Faculty Senate Meeting Minutes 2014-03-26




The meeting was called to order at 2:07 pm by President Middleton.


The minutes of the 2/26 meeting and agenda for this meeting were approved.


Pres. Middleton reported that since Alan Fask had resigned from UPBC and the Strategic Planning Committee, the Executive Committee had voted that David Rosen would replace him on UPBC and Dennis Scotti on the SPC.


A report on the SPC Committee was given by Senator Adrignolo (see Appendix IV):

SPC is more about operating philosophy than about implementation. There will be a public vetting process for the new Strategic Plan, according to the Handbook. He suggested that all senators read the Faculty Handbook in this regard. He said that Sen. Fask had resigned for personal reasons that he did not  want discussed. There was some discussion by Senators Harmon, Cohen, and Farrell about the President’s decision for FDU to buy into the new New Jersey Speaker series, at a cost of $500,000 per year for the next five years. Sen. Adrignolo said that he did not mind the idea of the initiative, but was not sure that it should be part of the Strategic Plan. Sen. Farrell said that the cost was actually $300,000 per year for the series itself, plus $200,000 for fundraising activities, dinners for special guests, and so on. Sen. Adrignolo also mentioned the proposal that FDU would join the United Nations Global Compact Initiative, the nature of which had been shifted from a definite plan to an “exploration” of the idea, because of potential costs.


The APRC report was given by chair Joel Harmon. (See Appendix I.)


There followed a discussion of the IDEA teacher evaluation system, which is proposed by APRC to replace the present Endeavor system.

Sen. Harmon spoke as APRC chair:

At least twice in recent years, the Senate had created task forces to look at Endeavor and its implementation. Both times the task forces recommended strongly that Endeavor be replaced with a different system. When Chris Capuano became University Provost, he created a new task force, with Scott Behson as chair, to find a replacement for Endeavor, and also agreed to form an oversight committee to guide implementation and monitor the results of the new system.


Scott Behson, who was unable to use the room’s video projection, nor had brought paper copies of his complete intended presentation, made a brief presentation about the IDEA system:

The present task force began more than two years ago with two representatives from each college, plus one from the Pharmacy School. They did a great deal of research about Endeavor and other options; they looked at the literature, spoke to five different national vendors, and met with each one. They agreed unanimously that IDEA was the best option. They had used 120 instructors in two pilot tests in the previous two semesters, also offering workshops and orientation sessions in the new system. He said that IDEA allows students to evaluate their own progress; it is used by about 400 other universities; it can be used for assessment for Middle States accreditation (there are websites to show how we can do that); that having online evaluation forms is superior to traditional paper and pencil forms; that Endeavor is inadequate, and is currently being run on an old computer held together just for that purpose; that IDEA can be used not just for evaluation by students but other things as well, such as self-assessment.

He added that the opinion of the task force was that junior faculty currently on their way to tenure should continue to use Endeavor forms until their tenure decision, and that associate professors could opt to continue Endeavor until the decision on their promotion to full professor.

The task force proposes that IDEA replace Endeavor as the course evaluation instrument for FDU, beginning in the Fall 2014 semester.

To support this initiative, an IDEA Implementation Task Force has been formed, consisting of two faculty members from each College, plus one from the School of Pharmacy. The committee consists of Wladina Antoine and Patti Keefe Durso (Petrocelli); Scott Behson (Silberman); Diane Wentworth and Pete Burkholder (Becton); Antonio Velazquez and Jamie Zibulsky (University); and Gail Rattiger (Pharmacy) have volunteered as members. Of course, this task force will only exist if IDEA is approved.

This task force will report to the Academic Policy and Research Committee and Faculty Rights and Welfare Committee, and is charged with developing recommended guidelines for how IDEA reports should be used for faculty development and evaluation, and with educating the full FDU community about IDEA. The task force would begin meeting this semester to plan our Fall 2014 implementation strategy. After this, the task force will remain as a planning and guidance body for the use of IDEA and will continue to report to the APRC.

The APRC proposes that, beginning in Fall 2014, all FDU faculty members will be evaluated with IDEA, and for most faculty members—all new faculty, all Full Professors, all non-tenure track faculty, and most Associate Professors—IDEA will serve as their sole student course evaluation survey.

The APRC also proposes that Endeavor be continued for non-tenured tenure-track faculty through their tenure decisions. For these faculty, Endeavor questions are to be included as extra questions at the end of the IDEA survey. As we still have the factor weight algorithm, we can also still calculate overall scores for rapport and pedagogical skill. Upon earning tenure, IDEA will then become their sole student course evaluation survey.

Associate Professors may also opt to have Endeavor questions added to their IDEA surveys until they earn promotion to Full Professor.


Discussion of the IDEA system followed.

Senator Alton: If everything is recorded online, how does the raw data get into personnel folders? Behson: It is sent directly as PDFs to individual faculty as well as to DPRCs.

Sen. Denning: To link course evaluation and course assessment may be good for Middle States, but is not good in other contexts. Behson: This is something we can do but don’t have to. Sen. Harmon: The proposal confines itself to using IDEA as instructional evaluation, not as institutional assessment.

Sen. Sharma: If each faculty member is able to suggest their own questions on course objectives, how do you compare results? Also, according to the task force report, the student response rate in the pilot programs was less than 60%. If each student will have to do an IDEA evaluation five times each semester, how will that work? Behson: The task force is in communication with IDEA about this problem. Students can do the online form in the classroom, not necessarily from home; and don’t we have many courses outside the classroom? Sen. Harmon: They can do it in class. As for differing course objectives questions, Behson suggested that the best practice is to have DPRCs agree on them in advance for all faculty in their departments.


Sen. Cohen: I participated in the first pilot program and was very unhappy with IDEA. Initially I found most of the categories irrelevant to the courses I teach, and often confusing or overlapping; subsequently many of my students felt that the questions were confusing or irrelevant. Also, I had agreed to participate only if I could do Endeavor evaluations at the same time, to compare the results of the old and new systems; but I never got results for the Endeavor evaluations. Third, a significant number of my students told me that they were not informed about the IDEA evaluations (if they were sent emails in that regard, they had not read them and so were not aware of it). I am also bothered that my very negative experience with IDEA did not seem to be reflected at all in the subsequent task force reports. Finally, I am still very concerned that there is no way to compel or ensure student response in an online system; nothing can replace face-to-face contact, whether pencils or computers are involved. My courses, and those of many colleagues, are all classroom-based, and will and must remain in the classroom.

Sen. Singer: I had the opposite experience; I found the questions all easy to configure, and my students were all able to do it in the classroom; and I found the feedback very useful.

Sen. Mayans: I am concerned that it is easier to “game” the IDEA system; that IDEA would promote inconsistency in questions asked across the college and the university; and that a better system would be simpler. Endeavor asked simple questions, and I consider this analogous to political polling in which, according to Peter Woolley, only simple questions produce reproducible results. Behson: In terms of consistency, IDEA makes things more equal than Endeavor.

Sen. Durso: I participated in both pilot programs and also had a great experience, except that my students had to do both IDEA and Endeavor forms. Sen. Harmon: It works best if each department decides the top two or three questions for evaluations.

Sen. LoPinto: IDEA sounds better than Endeavor. But let’s look at the University-wide implications of evaluation systems. For Biology and Chemistry at Teaneck, and for Biology at Madison, average grades have dropped 20% in the past year. There are clear learning objectives in freshman biology: students must learn everything and understand it. If students’ learning capacity has declined, then success will decline and evaluation scores will decline as well. What are the implications? The University has to decide if we are teaching to the average, to the low end, or to the upper end, of our students. Or should we split students into higher- and lower-level groups?

Sen. Slaby asked if the objectives and questions are set in advance. Behson: yes.

Sen. Adrignolo: Has IDEA been before the Faculty Rights and Welfare Committee? Sen. Anastosopoulos: No. Sen. Adrignolo: What is decided here today will affect all future full-time faculty. The academic process demands that FRW review IDEA with respect to the faculty’s rights, and it should also be reviewed by all faculty, rather than have the twenty people here today decide how the careers of all future faculty be determined.

Sen. Anastosopoulos: It would be terrible if after two years we came up with a worse alternative to Endeavor. Even if IDEA is better, we should not take it as a panacea toward evaluating faculty performance; it should only be one of varius instrumentalities toward that end. If there are specific concerns, FRW will of course review them.

Sen. Philips: Did the task force consider other options? Behson: They committee did an enormous amount of research, spoke to five different vendors, looked at Endeavor again, and polled the faculty.

Sen. Denning: We once made a mistake, and I want to share it so we don’t make the same mistake again. We built assessment around the WebCampus assessment software; the software company put no resources into assessment, and it ended up being run by another company. My committee (SCB Assurance of Learning) is spending time trying to retrofit it so it looks as it used to. Also, 400 universities isn’t a very large number to emulate.

Sen. Ng: There are about 3000 universities across the country, so this makes me wonder if there was another system more popular than IDEA? Behson: many universities develop their own. We picked the one we thought was best, not the most popular.

Sen. Singer: In response to Sen. LoPinto, I would say that our job is to grow students’ minds and help them reflect on what they are learning. Many students don’t understand their own growth. IDEA questions help them have a reflective education. Even kids at the bottom learn things and understand that they’ve learned things; even kids at the top sometimes don’t have to work, and so don’t reflect on what they are learning.

Sen. Kovacs: Behson has done great job with the other faculty on the task force, and has made many changes in working with APRC. I participated in the pilot program and had reservations, but the task force made changes to make it work. It will be an iterative process; there will still be problems, but we will work on them over time. Behson: IDEA is also developing a website to work better with smart phones.

Sen. Harmon: Since we are considering moving to another evaluation system, there may be issues for FRW to look at. It is understood that, if it is agreed that IDEA be adopted, FRW will be included in the process.

Sen. Adrignolo: perhaps this question should be a referendum for the full faculty; it will affect many of them. Sen. Harmon: We usually first see if Senate approves, and then consider the question of bringing it to referendum. Sen. Tuluca: This is not appropriate for a referendum because it does not involve a change to the Handbook. Sen. Cohen then asked whether a question must involve a Handbook change in order to be sent to a referendum? Several senior senators replied that it does not.

The motion to accept the APRC proposal to adopt the IDEA system, with the understanding that FRW will be consulted on faculty rights issues, was put to a vote. It was approved, 17 for, 4 against, 1 abstaining.

Sen. Adrignolo called for a vote to put the question in a referendum. It was approved, 11 [12?] for, 10 against, 1 abstaining.

The vote on a faculty referendum had been taken without asking for any discussion; after the vote, there was some further informal discussion because the vote had been close, and then Pres. Middleton moved on to the next agenda item.


The Handbook Committee report was given by Senators LoPinto and Ng (also see Appendix II):

These are the nominations for Senate for next year:

for Vice-President: Darden

for APRC regular: Guo, Pastorino, Sacks, Sharma

for APRC at large: Caldiero, V. Cohen, Durso

for FHC regular: Haspel, Ng, Olechnowski, Schiemann

for FHC at large: Hansbrough, Houle, Philips

for FRW regular: Farias, Salierno, Slaby

for PBC regular: A. Cohen

for PBC at large: Tripodi, Rosen

There are two problems with the current nomination process. One is contingency: a faculty member says “I will be a candidate for the regular Senate position, but if anyone else runs, I will run for the at-large position.” The others was when candidates changed their minds after nominations were closed. The Executive Committee has decided that in future, there will be no contingency nominations allowed; but the Handbook Committee will attempt to honor changes asked for after nominations are closed.

Another issue under discussion is that of promotion and tenure in blended departments. It has been suggested that faculty in disciplines close to that of each candidate should define the tenure criteria. It has also been suggested that each year the tenure benchmarks should be higher.

A new sentence has been added to Bylaw 4.1.2: “The Vice-President of the Senate shall serve as the Recording Secretary of the Senate.”

There was a suggestion by Provost Capuano that the review of first-year probationary faculty be moved from their first to the second semester. The Committee voted against it, because even in the second semester there is insufficient time to judge.

Dean Mills: We have an arguably due-process tenure procedure, so we should take great care in changing it to something less fair. Something had struck her when she arrived at FDU: that there is no University Promotion and Tenure committee to review all tenure decisions. LoPinto: The Committee recommended that there be no Handbook change, simply additional guidance from each college.

Acting Dean Almeida: To whom is this additional guidance to be provided? With no guidelines, such guidance is meaningless. Is this something to which all personnel review committees will be required to adhere? Sen. LoPinto: The Committee is not saying that the process should change, but that at the department or school level, those most qualified should judge. Should a language person be judging the qualifications of a history professor? Dean Almeida: It is an administrative decision as to how departments are constituted. It is understood that at some level tenure decisions are no longer discipline-specific; the criteria for judging a teacher should be more general, rather than strictly within their discipline. I am not sure how this guidance better informs the process. Sen. LoPinto: That is a useful principle in regard to the criteria of teaching and service, but not so useful in regard to scholarship.

Sen. Sharma: Becton College guidelines are most focused on scholarship. There are differences between the social sciences and the hard sciences. For guidance the college turns primarily to the DPRCs. Dean Almeida: I am not arguing that point; I know Silberman better. In Silberman, DPRCs and chairs have the most expertise in each field in regard to scholarship, and CPRCs will defer to department chairs and committees on such questions. We need common guidelines beyond the narrow viewpoint of each discipline. Sen. LoPinto: I don’t think that there is any contradiction between these two points of view.


Pres. Middleton made some suggestions to the Handbook Committee regarding the referendum on the IDEA system. ???


The FRW report was given by Sen. Anastosopoulos: (also see Appendix III):

Here are the matters currently before FRW.

  1. The formation of a new peer group of fifteen universities for comparing both faculty and administration salaries. Why didn’t we keep the previous, fifteen-year-old peer group? At a meeting of the Board of Trustees with the Senate Executive Committee, it was agreed that it is unfair to judge faculty and administration by different standards.
  2. The proposed antidiscrimination policy. Faculty were told the new policy without prior consultation. FRW protested, and the administration accepted their protest. In cases of discrimination complaints, we need to have a faculty member on the oversight committee. This will be discussed further with the administration.
  3. The FRW compensation recommendation. Last year we proposed a 3.5% COLA (cost of living adjustment); the rise in the Consumer Price Index was 2.1%, while the previous year’s was 1.3%. This year inflation was 1.5%; to keep pace, we should receive a 5% raise. But because of budget problems, and because salaries are considered fixed costs, the administration would rather give a bonus than a permanent raise. But if there is a 1% rise in COLA and we get 1% each year, we will fall further and further behind the cost of living. So we recommended a raise of 2.5%. In effect the faculty has contributed 5% to the the University surplus, so a 2.5% request is reasonable. As for equalization, last year we asked for $500,000, which was not implemented, so it is back on the agenda. Our salaries are at the bottom of our peer group (15th out of 15) for full and associate professors; for assistant professors we are 12th out of 15. We would like to see added to the Strategic Plan that faculty salaries be raised in respect to our peer group; we are waiting to see the administration proposal.
  4. The health care recommendation. At a preliminary meeting with Rose d’Ambrosio, FRW was told that United Health Care will raise its rates by around 5% or 7%; it is not clear how this will be passed on to employees. Human Resources usually gives us their proposal with only a few days to respond. We want to tell the administration that when we get the final information, we should get at least a few weeks or a month, to present it to the Senate and to discuss it.


Sen. Singer: We are having problems attracting good faculty, so faculty salaries are important.

Sen. Adrignolo: Last year the administration at first did not offer a continuation of our present plan as an option. When the new proposal comes out, everyone should be sure to look not only at the new cost, but at changes made to details of plan. Pres. Middleton: We’re currently in the second year of the last change; they are locked in, so all they can do is change the cost, not details of the plan. Sen. Anastosopoulos: Next year Human Resources will suggest a wellness program, with a $50 bonus to participate.


The meeting was adjourned at 4:08  pm.


Respectfully submitted,

Allen Cohen

Acting Recording Secretary





APRC Report to the Senate -- March 26, 2014

The APRC discussed at length the proposal to adopt the IDEA system for assessing course and instructional effectiveness. The proposal is the product of lengthy study by a joint faculty-administrative task force reporting to the APRC and University Provost. The APRC unanimously voted to bring the proposal to the Senate for adoption, with amendments concerning an implementation task force to guide adoption and interpretation of results, as well as mechanisms for increasing response rates and incorporating Endeavor questions during a transition period.

The APRC also discussed the status of the strategic planning process in expectation of having a draft to review for its next meeting.

Items on our future agenda will include a further revised proposal regarding the CORE, and faculty involvement in the admissions process.

Joel Harmon

APRC Chair



March 26 FHC Summary Report to the EC and Senate

Each of the following is a consolidation of opinions expressed by members of the FHC

1)  Re: Providing Better Guidelines for Blended departments to Make Promotion and Tenure Decisions

The Handbook’s benchmarks for promotion and tenure decisions are deliberately vague. Therefore in each department faculty with disciplines the same or close to that of each candidate should define each discipline’s expectations for teaching, research and publication, and service that is required for tenure and for each level of promotion.


-It may be that a department continually sets the benchmark higher each year so as to increase the quality of its faculty.


- For uniformity among the different FDU colleges the Senate should generate a separate manual for Faculty Status review. This manual should be based on a review and modification of Becton’s guidelines and should apply to all persons and committees involved in faculty status decisions (Senate /Deans / CPRC/DPRC).


2) Addition to Senate Bylaws: The Vice President shall serve as the recording secretary of the Senate

The following addition to Bylaws 4.1.2 has been proposed and accepted by those who commented. “The Vice President shall serve as the recording secretary of the Senate.”

4.1.2    The Vice President of the Senate shall serve as the President in the absence of the President and shall perform such other duties as may be delegated by the President. The Vice President shall serve as the recording secretary of the Senate.

Rationale:  The Senate needs a permanent secretary to document its actions. At present the Vice President of the Senate has no fixed duties other than to substitute for the President when needed. The responsibilities of all other members of the Executive Committee are stated in the By Laws. All members of the Executive Committee, including the Vice President, are awarded 3 hours release time each semester for their service (By Law 7.8.2).

NB. A two-thirds vote in favor of the proposed motion is required to approve the change (By Law 5.1.1).

3) Provost Capuano asked for thoughts on his proposal to move the REVIEW OF FIRST YEAR PROBATIONARY FACULTY from fall to spring semester to provide more data for decision making

While some FHC members approved, the majority thought that even delaying the review to a second semester provides too little time to fairly assess a probationary faculty member. Also there is value to have at least one peer review in the fall semester.

4) Nominations for the Faculty Senate have been received and Senate Election ballots are being prepared.

Problem for EC Discussion: Once nominations are closed may candidates change the position for which he/she will run.

Lo Pinto will read Metro Campus nominees for each Senate position

Chee Ng will do the same for the Florham Campus nominees

2014 Metro Campus NOMINATIONS RECEIVED by the March 21 deadline (Metro campus names highlighted)     

I  Senate Vice President (VP)

Nominee from FLORHAM campus, any college     ______________________________________________

N.B. The faculty of either campus may nominate a Vice President who must, this year, originate from the FLORHAM campus. The campus from which the Senate President and VP originate alternate annually (Senate Bylaws (Section 3.5.4). The elected FLORHAM nominee will take office as VP in fall 2014 for one year, and will become President in fall 2015.


II  Academic Policies and Research Committee (APRC)

Nominee from any Metro Campus College:  Robert Prentky (UC Psychology), Patricia K. Durso (Petrocelli METRO), Vicki Cohen (UC METRO)

At large nominee from Any campus and college  Christopher Caldiero (FLORHAM)


III Faculty Handbook committee (FHC)

Nominee from Metro SCB             Karen Denning (SCB),

Nominee from Metro Petrocelli     Robin Lubisco (Petrocelli)

Nominee from Any Metro College Danyang Yu (UC); Alex Casti (UC)

At large nominee from Any campus and college    

Neena Philips (UC METRO);

Robert Houle (Becton College FLORHAM);

Tiffany Hansbrough (SCB, FLORHAM)



IV  Faculty Rights and Welfare Committee (FRWC)

Nominee from Metro SCB                       Petros Anastasopoulos (SCB)

Nominee from Any Metro College                  Aixa Ritz (Petrocelli)


V University Planning and Budget Committee (UPBC)

Nominee from Any Metro College                   Tony Adrignolo

At large nominee from Any Campus and College  Kirsten Tripodi (Petrocelli METRO), David Rosen (FLORHAM)





The report includes the following:

1.      New Peer Group

2.      Anti-Discrimination Policy

3.      Compensation Recommendation to the President

4.      Healthcare Report


1.     New Peer Group:

The New Peer Group consisting of 15 academic institutions was finalized. A list of these institutions is presented in Table 1 in the Committee’s Compensation Report to the President (#3).


2.     Anti-Discrimination Policy:

The recommendations the FRWC made regarding the Anti-Discrimination Policy are under review by the Administration. A meeting will be scheduled between the FRWC and the Administration to finalize this policy. We expect this policy to be completed approximately within a month.


3.     Compensation Recommendation to the President:

Attached below is the FRWC compensation recommendation.



Faculty Rights and Welfare Committee (FRWC)

Faculty Compensation Recommendation, FY 2014-15


Dear President Drucker,


As per article 7.7.2 of the Faculty Handbook, the FRWC is submitting its faculty compensation recommendation for FY 2014-15.


 Last year, the FRWC recommended the following: (a) a 3.5% COLA increase; (b) $500,000 in equalization; and (c) an increase in compensation for overload and adjunct pay -- comparable to the compensation levels of FDU's Vancouver campus.


Notwithstanding the University's inability to address these FRWC recommendations -- except for item (c) the overload and adjunct pay -- the Committee again attaches the document outlining last year's recommendations for FY 2013-14; which is contained in the Appendix for your reference and convenience.


At the present time, the FRWC is specifically focused on the issue of COLA and equalization for faculty, in light of the fact that the University has already initiated steps which may help alleviate the existing disparities in overload and adjunct pay among the FDU campuses


COLA: We recommend a 2.5% increase FY 201

The FRWC recommends a 2.5% increase in faculty members' base salaries for the FY 2014-2015 Budget. This is based on the regional rate of inflation (in the area of New Jersey wherein FDU's main campus operates) that was 1.5% in 2013. Furthermore, in the proceeding most recent years the rate of inflation was 3.5%. As a result, faculty salaries in the present time lag behind the cumulative rate of inflation over the last two years by a 5% -- on average. If FDU's administration allows this decline in faculty pay to continue unabated, the results will be a permanent 5% reduction in faculty real salaries. While the FRWC understands the FDU's administrative mandated requirements by the BOT for an annual surplus; nonetheless, this surplus is achieved primarily through the reduction in the faculty’s real incomes.


The FRWC strongly recommends that the University allocate and award a 2.5% COLA increase to the faculty's base salaries for the FY 2014-2015 Budget. Such an increase will begin reversing the ongoing erosion in faculty consumer purchasing power which -- predictably -- disproportionately affects faculty at the lower brackets of the income scale.


Equalization: We recommend a $500,000 allocation for equalization

The FRWC recommends $500,000 to be earmarked for equalization in FY 2014-15. Please note the same amount was recommended in last year’s compensation proposal; but the administration did not provide such funding. Equalization adjustments have not been made over the last 7 years -- since April 2007. As a result, faculty salaries at FDU have fallen far below those of our peers. In Table 1 below, we present the average salaries according to rank among our newly established new peer group. These data are published by the Chronicle of Higher Education.


As Table 1 indicates, among the 15 academic institutions comprising our new peer group, FDU faculty is the lowest paid (15th) in both ranks of Full and Associate professors and among the four lowest (12th) in the rank of Assistant professors.


Since the University is undergoing a Middle States Evaluation and a new Strategic Five Year Plan, the FRWC recommends that FDU salaries be elevated at the average level of their peers within the next five years.


 Table 1: Average Faculty Salaries, 2012–13*



Full professors

Associate professors

Assistant professors

Adelphi U





Kean U





La Salle U





Long Island U





Loyola U Maryland





Marist Coll





Monmouth University**





Montclair St U





New Jersey City U





Pace U





Quinnipiac U





Rider U





Widener U





William Paterson U





Fairleigh Dickinson U











* *2011-2012 survey


4.     Healthcare Report:

Attached below is a preliminary report about our Healthcare Insurance Coverage for AY 2014-15 that was prepared by Marek Slaby.


The FRWC had a meeting with Rose D’Ambrosio, Associate VP for Human Resources, and Stefanie Miller, Director of Employee Benefits on Tuesday, March 25. The FRWC was represented by Petros Anastasopoulos and Marek Slaby. The main purpose of the meeting was debriefing on medical plan renewal for 2014/15.


Brief Reminder:

FDU is self-insured. That means that FDU pays medical costs from its budget up to the so-called Stop Loss limits. The individual Stop Loss limit is $125K. The aggregate Stop Loss limit equals 125% of expected annual claims. All of the costs above $125K are picked up by insurance. Thus there are three components of the cost: the medical costs up to the Stop Loss limits, the Stop Loss Insurance premium (for coverage above the limits) and the administrative fees. United Healthcare (UHC) is the current provider and FDU is not in the market this year to change the provider.



The experience (based on the most recent claims for January and February) so far was slightly below the budget. According to latest projections from UHC our medical costs will increase by 7.7% (for a fully insured plan the projected increase is 8.5% for medical costs and 10.5% for prescription drugs). Our administrative fees are projected to go up 2.5% (3% was the rate cap previously agreed on) and our Stop Loss Coverage will increase by 39% (40% was the rate cap previously agreed on). These are preliminary projections. The final numbers will be available in about 2 weeks, once an additional month of experience is known and the consultant’s report on stop loss projections is available. It is expected that the final projections will be lower (approximately 5%). It is too early to discuss the effects on faculty paychecks. We will meet again in 2-3 weeks to learn more.



Although no plan changes are being discussed yet, there are two changes imposed by the Healthcare Reform Act.

        Transitional Insurance Fee (currently equal to $63.00 per year per covered life) is already being paid since January 1. It will be in effect for 3 years.

        The new law requires plans to have an out of pocket maximum on in-network benefits. Currently we don’t have it in our plan. This enhancement will cap the amount of co-pays and co-insurance we will pay out of pocket.  

The excise tax on so called “Cadillac” plans that would affect us in 2018 is still a major concern. It would be too expensive if we had to start paying the 40% penalty tax.

One of the recommendations of the Health Care Task Force was to add additional plan option(s). Specifically two plans were considered: Exclusive Provider Network (EPO) and Consumer Health Driven Plan (CHDP). The latter one seems to be more popular. It would involve an associated Health Savings Account (HSA), tax deferred savings for medical expenses that would rollover to next year unlike the Flexible Spending Account (FSA).

Another recommendation of the Health Care Task Force was the creation of the Wellness Committee. This committee convened in the fall and is launching two activities this spring:

        A $50 gift card to employees and spouses enrolled in medical plan for completing an online health assessment and receiving a physical or attending a Know Your Numbers event.

        A Walking Challenge (also with gift card incentives attached).



The FDU Strategic Planning Committee has been meeting weekly during this period.All fifteen members are divided into six operational areas.

Each area will produce a document that will become part of the finished FDU Strategic Plan.


The plan is more general than specific.This is not a "What to do plan", but more visionary.

The plan is important to you and your future.

Specifically,any structural modifications must be in compliance with your Faculty Handbook.

There will be time and opportunity for all to provide input on the Strategic Plan.


May I thank,on behalf of the Planning and Budget Committee,those who have sent recommendations and suggestions to the Strategic Planning Committee.

All have been transmitted to Provost C. Capuano, SPC Chair,with or without submitters name as per their request.




Tony Adrignolo

Chair,Senate Planning and Budget Committee