News in Brief
Benefits Update: 20 Questions
The latest open examination of the Benefits Advisory Committee's proposed changes in faculty/staff benefits packages came at Council Wednesday,
when the Personnel Benefits Committee's chair, Dr. David Hackney, read out his Committee's votes on questions about the
February 11 report, or those arising from the process of redesign.
None of the 20 questions drew a unanimous vote, Dr. Hackney pointed out (
see breakdown, in this issue), but several had strong majorities. These
endorsed the proposed changes in health insurance and in paid time off. By 88%-12% the the Committee proposed an alternative in life insurance (a
flat $50,000 instead of 1 x salary), and by 89%-11% supported a recommendation that "the graduate tuition benefit be
retained in its present form for current University employees, as well as for employees who have been recruited to the University and who begin working as of 1/1/98."
Dr. Anthony Tomazanis, Dr. Peter Kuriloff and other members of Council spoke to issues in the report (to be covered next week). After members
had spoken, the moderator pro-tem, Dr. Larry Gross, recognized two support staff members attending as observers. Paul Lukasiak of SSW, an
administrative assistant, and John Hogan of the Biddle Law Library, who is treasurer AFSCME Local 590, critiqued the proposed package in prepared
texts that are also scheduled for publication next week.
Elsewhere in this issue:
- In Speaking Out, in this issue, Dr. Martin Pring of Physiology/Med presents a blank table, asking for figures on the projected savings through cuts in benefits--and Drs. Barbara Lowery and Michael
Wachter of the Provost's Office fill in the blanks.
- In Answering Questions: More on Health Insurance Benefits, Dr. Lowery and Human Resources Vice President Clint Davidson give information that responds to recently-asked questions.
- The A-3 Assembly's Q & A session on the benefits package is summarized in this issue.
Procedures on English Fluency; Faculty Maternity Leave and Extension of Tenure Probation
Provost Stanley Chodorow has issued Provost's Memoranda announcing the adoption of three policies (see titles below), effective immediately. All will be placed on the PennWeb this week, and will be published Of Record in Almanac March 18.
- Procedures for the Evaluation and Certification of the English Fluency of Undergraduate Instructional Personnel updates the 1991 policy (Almanac May 28, 1991) adopted after the passage of the Pennsylvania English Fluency in Higher Education Act. A new category, grader, is added.
- Faculty Maternity Policy is a revision of the 1983 policy in the Handbook; it is based on proposals published by the Senate Committee on the Faculty for comment in Almanac September 19, 1995.
- Policy on Extension of the Tenure Probationary Period is a companion policy that allows extensions of the tenure probationary period, not only for faculty members who become parents, but also for faculty members who experience similar career-disrupting events. In identifying those events, the Senate Committee followed the provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, President Judith Rodin and Provost Chodorow note in a cover memorandum to the policies.
Volume 43 Number 25
March 11, 1997
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