BOT reorganizes health costs, administration, salary plans

By Gus Bode

Approved proposals provide cost effective results across University

In accordance with the beginning of the fiscal year, the Board of Trustees met last Thursday to make key decisions about finances in 2004.

The division of duties following Glenn Poshard’s retirement, revamping student health care fees and salary increase proposals were three of the major topics at hand.


The motion to abolish the Vice Chancellor of Administration position officially passed, and two new divisions were established to absorb the work load. Human Relations and Support and Facilities and Business Operations are the areas scheduled to fill the vacancy left by Poshard. An executive director will head each area.

Catherine Hagler, associate vice chancellor for Administration, will be the Executive Director of Facilities and Business Operations. Robert York, director of Labor and Employee Relations, will be the Executive Director of Human Relations and Support.

They will each continue to perform their old responsibilities in addition to the tasks previously managed by Poshard’s office. Those tasks relate to an assortment of campus functions and facilities including labor and employee relations, plant and service operations, the SIU Arena, human resources and Shryock Auditorium.

In the midst of statewide budget cuts, such restructuring has the dual benefits of saving money and helping administrative processes continue to run smoothly.

Sue Davis, a public affairs spokeswoman for the University, said this kind of reorganization made sense.

“You still have to maintain administration in an institution this size, even with budget cuts,” Davis said. “The government has said that we must trim administrative costs, and we’re doing that by 20 percent.

“We’re going to have a net savings of approximately $180,000 in the long run. This approach is cost effective and will ultimately help us retain more people.”


Molly D’Esposito, chair of the Board of Trustees, also supported the motion.

“A large number of individuals had to be considered in making this decision,” D’Esposito said. “Under the budgetary circumstances, administration agreed that the new appointments should be internal. It was decided that it would be better to divide existing responsibilities between two groups of people, each under a director.

“Poshard was very instrumental in the reorganization process.”

The proposal to restructure the Student Medical Benefits extended care fee was also approved. Starting in the fall of 2004, students enrolled for fall and spring semesters can have medical coverage for the summer term for $348.40. This amount covers them for all three terms. In previous years, students not enrolled in summer school had to pay $543 for summer coverage. Students will not have to be enrolled in summer school to take advantage of the new lower annual rate.

“As a parent, I think this is great,” Davis said. “We know that there are a lot of students no longer on their parents’ medical plans, and having that summer lapse in coverage was hard.”

The salary increase plan for the new fiscal year was also addressed. Board representatives want to ensure that the language of the resolution does not give the public the wrong idea.

“Some of our constituency representatives were concerned that the language of the resolution would cause the public to simply say, ‘hey, they’re getting a raise increase,’ but that is not the way it’s going to work,” D’Esposito said.

“The resolution simply gives flexibility to the campus president and vice chancellors to make decisions about salary increases at the individual campuses,” D’Esposito said. “It does not mean an automatic increase.”

Davis said no increases are expected to be awarded at the Carbondale campus outside of faculty and those under contract.

The next board meeting is scheduled for Sept. 11 at the SIU-Edwardsville campus.

Reporter Bertie Taylor can be reached at [email protected]