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Phillips steps down from senate

By Netta S. Smith

Spectrum Volume 18 Issue 06 - September 28, 1995

At the September Staff Senate meeting, President Fred Phillips announced his resignation as president. Phillips is no longer eligible to serve in the senate, because he has accepted a non-classified-staff position. On October 9, Phillips will become corporate audit manager with the Virginia Tech Related Corporations and Foundation. Staff Senate Vice President Wyatt Sasser, who also served as last year's senate president, will become president on October 1. (For complete text of Phillip's remarks, see page 7.)

Doug Martin, human resources manager with Personnel Services, spoke to the senate about the optional life-insurance program. He explained that the program was mandated in the last session of the General Assembly.

Under the plan, all state employees who participate in the Basic VRS Group Life plan may purchase additional life insurance, with premiums to be deducted from paychecks. Each employee is guaranteed acceptance of coverage up to $250,000 without evidence of insurability. After the initial enrollment period, proof of insurability will be required.

Spouses and unmarried children up to age 21, or age 25 if full-time students, also may purchase life insurance. Spouses are guaranteed acceptance for coverage up to half of the employee's annual salary. Children's coverage may be purchase in amounts from $2,000 to $15,000.

Cost for the insurance is based on the employee's age, and rises as the employee ages. Coverage ends upon employee termination, but the employee's and spouse's policies can be converted to non-group life insurance policies. Children's policies cannot be converted.

Employees may enroll through October by calling 1-800-711-1171 or by filling out an application form, VRS-39, available from Personnel Services.

Sasser asked Martin about the possibility of the university offering optional health insurance for part-time staff members. Martin said that such a policy would be very expensive, and would therefore most likely attract only people with medical problems. He called this "adverse selection," and said that if such people are added to a group policy, premiums could go up for those already in the group.

In old business, Phillips told the senate that the fee for gym use had been rescinded.

In new business, Matt Martelli of Veterinary Medicine was elected to the Commission on Administrative and Professional Faculty Affairs.

The senate discussed the possibility of organizing a general staff meeting to get people more involved. "We get together when there's a crisis," Phillips said. "It would be nice to get together when there's not a crisis." He pointed out that the proposed meeting is not intended to be a replacement for Staff Appreciation Day or the McComas Leadership Seminar.

The senate instructed the president to appoint an ad-hoc committee to investigate and report back on the possibility of holding a general staff meeting.

The senate also discussed the proposed closing of Spring Road, and the effect such a closing would have on traffic patterns.