Faculty Benefits Committee Meeting Minutes

November 2, 2005, 9:30 – 11:00 AM, OHR


Present: Dale Atkins, Bill Ballard, Michael Chang, Bettina Cothran, Chuck Donbaugh, Michael Elliott, Blair Funderburk, John Grovenstein, Jean Hudgins.


Bettina Cothran was welcomed to her first Committee meeting. Minutes from the 10/5/2005 were approved as amended.

OHR Update

The Committee was briefed by John and Chuck regarding several issues:

·        Open Enrollment Update. Open Enrollment is 10/3/05-11/4/05. Through 11/1/05, out of 5495 benefit eligible employees, 3719 (68%) have not made any changes, 1483 (27%) logged on and made changes, 243 (4%) made changes but had not yet submitted them, and 55 (1%) terminated, retired, or changed to a temporary benefits program. In regards to the Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), 849 employees had signed up through 11/1/05. With three days remaining in open enrollment, this is 371 persons less than in 2005. (Note: Unlike other benefits in which coverage will continue for the next year if the employee elects not to make any changes, employees must explicitly sign up for FSA each year regardless of whether they wish to make changes to their FSA plan or not.

·        Charitable Campaign Update. The Employee Charitable Campaign continues through 11/23/05. Thus far, 268 employees have contributed $90,400.84. Total contributions for the 2004 Campaign were $290,728. Through the online administration of the Campaign, costs of the campaign have been reduced by 50%. Discussion ensued regarding how to make the online Charitable Campaign more personable, employees more willing to contribute, and thus the Campaign more successful. It was suggested that the Campaign could send out emails to past contributors that say to the effect “this is what you gave last year, can you do that again?” This however, was thought to violate an employees privacy rights. It was also mentioned that giving correlates with salary increases and thus, because of the lack of salary increases recently and combined with other charitable needs this year (e.g. hurricane relief), it would not be unexpected to see a decrease in contributions this year. This compounds our ability to discern how effective the online process is. Other ideas proposed included giving employees cards that they must return (even if they elect not to give), and linking the Campaign to Open Enrollment – the latter of which was soundly rejected by John and Chuck.  


Old Business

Additions to the Benefits Committee Agenda for AY05-06. Previously the Committee had identified the following issues for consideration during the academic year:

·        Professional Leave Policy

·        Long Term Care

·        Bi-monthly pay plan

The following issues were brought up for consideration;

·        Improving communication between OHR/benefits and new hires.

·        Disability Insurance coverage for 9 month contract employees that work more than 9 months. The problem appears to be that PeopleSoft defines income as the contract value. The Committee had previously asked this problem to be resolved by using either the previous year work rate or a 12 month rolling average work rate to define annual income, but the problem remains rooted in PeopleSoft. How do we get this problem fixed?

·        Benefits Fairs. Do we still need them?

·        Classification of Post Docs for the purpose of retirement benefits eligibility. Given the transient nature of the postdoc position, and that postdocs are required to join the TRS retirement program for which one cannot become fully vested until year 10, it seems that the TRS program is not a good fit for this position. In order for postdocs to be eligible for the ORP program, for which vesting is immediate, they would have to be made members of the General Faculty, the implications of which need to be explored.


New Business

·        None

Next Meeting

·        December 2, 9:30-11:00 AM, OHR Conference Room