Inside Iowa State
September 11, 1998
Benefits office begins study
by Anne Dolan
Iowa State's benefits office has begun a temporary restructuring that is expected to continue through this academic year. Assistant vice president for human resource services and director of affirmative action Carla Espinoza said the shifting of duties originally was planned to start later this year, but the departure of benefits specialist Jan Flick last month moved up the timetable. Flick left Iowa State to lead the benefits office at the University of Northern Iowa.
"We want to take this opportunity to look at where we are and where we want to be. We want to be more responsive to our employee and retiree clients," Espinoza said.
For approximately the next nine months, many of the benefits accounting functions, such as premium payments to vendors, will be handled by the controller's office. Individual employee inquiries about ISU's health plan options will be handled by Pam Lyon, 4-7680, and a temporary benefits specialist.
Diane Muncrief, 4-7681, will coordinate a study of employee service satisfaction reports and other reports to make recommendations for improving Iowa State's service contracts, and develop a plan for better communications with employees. Retirement planning assistance will be provided by Ann Molison, 4-3830. Gary Wiggins will continue to manage the benefits office and work specifically in developing benefits, assuring legal compliance and developing policy.
Factors driving the restructuring and nine-month study include Iowa State's new health plans, more regulatory requirements and better informed customers, Espinoza said.
"Human resource services is about serving people. This temporary restructuring is to help us study how we can best do that," she said. "If ISU is going to use benefits as a total compensation package to attract and keep the best and the brightest, benefits plans and services need to be responsive and efficient."
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