December 2, 2004 (Special Meeting)

Present: William Baker, Radha Balamuralikrishna, Terry Borg, Virginia Cassidy, Dennis Davito, Michael Duffy, Ray Foster, Deborah Haliczer, Pam Rosenberg, Jerry Zar

Guests: Margie Cook, Norden Gilbert, Shey Lowman, Paul Stoddard

The special meeting of the University Benefits Committee was called to order. In addition to the committee members, Shey Lowman, President of the Supportive Professional Staff Council, and Paul Stoddard, Executive Secretary of the University Council and President of the Faculty Senate were in attendance. At the request of committee members, Norden Gilbert, University Counsel, and Margie Cook, Director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center were present to assist in the committee’s discussion as resource persons. Introductions were made. Minutes from the November 18 meeting were not available.

Haliczer began the discussion by summarizing the committee’s concerns and questions and the status of the committee’s deliberations. She informed the guests that at the previous meeting the Benefits Committee had voted unanimously to support in principle the need to provide health insurance for domestic partners of university employees. Committee members reconfirmed this support. The committee engaged in extensive discussion of questions, concerns and issues, and invited guests Gilbert and Cook answered questions and talked further about the proposal made by the Ad-hoc Committee on Domestic Partner Benefits, initially convened by Human Resource Services at President Peters’ request. Members of that committee included members from the Presidential Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, as well as from Human Resources and from the campus community.

The committee reached consensus and voted unanimously on the following issues:

-That NIU should provide insurance coverage for both same and opposite sex domestic partners, which is the model adopted by Illinois State University.

-NIU should adopt the proposal made by the Ad-hoc committee, but with a number of modifications requested by the members of the University Benefits Committee. This proposal would entail both the reimbursement model adopted by the University of Illinois as well as the proposal that NIU will seek a group indemnity health insurance plan and an HMO for domestic partners through an RFP process.

-The Benefits Committee made a number of revisions to the proposed Affidavit of Domestic Partnership at the November 18 and December 2 meetings.

Respectfully submitted, Deborah Haliczer