By Jeff Murphy, August 22, 2023
Hadley Oden, left, newly appointed student member of the University of Central Missouri Board of Governors was recently sworn in to her new post by 1993 UCM alumnus, the Honorable Brent Teichman, associate circuit judge in Johnson County, Missouri.
WARRENSBURG, MO – University of Central Missouri employee health and dental insurance renewal for 2024, renovation of the Terry Noland Football Offices, and renewal of KMOS-TV Public Broadcasting Systems (PBS) dues were approved by the Board of Governors when it met in its Aug. 17 plenary session. These actions took place shortly after the board began its meeting with the swearing in of its new student board member and recognition of newly named emeriti faculty and staff members.
UCM alumnus, the Honorable Brent Teichman, associate circuit judge in Johnson County, Missouri, conducted the brief swearing-in ceremony for Hadley Oden, a Hermann, Missouri resident who is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in History with a dual minor in Political Science and Legal Studies. She was appointed to the board by Missouri Governor Mike Parson to fill a term ending Dec. 31, 2023, and until her successor is named.
During the board’s Administration and Finance Committee meeting, Bill Hawley, vice president for finance and administration, made a presentation regarding health care, dental and long-term disability insurance. This followed with board approvals during the plenary session. Hawley noted that UCM’s current health insurance program, which involves a custom network plan through Blue Cross of Kansas City, expires on Dec. 31, 2023, but there are four one-year renewal options. Based on current enrollment for the calendar year 2023, the total projected premium cost for UCM to cover its employees will be approximately $12 million. The Blue Cross renewal rate increase is 9.6 percent, which makes the projected premium cost for 2024 approximately $13.1 million for UCM. The university currently pays 78 percent of the premium cost, which will be $10.2 million, nearly a $900,000 increase, and projected employee cost is $2.9 million, an increase of about $254,000.
Hawley said adjustments in coverage are recommended to reduce the rate increase by nearly $290,000. This includes: switching to a BKC premium formulary; the addition of a $20 copay for office visits to an Employer Designate Network physician (there is currently no copay), and a 10 percent increase in deductibles. The board approved this proposal. More information will be communicated to employees as the university nears the enrollment period this fall. Open enrollment begins Oct. 16 and concludes on Oct. 27.
The board also approved a recommendation from Hawley to continue with Delta Dental as the university employee dental insurer. For the 2024 plan year, UCM will continue to offer two preferred provider organization (PPO) dental plans at the same rates for Plan A, which is a basic diagnostic and preventative services plan with no deductible and an annual per-person benefit maximum of $1,000. Plan B currently provides all of the services as Plan A with additional coverages to cover basic and major services and an annual per-person benefit maximum of $2,000 with $25 individual and $75 family deductibles. The recent board action will increase the Plan B maximum to $3,000. The rates are guaranteed for four years, and are effective Jan. 1, 2024.
Additionally, the university has provided basic life/accidental death and disability (Life/AD&D) and long-term disability coverage and long-term disability insurance for all benefit-eligible employees. These plan designs and premiums will remain the same for 2024, with rates guaranteed for three years, based on a proposal submitted by The Standard, which was the lowest of two bidders. The university will continue to monitor the rising cost of insurance premiums and review benefit plan designs to address employee benefit needs and funding strategies.
Another action item, the board approved the award of a contract of approximately $1.27 million to Infinity Group, LLC Oak Grove, Missouri, provide labor and materials for the renovation of UCM football offices, named for former Mules football head coach, Terry Noland. The project will consist of adding portion walls to create new offices, lighting upgrades, HVAC system modifications, flooring and painting of approximately 10,540 square feet currently housing the Athletics football staff. Infinity Group was the lowest bidder among six contractors who sought the project.
As a PBS member, KMOS receives no funds from this nationally known organization, but the campus public television station is assessed dues by PBS, which provides a variety of programs particularly geared to children and families, based on population size and the amount received from the Corporation for Public
Broadcasting’s Community Service Grant. Annual dues payments vary, but average about $500,000 annually and will likely not exceed that in the next three years. The board approved a motion to approve dues payments for FY 2025-FY 2027 not to exceed $590,000 per year or $1.77 million for the three-year period.
Individuals who have officially attained emeriti status as the result of their retirement were recognized by the board. These individuals and the dates of their service are: Maureen Wilt (Aug. 24, 1998 – Aug. 31, 2023), professor; Dr. Duane Lundervold (Aug. 23, 1999 – Aug. 31, 2023), professor; Dr. Jack Rogers (Aug. 21, 2000 – Aug. 31, 2023), professor; Dr. Delia Gillis (Aug. 20, 2001 – Aug. 31, 2023), professor; Dr. Steven Popejoy (Aug. 15, 2002 – Aug. 31, 2023), professor; Kimberly Stewart (Aug. 16, 2010 – Aug. 31, 2023), senior instructor. Karla Massia, faculty librarian who served from Aug. 13, 2001 to Aug. 31, 2019, also was formally recognized with emeriti status.
UCM's Board of Governors recognized newly named emeriti members, front row, from left, Kimberly Stewart, Karla Massia, Dr. Steven Popejoy, and Dr. Jack Rogers when the board recently met on campus. Joining them for their certificate presentations were back row, from left, UCM President Roger Best, Emeriti Association Executive Committee members, Vice President Patrick Bradley and Secretary Philip Piontek, and Board of Governors President Ken Weymuth.