Campus News

University Council calls for domestic partner benefits

For the second time in five years, the University Council has called on the University System of Georgia Board of Regents to provide health insurance for domestic partners of system employees.

At its Oct. 30 meeting, the council unanimously passed a resolution from its Benefits Committee reiterating a request the council made to the regents in 2002 for health insurance coverage for domestic partners. The regents never have acted on that request, although faculty groups at other University System schools have made similar requests including the faculty senate at Georgia State University, which adopted a resolution Oct. 4 calling for domestic partner health care benefits.

In a report accompanying the resolution, the Benefits Committee said insurance coverage for domestic partners is an important tool in recruiting and retaining new faculty members and is becoming standard practice at many universities.

About 300 regional and national colleges offer domestic partner benefits including many institutions that are regarded as peer or aspirational universities for UGA and other University System schools, according to the report.

In other action, the council also approved a proposal from its Educational Affairs Committee authorizing a notation on student transcripts to indicate that a student has been expelled for academic dishonesty. The notation will be similar to notations currently used on transcripts for probation, continued probation, dismissal and dean’s list.

The council approved proposals to create master’s and doctoral programs in plant breeding, genetics and genomics, and to change the name of the graduate-level major in occupational studies to workforce education.

UGA President Michael F. Adams announced that he exercised his rarely used veto power to reject a Sept. 27 council decision to deactivate the minor in child and family development in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences. The council’s Curriculum Committee requested the deactivation because of low student demand, and the council approved the request over the objections of  student members, who said the move could hurt students currently in the program.

Adams said he received pleas from the Student Government Association and individual students to reinstate the minor. He said he has worked with Laura Jolly, dean of the college, and Arnett C. Mace Jr., senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, to hire two lecturers who will enable the college to extend the program for two years.