COMMITTEE ON FACULTY WELFARE
Norman Oppenheimer, M.D., Chair
Meeting of September 4, 2001
PRESENT: N. Oppenheimer (Chair), P. Robertson, D. Perry, R. Binder
ABSENT: G. Gregory, B. Newcomer, S. Eisendrath, J. Barbaccia, J. Howley
The meeting of the Committee on Faculty Welfare was called to order by Chair Oppenheimer on September 4, 2001 at 12:10 am in Room S226. A quorum was present.
Chair Oppenheimer welcomed the Committee to the new academic year and led introductions of Committee members. He encouraged all members to read the Committee on Faculty Welfare Annual Report 2000-2001 and thanked Renee Binder, MD, for all her hard work as Chair over the last year.
Chair Oppenheimer introduced key topics for the year ahead, including:
- Housing – Housing is of critical importance in the recruitment and retention of both faculty and staff. The lack of affordable housing in the Bay Area represents an ongoing crisis for UCSF and for many campuses within the UC system. The Committee will continue to apprise itself of critical information regarding the development of housing opportunities, especially at the growing Mission Bay site, and regards the issue of housing to be a priority for its agenda in the 2001-2002 academic year.
- Disability – There has been an effort for the past two years on this campus to establish a standard term of guaranteed disability for all faculty, and it is currently subject to the individual department to determine if a faculty member would be granted more time than the guaranteed term. Prior to this effort many faculty members believed they were automatically granted 6 months of paid disability, when in fact there had been no consistent policy. There is a continued need to disseminate information to faculty about this benefit and the Committee will work with departments this year to determine the best way to do this.
- HealthCare Facilitator Program – A HealthCare Facilitator will join UCSF later this year. This facilitator will serve as an "ombudsman" and provide faculty and staff with assistance and impartial advice and analysis regarding existing healthcare coverage, as well as act as an advocate for faculty and staff when dealing with insurance providers. Joseph Barbaccia, MD, MPH, will serve as the liaison from the Faculty Welfare Committee with this facilitator.
- HealthCare Coverage – Health care coverage for faculty will continue to be a central issue for the Committee in light of proposals to dramatically increase premiums for UC Care. Proposals are now being considered to potentially increase co-payments in order to offset the increase in monthly costs to UC Care or to use another source of funds to offset this anticipated cost increase. No course of action has yet been taken and the Committee will remain involved in the review of these potential cost increases.
Systemwide Report – Renee Binder, MD, Chair, University Committee on Faculty Welfare
R. Binder informed the Committee that a systemwide taskforce on healthcare exists and is composed of specialized faculty and staff including Michelle French, Director of Health & Welfare Planning and Analysis in the Office of the President. The Taskforce also contracts with Deloitte & Touche as an outside consultant.
R. Binder reminded the Committee that healthcare packages available to both faculty and staff are negotiated on a systemwide basis not individually by each campus Dr. Binder indicated that there is some discrepancy at the campus level regarding access to certain healthcare plans and medical centers. She further reported that, for example, currently not all campuses have access to Kaiser Permanente coverage, and only five of the nine campuses have direct access to UC Medical Centers.
Committee members indicated that they believe it is imperative for faculty to have options when choosing their healthcare and that faculty and staff on each campus should have access to primary care. Access to primary care remains a problem for faculty and staff due to lack of adequate funding sources.
Systemwide Blue Ribbon Housing Commission Report – Norman Oppenheimer
Chair Oppenheimer informed the Committee that the System-Wide Blue Ribbon Housing Commission has not yet published a report of its findings and recommendations.
He updated the Committee as follows regarding discussions that have taken place relative to problems associated with the current housing crisis across the UC system:
- Proposals for co-ownership options for housing purchase have faltered based on legal and tax related complications surrounding the ownership where there are capital gains on a property. Co-ownership is receiving decreasing support as a workable solution to the housing shortage because of these complications.
- There is doubt as to the extent to which UCSF might be able to develop housing outside of the footprint of the Mission Bay development. There is no clear source of adequate funding for further development beyond what has already been incorporated into existing Mission Bay plans.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:00 p.m.