April 13, 2012

Westchester Administrative Staff Council Meeting

Friday, April 13, 2012

Butcher Suite

Pat Carolan, WASC Co-chair, called the meeting to order at 9:00AM.

Speaker: William McGrath, SVP and Chief Administrative Officer

Goals of the master plan

  • Transform PLV into a suburban, residential campus
  • Migrate BRM/PLV
  • Enrich community-friendly and environmentally sensitive campus
  • Reduce automobile traffic and improve pedestrian circulation in and around campus

The intention is to get some level of LEED certification for all new construction. We hope to develop really good open space on campus. Pace was acquired piece by piece, and we’ve had no real campus plan in the past.


Academic year 2012 goals

  • Initiate design selection process
  • Approve external and internal layout of new buildings
  • Approve interior programming and layout of key components of the Master Plan
  • Receive Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) from Mt Pleasant


First goal: Do everything possible to sell BRM and move to PLV. We need to replace 600 BRM beds; the plan is to create 800 beds to meet current demand.

QUESTION: Where are the wetlands on campus? There are 50ft and 100ft setback rules, and the wetlands are primarily north and west of Goldstein fitness.

With more students living on campus, we will need to expand Kessel to include more seating for the cafeteria, more space for student clubs, etc.

Phase 1 will include the construction of Dorms A & B, the renovation of Kessel, and the conversion of the athletics field to a turf field, adding lighting and building bleachers into the hill for 2K capacity. The existing field house will be renovated and a new field house will be built that encompasses concessions, ticketing, weight rooms, VIP lounge for games, lockers, offices, etc. The tennis courts will be expanded, and a softball field will be built at 901 Bedford Road. The Environmental Center will be moved, and North Hall converted to offices for BRM staff.

Eventually we plan to replace the townhouses. There will be a new entryway to campus at Entrance 1 with two main roadways. A new Welcome Center will also be built.

QUESTION: Is the glass in the drawings of the new buildings cost efficient? Overhangs provide shade, and we’re looking into solar options. The wood overhangs are energy efficient, but also attractive.

QUESTION: How will sanitation pickup work? The main location for trucks delivering and trash removal will be Kessel. Nooks and crannies near the road will be fenced in near residence halls.

Next Steps

Public Hearing for DEIS – May 3

If all goes well, the public comment period closes in June; we’ll respond to comments and inquiries over summer.

Submit Preliminary draft of Final Environmental Impact Study – Sept 2012

Lead Agency determines FEIS compete – Oct/Nov

Lead Agency adopts State Environmental Quality Review findings November 2012

We brought neighbors and local elected officials in early so they could be familiar and comfortable with the plan in advance. Neighbors don’t want more traffic; it will be reduced by having students live in one place. They don’t want new buildings to obstruct their views, but that shouldn’t be a problem. We have an environmentally sensitive plan. Our interests are well-aligned with interests of local community.

QUESTION: Is a theater included in the plan? A theater or academic building is proposed off of the pond between Lienhard and Choate.

QUESTION: Will the Environmental Center animals be at risk from coyotes, raccoons, etc., in their new, more secluded location? About 60% of our campus is undisturbed wooded area and it will stay that way. The Environmental Center is comfortable with this plan.

QUESTION: How will these changes impact students with special needs? The new buildings and dorms will be better for them. They’ll have elevators and special needs rooms on each floor.

The new master plan calls for more dining choices. We plan to have eating options in residence halls. There will be a classroom in each residence hall for U101, etc. We’ll have a stronger residential community and living/learning communities (by common interest) with a faculty advisor providing leadership and extracurricular activities. We might have faculty apartments in the dorms. The future phase adds building C behind Mortola Library with 200 more beds.

QUESTION: Would new dorms guarantee housing for students? This hasn’t been finalized. Guaranteed housing is attractive for distant students. A lot of our upperclassmen live off campus.

QUESTION: Is there a market for BRM? BRM was on the market for 6-9 mos. We had two interested parties. It will be back on the market when we have regulatory approval to proceed with construction and financing.

QUESTION: What about Martine Avenue? Martine has been studied and will be studied more. It is not related to PLV plan. Martine has not been profitable yet.

QUESTION: Will Briarcliff College alumni get involved with decisions re: property? No.



Speaker: Matt Renna, Interim AVP, Human Resources (Benefits, Compensation & HRIS)

Benefits Update

Dental: There are no plan design changes; renewal with CIGNA. There won’t be a big jump in dollars out of pocket.

Medical renewal: Our long-term goal is have single digit renewals while maintaining the quality of the plan.


Health care reform impact

Good: Dependents up to age 26 included; No copayments for wellness

Bad: Flexible spending account limit is now $2500 (was 8K); OTC drugs are not eligible. Ugly: “Cadillac Tax” in 2018. Part of healthcare reform and how the government intends to pay for it: 40% nondeductible tax on the annual value of health plan costs that exceed $10,200 single coverage or $27,500 for family coverage in 2018. We’re already at $9,960 individual; $29,000 family. The tax is paid by the employer through increased premiums or surcharges.

Medical Renewal

We anticipated a mid-20% renewal considering multitude of factors. We re utilizing benefits at a greater rate than anticipated, and use a lot of out-of-network providers.

We negotiated CIGNA down to 15.4% (better than 2011 but not enough). Our goal was to lower the renewal rate through plan design changes that impact employee behavior, minimize disruption, and keep plan access and quality.

Two proposed plan design changes are:

1. Increase the out-of-network deductible on 90/70 and 100/70 plans. Out-of-network is an uncontrolled area of plan.

2. Introduce a Pharmacy Deductible on all plans of $100/300 (single/family) that will be waived if generics are utilized. Many brands are coming off patent and generics will be available.

The total reduction if these changes are implemented is approximately 2.1%, which lowers the renewal rate to 13.3%

We want to make our participants better consumers, and steer people towards services that provide the same level of healthcare, at less cost. We are looking at plan design changes that drive strategic wellness development. The quality of participants’ health impacts the renewal rate. We are investigating a concierge service that participants could call to ask for advice about network providers, options, etc., as well as a smoking cessation program. For the chronically ill, we are looking at opportunities for disease management.


Each employee will receive an enhanced total compensation and benefits statement. It will be personalized and mailed home, and will also be downloadable. Online tuition remission will launch in fall 2012.


  • Karen Watkis thanks everyone for supporting Daffodil Days.
  • The staff picnic is Wednesday, June 13. Contact Anna Fishman to volunteer. We received an anonymous $2,000 donation for the picnic again this year.
  • Nominations for the position of co-chair are being accepted. If you wish to submit a nomination, please contact Pat Carolan (pcarolan@pace.edu)  or Maureen Doddy (mdoddy@pace.edu).
  • The last Faculty Council meeting focused on the faculty handbook.
  • The next meeting is Friday, May 4 in Butcher Suite. Toby Winer, Pace’s first female Chief Financial Officer, is the speaker.

The meeting adjourned at 10:30AM.