Faculty Benefits Committee Meeting Minutes

March 28, 2007, 3:30 – 5:00 PM


Present: Dale Atkins, Bettina Cothran, Leanne West, Chuck Donbaugh, Leanne West, John Grovenstein, Blair Funderburk, and Michael Chang


Minutes from the 2/2/2007 Committee Meeting were reviewed and approved. There were no minutes from the 2/28/2007 meeting as a quorum was not met.

Old Business

·        Postdoc eligibility for ORP vs. TRS

o       It was reported that the General Faculty Assembly / Academic Senate (GFA/AS) heard at their meeting on February 27, 2007 the first reading of a proposed amendment to include Postdoctoral Fellows as members of the General Faculty. The succeeding vote was in favor of the resolution. A second and final reading and vote will be held at the next meeting of the GFA/AS on May 1, 2007. Should the resolution be affirmed, OHR will consider the effective date to be May 1, 2007 and all postdocs entering the Institute from that date forward will be eligible for all benefits normally accorded to members of the General Faculty including eligibility for the ORP. The Committee recommended that as the resolution appears to be headed for approval, that OHR advise any units intending to hire individuals with the Postdoctoral title between now and May 1 of the pending change in faculty status, and to try to seek flexibility in hiring to ensure that new hires can become eligible for the benefits on May 1 (e.g. perhaps hiring a postdoc as a “temp” until May 1).

·        Maternity and Family matters

o       The Committee is seeking to review a survey of maternity benefits conducted by Brown-Richards Consulting. If available, the Committee will review the survey at the next meeting.

·        Domestic Partner Benefits

o       The Committee heard a report from M. Chang describing actions that the other state research universities (GSU, UGA, and MCG) are taking regarding passing a faculty senate resolution requesting that the USG provide domestic partner benefits, and their request that this Committee lead a similar effort at Georgia Tech. The Committee remained supportive of the goal of the request, but reaffirmed its opinion that the approach that these other units are taking is unproductive at best, and may be counter-productive at the worst. The Committee recommends representatives first develop a strategy in close consultation with each unit’s administration, OHR, government affairs office, and development office; and that those same groups work together with their peers at the other universities to refine the strategy. This is to be done prior to a “public” vote.

o       The Committee, recognizing the importance of this issue to the faculty and staff of Georgia Tech, and in particular to those that contacted the Committee to express their support, intends to draft a summary of the Committee’s review and decisions and distribute this communication back to the faculty and staff.

New Business

·        Concerns with International Travel and Deployment

o       Many of the issues associated with international travel, deployment, and employment of faculty, staff, and students will be taken up by a new “Global Tech” committee. C. Donbaugh is a member of this new committee.

o       B. Cothran inquired about liability against personal lawsuits and wondered to what extent faculty traveling with students are protected under Tech’s umbrella policy. She was directed to send her inquiry to Freddie Everett, Tech’s Risk Manager, and report back his response for further consideration.

·        Roth 403b

o       The Roth 403b plan is now available to employees. Initial sign-up is by paper, but it eventually will be available on-line. OHR expects 20 or less enrollees immediately, and a “couple of hundred” participants in due time. Georgia Tech is the only unit in the USG currently offering the Roth 403b.

·        2nd Childcare facility

o       Donbaugh reported that OHR is now in the process of trying to find resources to open a childcare facility in the 10th & Home complex. Approximately $1.2 million is needed and the new facility will accommodate 100 children.

·        Long term care

o       A discussion of Long Term Care revealed that this sector of the insurance industry is continuing to evolve since this Committee last considered this topic. First, there are generally less providers, but the ones remaining are more stable: Unum, John Hancock, Prudential, and ________________.

o       It was also noted that the plans offered are generally improved and simplified relative to the plans offered even just two years ago. Choices of coverage options are more narrow, but they are more reflective of what the actual needs are.

o       Industry estimates are that 5-7% of the population would enroll if employers offered the plans.

o       One past concern was that providers demanded that payments be through payroll deduction, which at Georgia Tech requires a software modification to PeopleSoft. Now it seems more providers prefer to want to use direct deposit as a means for payment, which is much easier to implement.

Next Meeting

·        April 26, 2007, 3:30-5:00 PM.