Faculty Council Committee Corner: Personnel and Benefits

Group’s focus areas include salary measures, retirement plans
By Staff

Faculty Council Committee Corner: Personnel and Benefits

Editor’s note: This is part of an ongoing CU Connections series in which the Faculty Council highlights each of its committees and their efforts. See past installments here.

Faculty Council’s Personnel and Benefits Committee continues to engage the administration in reviewing employment practices and compensation. We work routinely with Michelle Martinez, director of strategic benefits initiatives in Employee Services, on a range of topics. In addition, the committee meets as needed with additional administrative leaders to request information and offer feedback on developments.

The committee seeks to protect the role and rights of faculty in salary processes. Ongoing business includes the administrative changes to Regent Policies 10E (“Compensation Principles,” formerly “Salary Review to Determine Inequities”) and 11B (“Faculty Salary”).

The Personnel and Benefits Committee, along with the Educational Policy and University Standards (EPUS) Committee, had represented faculty’s perspectives on proposed revisions in 2019 through 2022 to 11B (“Faculty Salary”).  A new round of reviews in 2023 will open further discussion. Through this work, the Faculty Council’s representatives seek to improve the transparency of salary practices.

Relatedly, the Personnel and Benefits Committee has asked the administration to make salary benchmark data available to faculty. Regent Policy 11B (“Faculty Salary”) cites the market as a factor in establishing and adjusting compensation, and the provision of benchmark information will shed light on how salaries stand in relation to market conditions in higher education.

Retirement plans also figure within the purview of the Personnel and Benefits Committee, which receives reports annually and as needed from TIAA and the university’s Office of Employee Services. In 2022, Boulder’s Faculty Assembly, in concert with other constituencies in the university, questioned whether the TIAA Social Choice retirement funds adequately responded to concerns about climate change. After hearing these concerns in the committee, the administration removed TIAA Social Choice from the university’s investment menu and added two options more closely aligned with climate-friendly goals. 

On a separate matter, members of the Personnel and Benefits Committee are seeking routine information sessions from the administration in connection with the management and assessment of services in retirement funds.

Other types of benefits have surfaced in the deliberations of the committee. For example, faculty had voiced concerns over uneven parental leave benefits across the four campuses. The committee also is hearing updates about the university’s alignment with the state of Colorado’s new Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) program, approved by voters in November 2020; employees began paying the premium in 2023, with the provision of FAMLI benefits to start in 2024.

With regard to CU’s Faculty Housing Assistance Program, the Personnel and Benefits Committee has advocated for the resuming of a down-payment assistance benefit available to eligible faculty, as soon as market conditions permit; this benefit is currently placed on hold and remains limited to accepting applicants onto a waitlist.

Finally, the committee also expressed interest in assessing dental benefits in 2023.

The Personnel and Benefits Committee meets on the first Friday of each month throughout the academic year, and our members welcome inquiries and concerns from our colleagues across all ranks of faculty from the four campuses.

Personnel and Benefits Committee Members, 2022-23

  • Jeffrey Schrader, Chair, CU Denver, College of Arts and Media
  • Tamara Terzian, Immediate Past Chair, CU Anschutz, Dermatology
  • Jeff Zax, Vice Chair, CU Boulder, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Celine Dauverd, Secretary, CU Boulder, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Larry Cunningham, CU Denver, Business School
  • Melanie Joy, CU Anschutz, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Matthew Lyle, CU Colorado Springs, College of Business
  • Sherry McCormick, CU Colorado Springs, College of Nursing and Health Sciences
  • Joseph Rosse, CU Boulder, Leeds School of Business, Emeritus
  • Sloan Speck, CU Boulder, School of Law
  • Lindsey Yates, CU Anschutz, School of Dental Medicine
  • Tom Zwirlein, CU Colorado Springs, Finance, Emeritus
  • Michelle Martinez, CU system, Employee Services Liaison (non-voting member)