabled until this review by CUPA becomes available in the next few months.


Refinement of Long-Term Disability for Academic Contract Employees

Long-Term disability benefits are based on 60 percent of a contractual base pay.Committee approved the change that the LTD benefit for employees on an academic contract is computed based on the total salary received during the previous 12 months.Previously only computed on the nine-month salary.The advantage is a 33 percent larger benefit if employee works during the summer for GT.There is no impact if the employee does not work for GT during the summer.The disadvantage is that there is a one-year lag for employees with large salary increases.The increased cost is borne by employees since this is a voluntary benefit.There is no cost impact for Georgia Tech.It should be noted that a new short-term disability voluntary insurance benefit will be offered during the open enrollment which bridges the gap that may exist between accumulated sick leave days and long-term disability insurance.


Financial Conditions and Benefits Associated with Distance Learning Activities

This issue was tabled until it can be treated by an Institute ad-hoc committee that is reviewing the whole issue of distance-learning activities.


Committee on Committees

Marc Goetschalckx represented the FCB on the Committee of Committees (ConC).There were no significant changes recommended by the ConC to the charge and statutes of the FCB.The ConC identified the close working relationship with the administrative person in charge of the corresponding area (and usually an ex-officio member of the committee) as the primary factor for a successful committee operation.


3.†† Action Items


The FCB committee addressed all the action items identified during the previous year.


The following action items are currently identified or remain tabled:


        Availability of health insurance plans for GT employees working outside Georgia.

        Comparison of benefits for academic faculty.

        Financial conditions and benefits associated with distance learning activities.