Task Force to Review Employee Benefits

By Robert A. Brown | April 3, 2014

Dear Friends

I am writing to inform our community about an important new initiative. We have invited individuals from the administration and faculty to serve on a task force that will conduct a strategic, comprehensive review of Boston University’s employee benefits programs.

This is an important and timely initiative. Our obligation is to ensure that Boston University can continue to thrive—long into the future—as an institution that offers excellent education and one where new ideas, inventions, and solutions are created and incubated. To meet this obligation, we need to recruit and retain excellent faculty and staff. Simultaneously, we need to deploy our financial resources prudently, with sober assessments of economic realities and the evolving competitive landscape for higher education.

The task force’s mission is to conduct a strategic and comprehensive review of our employee benefits programs to ensure that they support the recruitment and retention of faculty and staff, are competitive with our peer institutions, are cost effective, and are sustainable over the long term. As part of this review, the task force will focus on the University’s health, retirement, tuition remission, and long-term disability benefits.

I have asked Bob Meenan, dean of the School of Public Health and special assistant to the president, to chair this task force. As we announced in November, Bob will step down from the deanship of SPH once we have identified a successor, and he is joining my staff as a special assistant. Bob is exceptionally qualified to lead this strategic review. As one of our longest-serving deans, he understands the importance of our benefits programs as a tool for recruitment and retention. Bob is a physician by training and serves on the board of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, where he has led a similar effort. And, of course, he is very knowledgeable about public policy in the domains that relate to our benefits programs.

The other members of the task force, with their titles and affiliations, are listed below. I believe we have assembled a diverse group of individuals possessing valuable experience and complementary sets of knowledge.

Dean Meenan has already begun meeting with the task force. Their intention is to deliver an initial report by September 1, 2014. This schedule will leave us ample time for discussion in the community before implementing any of the committee’s recommendations beginning in January 2016.

I am grateful to Bob and the members of the task force for agreeing to take on this important assignment. We will be a stronger institution for their efforts.

Yours sincerely,

Robert A. Brown

Bob Meenan, SPH Dean, Chair
Stephen Brady, Vice Chair, Faculty Council
Amy Bronson, DAR Director of Recruitment & Training
Peter Fiedler, VP Administrative Services
Fred Foulkes, SMG Professor
Nimet Gundogan, Executive Director of Benefits
Derek Howe, VP Budget & Capital Planning
Maria O’Brien Hylton, LAW Professor
Natalie McKnight, CGS Dean ad interim
Patricia O’Brien, SPH Associate Dean of A&F
Julie Sandell, Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs
Diane Tucker, Chief HR Officer
Tom Tullius, CAS Professor