Approved by the: Faculty Senate - April 7, 2005
Administration - *See comments
Board of Regents - no action required

*Comment 1 - I support competitive benefits for University employees, but first have a responsibility to examine the financial implications of implementation. By way of this memorandum, I am charging Vice Presidents Carol Carrier, Richard Pfutzenreuter, and others they deem necessary to develop a cost-benefit analysis of the proposal for my review.

*Comment 2 - The administration supports core principles and objectives outlined in this resolution, and strives to provide competitive benefits for all University employees. At this point in time, the arguments in favor of this particular benefit are not persuasive as it would impact slightly less than 2% of the University's employee population in any given year, representing a markedly unequal benefit for a very small percentage of employees at a time when the University is working to provide competitive benefits that support members of the entire workforce. The President believes that our expanded scholarship initiative represents a stronger approach to supporting the University and its employees.


Resolution on Tuition Benefits

Whereas the University of Minnesota seeks to become one of the three best public research universities in the world, which aspiration perforce includes the recruitment and retention of the highest-quality faculty, staff, and students, and

Whereas the University of Minnesota, as a land grant institution, has as one of its central missions the education of highly-qualified undergraduate students, and

Whereas the University of Minnesota benefits from the efforts and commitment of all of its employees, and

Whereas University of Minnesota employees, especially as employees of an institution of higher learning, understand the benefits of higher education and seek to make them available to their children/dependents, and

Whereas the University of Minnesota desires to improve the effectiveness of its workforce and reduce employment costs by reducing employee turnover, and

Whereas the faculty of the University of Minnesota seeks a stronger sense of community among all employee groups, each of which contributes to the mission of the University, and

Whereas it can be demonstrated that the inclusion of a partial tuition remission benefit would reduce employment costs under relatively conservative assumptions, therefore

Be it resolved

--that the Faculty Senate strongly recommends that the children/dependents of all University employees having accrued 5 or more years of uninterrupted University service be granted a 50% tuition reduction upon being regularly admitted to an approved undergraduate program leading to a bachelor's degree,

--that the tuition reduction apply for the first four years of a child/dependent's enrollment, during periods in which the child/dependent student is in good academic standing; and

--that the percentage of tuition covered by the benefit increase by 10% for each additional year of uninterrupted service through year 10.

Approved by the Faculty Affairs Committee, March 22, 2005.

COMMENT:

This resolution was approved by the Senate Committee on Faculty Affairs (SCFA) and the Faculty Consultative Committee in 2000 and reported to the Faculty Senate for information at its April 20, 2000 meeting. No tuition benefit has been offered for dependents of University employees.

The case for the benefit, if anything, is stronger today than it was five years ago. The competitive pressures on the University have increased and SCFA is aware of cases where departments have been unable to retain outstanding faculty members because the University did not offer a tuition benefit. When most other Big Ten schools, most private institutions, and the MNSCU institutions offer such a benefit, the University puts itself at a disadvantage in recruiting both faculty and staff by failing to offer it as well. Moreover, as the SCFA study at the time demonstrated, it is likely the University will save money with such a benefit because it will reduce staff turnover; see the attached analysis.

SCFA urges the Faculty Senate to vote in favor of the resolution.


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