Bay College trustees look at employee retirement plan

ESCANABA — The Bay College Board of Trustees approved changes to a retirement plan for college employees during a special meeting Wednesday.

Before the board voted on these changes, they heard a presentation from Bay College Director of Human Resources Bridget Kennedy on behalf of the Investment Committee, which she leads. The committee’s fiduciary, Scott Ciullo, also joined in via conference call.

According to Kennedy, the Investment Committee’s goal in recommending these changes to the President’s Advisory Committee was to increase the number of college employees saving for retirement and to reduce fees associated with the 403(b) retirement plan.

“One of the biggest ways to reduce your fees is to have a bigger plan balance,” she said.

To increase participation in the 403(b) plan (and, ideally, to increase the plan’s balance as a result), the President’s Advisory Committee recommended to the board that all college employees participating in the Optional Retirement Plan be automatically enrolled in the 403(b) plan at 1 percent of their income. Kennedy noted that employees who do not want to be enrolled in the 403(b) plan will not have to participate in it.

“You can opt out if you wish,” she said.

After the meeting, Bay College President Laura Coleman said she was happy with these changes.

“I think that it’s very important for everyone to save for their retirement, and so I think the spirit of what’s being done is a good idea,” she said.

The board’s regular monthly meeting was also held Wednesday. During this meeting, the board:

-voted in favor of adding course-specific biology and chemistry fees to their 2017-18 budget. These fees had accidentally been left out of this budget when it was approved during the board’s previous regular meeting.

-approved on first reading new board policies on the use of personal equipment and accounts for college business, cloud computing, information security, data entry, attendance, withdrawals, and returns of Title IV funds, and student and community complaints. They also approved on first reading revisions to their policies on the use of college facilities, loss or damage to property, proposed and current continuous improvement, and credit hours.

-approved the Board of Trustees Business Affairs Audit Policy on second reading.

-entered executive session to discuss labor negotiations. The board also entered executive session to discuss this subject at the end of the special meeting.

-accepted a professional services plan from Rehmann Robson LLC for the college’s 2016-17 audit.

-approved new mission and vision statements for the college.

-approved an application for a special liquor license to serve beer and wine during the Gala West event at Bay College West on Nov. 3.

-welcomed two new employees to the college — Director of Transfer and Advising Jeremy Belanger, and Arts, Sciences, and Academic Affairs Administrative Assistant Carrie Oney.