Faculty Benefits Committee Meeting

Minutes, January 10, 2005

2:30 – 4:00


The following committee members were present: Dale Atkins, Michael Chang, Michael Elliott, Blair Funderburk, Heather Gorman, John Grovenstein and Gayle Warren.

IRS Proposed Changes to 403b Guidelines

§         The IRS has issued a set of proposed guidelines that would alter 403b accounts significantly. Currently, the guidelines place most of the responsibility for meeting regulations onto the account owner, namely, the employee. New regs would place more responsibility on the employer, namely, Georgia Tech.

§         Employers will need to develop a written plan document. Employers would become responsible for ensuring that contributions do not exceed legal limits. Currently, employers have no way to monitor this. In all likelihood, employers would simplify their monitoring system by requiring employees to use one or a limited set of vendors.

§         The new regs would prevent employees from transferring 403b assets outside the plan.

§         The comment period last until April 1st.

§         The committee should review the proposed regs and determine whether we should provide comments to the IRS.


We reviewed materials on sabbaticals that we had pulled together last year. In brief, leaves with pay are permissible, subject to the president’s approval, for periods up to a year. Faculty in ten out of nineteen of our peer institutions are either entitled to or generally expect (though not entitled) to receive periodic sabbaticals. The remaining nine institutions have no formal policy on sabbaticals.

GTRI has the GO program (Growth Opportunity) which provides for leave with pay for education opportunities, IPAs and research development. However, few people have used this system in the last few years, probably because of budget problems in funding the GO program.

Sabbaticals and leaves apply only to non-classified employees. However, as we develop ideas, we will need to clarify who we want to include: academic, research or general faculty. EDI, for example, is hiring people under general faculty positions, as does the library.

In order to understand existing policies concerning leaves with pay, the deans or associate deans from each college or equivalent research institution needs to be interviewed. The interview schedule is as follows:



Interviewee Role


Bob McMath

Vice Provost

Michael E.

Narl Davidson

Associate Dean, Engineering




Michael C.



Michael C.

Doug Allen

Associate Dean, COA

Michael E.


Ivan Allen

Michael E.














§         Questions we need to address include:

§         How often do faculty go on leave?

§         What do faculty do when they go on leave?

§         How do you rank requests and determine whether to accept a request to go on leave? (e.g., is a formal proposal required? Who reviews requests? What criteria are used?)

§         What limits (on time, financial resources, etc.) are set?

§         How are leaves funded?

§         What requirements exist for reporting accomplishments?

§         In what ways have leaves helped both the faculty and Georgia Tech as an institution?

§         How do leaves get implemented outside of the college? What is the role of the president’s office and the BOR?

§         How has the budget difficulties altered paid leaves over the past few years?

§         Would development of an Institute-wide policy be helpful? If so, what would you like the policy to include?

Next Meeting

The remaining spring semester meetings will be held on the second Monday of each month, from 2:30 to 4:00, on the following dates: February 14thth, March 14th, April 11th and May 9th (if needed).