Advisory board seeks new member during 'exciting time of change'

UBAB offers opportunity to represent benefit interests of staff, faculty

At a time when budget challenges have intensified the focus on employee benefits as a device for rewarding faculty and staff, the role played by the University Benefits Advisory Board (UBAB) is critical, its chair says.

"I think of it as an exciting time of change," said Larry Drees, whose board is looking to seat a new member.

The seven-member board consists of four faculty members, two classified staff members and a professional-exempt staff member. UBAB needs a representative who is classified staff from the University of Colorado Denver, either the downtown campus or Anschutz Medical Campus.

"It's an excellent opportunity for a person to have a voice regarding the benefits that affect all university employees," Drees said. Though UBAB focuses on medical benefits, it also deals with dental and life insurance and tuition waivers.

Expansion of the tuition waiver benefit is an ongoing goal of the board. UBAB recommended that the university expand its offering of six credits per year to nine – which was accomplished – and also pushed for a pilot program at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, which took place over the past two years. In the program, the tuition waiver was transferrable to spouse or dependents; university administration is in the process of determining the feasibility of enacting such a benefit throughout the system by July 1.

"That would be a great opportunity for CU employees, especially if we're able to increase the number of credits," Drees said. "There's real value there for everybody who can take advantage of that."

UBAB is not a decision-making body, but an advisory group that works closely with Payroll & Benefit Services. UBAB provides strategic advice to the president and university administration on benefits-related issues.

University leadership established UBAB in 1999 after the university's self-funding of insurance ended. With CU's return to self-funding of insurance under a new model this past year, UBAB and the Health and Wellness Trust Committee are working on how the two groups will interact.

Anyone interested in learning more about the vacancy on UBAB is asked to e-mail