Chancellor Victor Boschini tried to clear the air at a meeting with faculty and staff Tuesday morning by discussing the future of employee benefits at TCU.
At the beginning of the semester, Boschini was asked to look at faculty and staff benefits, according to the minutes from the Faculty Assembly meeting. He requested the Faculty Assembly and Senate involve faculty and staff from the university as a whole in the discussion.
To do so, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee sent out a survey at the beginning of March to begin conversation about employee benefits.
"The result was a firestorm of angst and objection, based on the perception that benefits were about to be changed for the worse," according to the minutes.
At the Faculty Assembly meeting Tuesday, Boschini reassured those in attendance that the only real change in faculty benefits is that retirees can now pick their own health plan.
He said there are about 80 plans retirees can choose from, and plans can be changed every year as health demands change.
“There appears to be no plans to add faculty, yet some faculty are overworked at present. Are we really not going to go there?” an audience member asked.
“In general, there are no plans to add to the employee base at TCU. We are scrutinizing staff positions more than faculty, and will always look more favorably on adding teaching positions than staff positions,” Boschini answered.
Another audience member expressed strong hope that faculty members will be included and informed about upcoming planning and decisions regarding benefits.
Provost Nowell Donovan said The American Association of University Professors ranked the university three out of five stars for total compensation.
Boschini said the university is currently in the best financial position it has ever been in, and that will continue for the next few years.
He also said that the university must, however, be prepared to face financial challenges at some point in the future, and he wanted faculty and staff to be aware of the issues, threats, and types of challenges that could lie ahead.
The Faculty Senate also set up a blog that faculty could access to continue the discussion on any issues.
Faculty can attend a town hall meeting on March 28 at 3:30 p.m. in the Brown-Lupton University Union Auditorium to continue the dialogue, according to an email sent by Marie Schein, Faculty Senate Executive Committee chair.
Below is a video that Boschini presented at the beginning of the Assembly meeting.