Budget: committee hears few specifics

University Treasurer Randy Howard assured the Salary and Benefits Committee on Wednesday that there won't be any salary cuts or changes to retirement plans for faculty.

Howard called a special meeting for the committee, a branch of Faculty Council, to discuss possible cost-savings to salary and benefits for faculty.

Dustin Supa, assistant professor of journalism, said Howard was careful not to offer specific dollar amounts along with the ideas being discussed.

"They will be as accurate [with the numbers] as they have them," he said. "[At the second campus forum] we will at least see the recommendations as clearly as possible, and that's a good move on their part."

Sue Weller, a representative from Financial and Budgetary Affairs Committee, said most of the discussion focused on improving the cost effectiveness of employee benefits.

Ball State has three health care plans, and the most expensive plan is the most popular. Supa said he anticipates modifications to these plans, but none will be eliminated.

He said the committee discussed a health care steerage program, which Howard said earlier could save the university $1.2 million by "steering" employees to certain hospitals.

Supa said the key message is whenever Ball State University saves on health care coverage, faculty saves on their health care costs.

"[Howard] certainly took a lot of notes, and that was encouraging to see," Supa said. "We weren't sitting around with spreadsheets, but it was definitely a two-way conversation, not a sermon."


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