Sept. 9, 2010

Council learns about flood recovery, benefits and flu shots

by Erin Rosacker

A salary recommendation from the compensation and benefits committee was withdrawn from the agenda, leaving Professional and Scientific Council members with one business item and several reports for their Sept. 2 meeting.

Three new members were appointed to one-year terms, filling council resignations. Josh Obrecht (IT Services) and Jenny Reitano (Business grad program) will represent academic and research employees and Amy Tehan (U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory) will represent employees in IPRT and Ames Lab.

David Miller, director of facilities and utilities in facilities planning and management, provided council members with a flood recovery update. He said power is restored to the Scheman Building and Hilton Coliseum, which will allow contractors access for repair work. More details about flood damage and the recovery process can be found in a related story.

Benefits outlook

Human resource services associate director Mike Otis said the benefits office currently is working with its vendors on cost projections for 2011. Although in its early stages, he said that changes implemented over the past couple years -- such as the prescription program -- could prove beneficial for next year's health care premium costs.

"We're starting to see some pretty positive results from some of those changes we made," Otis said. "Things are looking really, really good right now."

He also reported that campus flu shots are scheduled for October. This year's batch will be more costly for the university to provide because it combines coverage for H1N1 and two regular flu strains. More than 3,000 ISU employees took advantage of the campus flu shots last year, with an estimated cost to the university of $50,000.

Staff survey expected

David Meisinger, chair of the retention and recruitment committee, said his group is planning to add employee retention to their focus. The committee worked on student retention and recruitment in previous years, but Meisinger said committee members want to learn more about why employees leave or stay at ISU.

The committee is partnering with the compensation and benefits committee on a survey of P&S employees. The electronic survey is expected to go out this fall.