Faculty Benefits Committee Meeting Minutes

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


Present: Bill Ballard, Michael Chang, Bettina Cothran, Chuck Donbaugh, Michael Elliott, Blair Funderburk, John Grovenstein, and Eric Southard.


Minutes from the 11/2/2005 Committee meeting were reviewed but not formally approved. These will be approved at the next meeting.

OHR Update

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

·        Open Enrollment Update. Some employees were able to add dependents to their BOR Dental Insurance plan. This was a “hole” in the system and should not have been allowed as there should have been no open enrollment for the BOR Dental Insurance plan this year (employees should have been able to drop coverage or continue coverage with no changes, but nothing else). Note: the BOR restricts access because people could “adverse select” – i.e. because it is a voluntary plan, people could enroll, have their teeth fixed, then drop out the next year.

·        Charitable Campaign Update. Totals for the 2005 Charitable Campaign which ended on 11/23/05 were 568 employees contributing $176,332. This is considerably less than the $290,728 collected in the 2004 Campaign. Discussion about possible reasons for the decrease included the atypical external campaigns for tsunami (Indonesia), hurricane (U. S.) and earthquake (Pakistan) relief, and the switching of the Charitable Campaign to an online method. Consensus within the Committee was that regardless of the reason for the Campaign not reaching its goal, the Campaign should consider enhancing its outreach.  


Old Business

·        Faculty Development Program. A review of past discussions regarding this Committee proposing a new Faculty Development Program led to a spirited discourse on purpose, eligibility, and structure. Statements included:

§         The program must be competitive; it should not perceived as an entitlement

§         Perhaps the program should be proposed as an “honor” rather than something more utilitarian like “professional development.”

§         Could employees self-fund their leaves in some way? (e.g. by borrowing against future earnings)

§         Who should be eligible? Only tenured faculty? Tenure-track faculty? Academic faculty? General faculty?

§         Should funds be made available, should the resources be split with some money reserved for junior faculty?

No consensus was reached on any of these issues, and discussion will continue at future meetings.


New Business

·        OHR seeks feedback from the faculty on the possibility that it could allow employees to work with a single administrator for all of the employees’ voluntary benefits that the employee now signs up for individually and independent of Georgia Tech (e.g. auto, homeowners, pet, and life insurance).

·        W2 Forms. OHR preferred to send out W2s only electronically, but the IRS requires a paper copy be provided unless each employee elects to choose electronic. As a result of this rule, Tech will provide both electronic and paper copies.

·        Smoking Policy. Georgia Tech currently allows an employee to smoke in his own office. The State has changed its smoking policy, however, and an employee can only smoke in indoor areas that have an independent air handling systems and dedicated space (e.g. in the smoking areas at Harstfield-Jackson Airport). As a result of this change in policy and the lack of the proper HVAC systems, Georgia Tech will change to 100% inside smoke free workplace. Employees are still able to smoke outside.

Next Meeting

·        December 19, 2:00 PM, OHR Conference Room (Note: this meeting was subsequently canceled, and meetings for Spring 2006 are TBD).