December 2006 meeting minutes

Minutes of the Pleasantville/Briarcliff
Administrative Staff Council Meeting



Wednesday, December 6, 2006


Butcher Suite, Kessel Student Center, PLV



Guest Speaker: Patrick Love, Associate Provost for Student Success


·         The experience as the interim Director of OSA was one of the highlights of his career. Steven Johnson is the new Director.

·         Students do not choose to stay or to go based on a single experience.

·         We must recognize that there are significant challenges that face us now, however, we must continue to look to the future.

·         A review of 12 year data regarding our retention rate (of first time, full-time freshmen that are retained into their sophomore year) and data relating to the number of students that we graduate after 6 years, has not shown a significant decrease over time. We need to improve retention, but the numbers are not terrible.

·         Why do students leave college (in general)?

q       Money

q       Failure to espouse/enact enduring commitments

q       Failure to commit to the quality of education for all students

q       Failure to integrate all students into the social and academic communities


·         Why do students leave Pace?

q       Inconsistent academic quality

q       Lack of customer service and responsiveness

q       Pace “runaround”

q       Lack of school spirit and identity


·         What should our focus be on?

q       Programs

q       Policies

q       People

q       Processes


·         Positive Energy + Sense of Urgency = Positive Urgency!


·         How can we all become involved?

q       Reward individual responsibility for student success and retention

q       Promote collective responsibility for our students through proactive and responsive service

q       Reward rigorous and challenging academic experiences

q       Improve the first year advising system and experience

q       Remix and improve financial aid


·         Patrick distributed a packet entitled “Retention Presentation, Additional Handouts.” Please e-mail Elaine Scanlon ( if you would like a copy. One of the handouts, which is entitled, “Institutional Comparison Project – Summer 2005,” compares Pace University offerings (i.e. University 101, Writing Center, Tutoring Center, etc.) to those of 12 other academic institutions. A comment was made that we don’t do enough to promote our strengths.

·         Patrick can be reached via e-mail at


Guest Speaker: Michele Russo-Ramirez, Director, University Benefits


·         Open Enrollment is going on now through December 12, 2006. Packets went out last week. Complete information is available on the Human Resources web page ( under Benefits > Full Time Faculty & Staff > Open Enrollment.

·         Employees can make limited changes to their medical coverage (terminate coverage, enroll for the first time, add/delete dependents), as well as changes to dental coverage, life insurance, and enroll in the Health Care and Child and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts.

·         Delta Dental POS premiums increased approximately 7.5%.

·         The Supplemental Retirement Account maximum increased from $15,000 to $15,500.

·         We are instituting a mandatory mail order program, for maintenance prescriptions, for HealthNet POS through Express Scripts. Employees will receive a 90-day supply for 1 copayment. HealthNet POS has also expanded its out of network offerings through wrap networks. This may result in lower out of pocket costs for employees.

·         All employees should have received a letter over the Thanksgiving break, from Yvonne Ramirez, detailing the deferred medical Open Enrollment. The Benefits Advisory Committee and the Medical Plan Subcommittee felt that it was in the best interests of all concerned to delay medical Open Enrollment pending the medical plan review.

·         Employee contributions toward medical coverage are frozen through June 30, 2007. The University has made the decision to absorb the additional cost, totaling approximately $220,000.

·         The Medical Plan Subcommittee members and the Benefits Advisory Committee members will interview the three finalists (Aetna, Oxford, HealthNet) in January.

·         Focus groups will be held on all campuses during the first two weeks of the spring semester. Employees will have the opportunity to provide feedback regarding what they would like to see in a medical plan.


New Business


·         The Board of Trustees is establishing a standing committee dealing with staff relations. President Caputo sent the four Administrative/Staff Council Co-Chairs an e-mail regarding an upcoming meeting to discuss the structuring of the committee to maximize its positive impact. If anyone has feedback regarding this preliminary discussion, or is interested in finding out how to become a future member of the committee, please e-mail Gail Weldon, at, by Friday, December 8, 2006. Gail will send out a summary of the meeting, via e-mail, to the Administrative/Staff Council listserv.



Benefits Advisory Committee: (report submitted by Phyllis Bradbury via email)


There has not been a full committee meeting since Oct. 31, however, the Health Review Sub-committee met twice.  The decision to hold off the enrollment process for medical insurance ONLY until July 1, 2007 was approved by President Caputo.  The administration and committee felt there was not enough time to do a thorough review of potential Health Insurance carriers and the plan itself.  As noted previously, HealthNet, Aetna and Oxford responded favorably to the initial RFP and are the three carriers being considered.


All employees should have received their benefits package from Human Resources and everything except health insurance is available for application and/or change.  Everyone also should make note of the change effective January 1, 2007 to HealthNet POS whereby it will be mandatory to purchase maintenance medications through Express Scripts mail-order.  This is a very easy process that will save both employees and the university money.  Employees will be able to use a local pharmacy to fill maintenance medications two times; after which, further refills from a local pharmacy will be denied.  Of course, any emergency or temporary medications can be filled locally.  We urge everyone to please do not delay taking any medications as prescribed by a physician. Also new to HealthNet POS is additional out-of-network discounts which will reduce member liability costs.


If anyone from the Council is interested in attending future Health Review meetings to be held over the next several months, please contact Phyllis Bradbury at  There is a good chance additional faculty, administration and council members will be requested and will be most welcome.  Also, if there is anything specific you would like to be reviewed during this process, please feel free to contact me at any time.