Students walking on the SAC bridge, Belknap Campus

UofL’s Staff Senate met virtually on Oct. 12 via Microsoft Teams and they were joined by President Neeli Bendapudi. Staff senators received university updates from President Bendapudi, information on compensation and university revenue and details on 2022 Benefits Open Enrollment.

President Bendapudi addressed Staff Senators and highlighted recent accomplishments from members of the UofL community. In September, a surgical team with UofL Health – Jewish Hospital performed the world’s first total artificial heart implantation in a female patient, for example.

“In September, the first artificial heart transplant for a man in the United States was performed at Duke University. A week later, the second artificial heart transplant for a man in the United States was here at the University of Louisville. We followed that up by performing the very first artificial heart transplant for a female patient in the world right here at UofL,” Bendapudi said. “I mention that because going forward, I hope I can share these bragging points with our employees because these are genuine, world-wide accomplishments for the university.”

Bendapudi also addressed Staff Senator’s questions and concerns regarding compensation. She said future annual 1% raises for university employees will be contingent on revenue and student enrollment figures. Student enrollment and retention is the largest contributor to revenue for UofL and also affects state funding. Projections estimate that the number of college students in Kentucky will decrease 15% by the year 2025. For this reason, Bendapudi prompted senators and their constituents to reach out and encourage students on campus.

“The best chance we have of our increasing our revenues – the part of the world that we can control and influence – is student enrollment and retention. It is the biggest contributor to revenue and controls where and when we can provide raises,” Bendapudi said. “I believe that everybody who works at UofL should feel confident that every year they will get a raise. To do that, we’ve got to work on our enrollment and retention.”

Vice President of Human Resources Mary Elizabeth Miles informed senators that 2022 Benefits Open Enrollment will be available Oct. 20 through Nov. 3. Employees wishing to make no changes to their plan will not need to take any actions; however, those with a flexible spending account will need to reenroll to retain their balance.

Kari Aikins, director of Total Rewards for UofL, provided senators with additional information on Open Enrollment. Aikens addressed some of the recent changes made to health care plans, including the transition to Optum Health for HRA and FSA administration and moderate increases to vision and dental plans. Senators and their constituents were encouraged to attend one of the four Open Enrollment Benefit Information Sessions offered by Human Resources via Microsoft Teams. Employees who were unable to attend one of the four sessions may view a recording of the information session or reach out to their designated benefits counselor for additional information.

Committee reports and a full video recording of the virtual meeting can be found on the Staff Senate Meeting page. The next Staff Senate meeting is Nov. 9 via Microsoft Teams.