Emory Report
January 18, 2005
Volume 58, Number 15


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January 18, 2005
Express your benefit preferences

BY Katherine Hinson

Beginning Jan. 24, Emory faculty and staff can express their thoughts and opinions about the University’s benefit programs through a confidential Benefits Preference Survey.

The survey was designed by an outside consulting firm, Watson Wyatt, to measure both the perceived value of and employees’ satisfaction with Emory’s benefits programs. The series of questions is meant to gather information; there are no correct or incorrect answers.

Why are we doing this?
Last spring, Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Mike Mandl, in partnership with the University Senate, created the Benefits Review Committee, consisting of representatives from the Senate, Employee Council and Faculty Council. The committee first met last fall and is working closely with Mandl to ensure the elected representatives have a voice in shaping any proposal to change Emory benefits.

The committee’s charge is twofold: to evaluate Emory’s benefits package in comparison to other Top 20 private research universities; and, in light of the findings and trends in the overall benefits landscape, as well as faculty and staff benefits priorities, to propose revisions designed to enhance progress toward Emory’s vision to become a destination university—a place prospective faculty, staff and senior administrators will see as the first choice among their options.

The first step taken by the committee was a study comparing Emory’s benefits offerings with those of 16 peer universities.The other three Top 20 institutions (aside from Emory) elected not to participate in the data-sharing study.

But the committee also felt it was critical to get systematic feedback from the University community, so it engaged Watson Wyatt to develop and administer this survey. Based on the results and other research, the committee will present its findings and recommendations to the Senate, which then will report recommendations to President Jim Wagner.

Why take the survey?
The results will help the committee better analyze current offerings and future needs of Emory employees. Additionally, by completing the survey employees can confidentially identify their benefit priorities. It also will give them real input in the development of recommendations and help ensure that Emory targets changes to best meet employee needs.

The survey will run from Jan. 24–Feb. 4. A hard-copy version with a return envelope will be sent via campus mail to employees’ mailstops, and they should arrive no later than Tuesday, Jan. 25. Employees also can complete the survey online; instructions will be included in the packet.

The survey is confidential; no one at Emory will have access to individual responses. Anyone who doesn’t receive a survey packet by Jan. 26 should contact Juanda Rayner at 404-727-7623.

Katherine Hinson is director of communications for Human Resources.