First on the agenda of the March 19 Faculty Council meeting, held
in 400 Administration, was a presentation by interim Provost Woody
Hunter on the Universitys recently passed Educational and
General Budget for fiscal year 2003.
Hunter walked the council through a 15-minute slideshow detailing
Emorys income and expenses that together comprise the roughly
$425 million E&G budget. Emory Report detailed the FY03 budget
in its Feb. 25 issue; the full story is available in the online
archives located at www.emory.edu/EMORY_REPORT.
The bulk of the council meeting was devoted to a discussion of
proposed changes to the University employee benefits package. Sociologys
John Boli, one of five faculty who make up the ad hoc Budget and
Benefits Working Group (BBWG), was on hand to present the groups
draft resolution, which was to be deliberated formally by the Emory
College faculty in a meeting held March 20 (see
The resolution calls upon the administration to support an increase
in the endowment spending rate until the end of the current national
economic recession. Boli said the current situation gives Emory
the opportunity to do something bold by maintaining
current benefits and simultaneously growing programs at a time when
other institutions are cutting back. The resolution also calls upon
the University to launch a capital campaign to replenish what is
spent from the corpus of the endowment.
President Bill Chace said the benefits changes were proposed not
simply to deal with the recession but to better position Emory to
deal with rapidly increasing costs in health care, which he said
are likely to keep rising even after the country emerges from recession.
Chace stated unequivocally that he does not support increasing the
rate of endowment spending.
The presidents position on this last point was supported
by the fringe benefits committee of the University Senate. Committee
chair Sid Stein was in attendance at the council meeting to detail
a report the group has prepared analyzing the proposed benefits
Stein said the committee unanimously rejected any increase in endowment
spending on the grounds that such an increase would be detrimental
to the future well-being of the institution. Stein also said
the committee viewed its task as not to determine whether any changes
to the benefits structure are warranted, but rather to evaluate
the changes proposed and, when appropriate, to suggest alternatives.
Briefly, the committees conclusions regarding the proposed
supporting the imposition of a five-year cliff vesting period
on University matching contributions to retirement plans, but opposing
the proposal to cut the Universitys maximum contribution from
10 percent to 8 percent.
opposing both the current methodology to compute retiree
health insurance premiums and the proposed changes to University
contributions to retiree health benefits. Instead, the committee
proposed (a) reincluding retirees age 5565 in the expense
pool to determine health premiums for all employees; (b) changing
aggregate age plus years of service to determine eligibility for
retirement health benefits from 70 to 75; (c) informing individuals
who begin employment at Emory on or after Jan. 1, 2003, that the
University will not contribute to their retiree health benefits.
supporting the imposition of a graded Courtesy Scholarship
based on years of service, elimination of the double-tuition benefit
for hospital employees and instituting a flat 80 percent Courtesy
Scholarship for employees taking coursework themselves.
To close the meeting, the business schools George Benston
presented a study of his own examining the growth, payout and spending
rates of the Universitys endowment.
With the meeting running 45 minutes late, chair Frank Vandall called
for adjournment following Benstons presentation. The next
Faculty Council meeting will be held April 16 at 3:15 p.m. in 400
you have a question or concern for Faculty Council, e-mail Frank
Vandall at email@example.com.