Staff Advisory Council Minutes
Thursday, May 11, 2000
LaFortune Student Center - Notre Dame Room
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Present: Deb Bennett, Dan Brazo, Deb Fox, Connie Gard, Rita Grontkowski, Beverly Harbor, Kay Herrity, Bobbi McMahon, Norma Mezykowski, Lou Parks, Sue Penrod, Terron Phillips, Maria Pozzi, Marv Pruett, Valerie Schroeder, Marcy Simons, Doris Smuda, Fred Sonneborn, Kathleen Stopczynski, Leona Strickland, Cindi Sykes, and Melodie Wise.
Absent: Angeliek Anderson, Dona Coggins, Norma Frost, Carl Hubbard, Pam Jobin, Samantha Qualls, and Phyllis Shelton-Ball.
HR Liaisons: Sarah Misener and Pam Zarazee.
Guests: Vivek Kumar, Scott Malpass, and Rita Winsor.
Dan Brazo, Chair called the meeting to order at 1: 09 p.m.
I. Approval of the Thursday, April 13, 2000 Minutes
Connie Gard made a motion to accept the minutes. Lou Parks seconded the motion. A vote was taken and all present Council members were in favor of this motion.
Dan Brazo, Chair thanked Leona Strickland for serving as interim Secretary for the Council.
II. Continuation of Presentation on the University's Retirement Benefits
Vivek Kumar, Manager of Retirement Planning, continued his presentation on the University's retirement benefits. Vivek began the discussion on Fidelity Investment options in the Supplemental Retirement Account. He reviewed the Fidelity Investment options that employees have to choose from. He also discussed how employees could evaluate returns on performance of their stock and bond funds. Vivek shared with the Council some statistics on TIAA-CREF portfolio returns since 1953. He continued sharing information with the Council on the benefits of having a Supplemental Retirement Account. Vivek noted that an employee can open up a Supplemental Retirement Account and make changes at any time. Vivek fielded questions from the Council. Vivek shared with the Council that Human Resources is available to educate employees on the options an employee has with retirement options. He also stated that TIAA-CREF and Fidelity are available usually on a monthly basis to give information and meet with employees.
The Council thanked Vivek for all of the information he provided regarding the University's retirement benefits.
Rita Winsor, Director, Compensation and Benefits, followed up with the Council to share some information regarding the Compensation Project.
Rita shared a couple of overheads with the Council. The overheads included draft information of materials that will be given to all employees with their compensation statements in June. Rita informed the Council that the information distributed with the compensation statements will included the salary ranges.
III. Committee Reports
Deb Bennett introduced and welcomed two new Council members; Valerie Schroeder who replaces Emily Cassidy in District #8 and Kathleen Stopczynski, who replaces Victoria Cotton in District #17. Deb Bennett also notified the Council that Carl Hubbard resigned from the Council in District #22. She explained that the deadline for self-nominations in District #22 is Friday, May 12, 2000. If there are no self-nominations received, the second letter seeking self-nominations will go out.
Dan Brazo welcomed the new members and encouraged their participation in the Council meetings.
- Promotion Committee
In the process of scheduling a meeting.
- Parking Committee
Nothing to report at this time.
- Parking Appeals Committee
No further meetings until September.
- Ad-Hoc Committee on Women's Issues
Marcy Wise informed the Council that there are currently 10 women signed up for the Spring retreat titled "Women Under the Dome." She also stated that a Lunch & Learn Program will be held on Wednesday, May 31st with the topic being "Gardening Tips" presented by Landscape Services. Marcy also notified the Council that the Ad-Hoc Committee on Women's Issues will be sponsoring a couple of programs, including a presentation on how to deal with teenagers, conducted by the Michiana Employee Assistance Program, and a tour of the university. Both of these programs will be during the summer.
- Ad-Hoc Staff Picnic Committee
Deb Bennett passed around a draft of the flyer for the picnic for the Council to review. Marcy Simons passed around the trivia contest information. The Council agreed that the Council members are not eligible to participate in the trivia contest at the Picnic.
The Council discussed the flyer and stated that they would like it printed on lime green or electric blue paper and mailed out the week of May 14th.
Sarah Misener told the Council that Human Resources would be able to provide the labels and print the flyers.
If any Council member is interested in helping the ad-hoc picnic committee label the flyers please email or call Deb Fox at Fox.email@example.com or 1-6920 or Deb Bennett at Bennett.firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-7058.
Dan shared with the Council that due to the Staff Picnic being held on Thursday, June 15th, the regularly scheduled Council meeting for that day will begin at 1:15 p.m.
- Ad-Hoc Committee on Drug Testing
This committee met recently for the first time. The committee is being chaired by Tracy Maginn, Assistant Vice President and Counsel at the University. The committee is made up of exempt and nonexempt staff of the University, who are studying the policy in detail. The committee is attempting to meet on a monthly basis. Tuesday, June 27, 2000 is the next scheduled meeting.
- Ad-Hoc Redistricting Committee
Is in the process of scheduling a meeting.
IV. Presentation by Scott Malpass, Vice President for Finance and Chief Investment Officer.
Scott was introduced and welcomed by the Council. Scott thanked the Council for having him come back to discuss the Staff Pension Plan. Scott distributed a packet of information to each Council member.
Scott stated that the Staff Pension Plan has grown and done very well in the past year, sharing that the current market value of the Staff Pension
Plan is approximately $75 million. Scott covered in brief the Staff Pension Plan Fund key characteristics, performance profile, investment managers listing, investment objectives, investment policies & guidelines, investment managers performance evaluation process, and the social responsibility policy with the Council. Scott stated that he and his staff not only handle the Staff Pension Plan but are also responsible for handling the endowment fund, working capital pool, and all other financial assets of the University. The Investment Office works very closely with the Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees in developing and implementing investment policies for the various plans of the University.
A Council member asked if at any time the University would consider enriching the Staff Pension Plan formula due to the superior returns the Staff Pension Plan has been earning over the years. Scott stated that the Staff Pension Plan's strong performance was a major reason for the elimination of employee contributions in 1997, and the improvement in disability retirement eligibility last year. He also added that the formula for the Staff Pension Plan is a very rich formula compared to the industry. Scott stated that the Staff Pension Plan has done very well and we want to see this strong performance continue, but is prepared in case the plan faces market challenges in the future. Scott explained to the Council that the University would never want to put itself in a situation where the formula is improved and then the fund faces some challenging years causing a need for the University to pull back funds in the pension plan.
Scott briefly discussed the asset allocation of the Staff Pension Plan with the Council. He also informed the Council that he and his staff interview approximately 200 to 300 investment firms a year to be considered as Investment Managers of the Staff Pension Plan. The University requires the Investment Managers to comply with a code of ethics, the Standards of Professional Conduct, and to mirror the social values of the University.
Scott stated that he is proud to manage the Staff Pension Plan fund. He and his staff are committed to continuing to grow the fund.
Scott opened up the discussion for questions from the Council. A Council member asked where the $3 billion campaign endowment funds are allocated towards. Scott explained that nearly 90 percent of those funds are restricted funds. Restricted funds are those funds tagged for a specific purpose or allocation based on donor wishes. The other roughly 10 percent goes to the University's operating budget, where a primary goal of the University is to keep tuition increases to a minimum. The operating budget has also included the additional monies spent by the University on the Classification Review Project.
Scott thanked the Council for their time and stated that it is a pleasure for him to be working with the Council. Dan thanked Scott for his time on behalf of the Council.
IV. Set Agenda for Thursday, June 15, 2000 Meeting
I. Approval of minutes from the Thursday, May 11, 2000 Council meeting
II. Council Web page Discussion
III. Committee Reports
IV. Complete Discussion on Retirement Benefits
V. Discuss Minutes
VI. Set agenda for the Thursday, July 13, 2000 Council meeting
Sarah Misener distributed information regarding a focus group that will be held on Thursday, June 1st from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. in room 234 of Grace Hall. Watson Wyatt will be conducting the focus group seeking the Council's feedback and input on the various health care plans the University offers.
Dan thanked the Council members in attendance for their participation in the meeting.
There was a motion by Cindi Sykes to adjourn the meeting. Marv Pruett seconded the motion. A vote was taken and all members present were in favor of the motion.