The University Record, April 4, 1994

Phone survey findings will be among data used by flex committee to develop final recommendations

By Jane R. Elgass

Results of a telephone survey on the proposed flexible benefits program are now being reviewed by the Flexible Benefits Advisory Committee, which hopes to make a final recommendation to the Executive Officers this month.

“The telephone survey was designed to collect broad-based input from across the University on the study of flexible benefits and the proposed recommendations described in the insert in the Jan. 17 issue of The University Record that was sent to all flex-eligible staff at their homes,” explain Chandler W. Matthews, associate vice president for finance, and David J. Anderson, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, who co-chair the advisory committee.

“It is gratifying to see that a majority—59 percent—of the phone survey respondents think that the University should proceed with flexible benefits. But it is equally important to have all respondents’ input on various aspects, issues and questions related to our preliminary recommendation for a flex benefits plan for the University faculty and staff.”

Anderson notes that “the telephone survey results will be used in conjunction with faculty and staff input gained during the last year through meetings with various campus constituency groups, briefings, presentations and open forums, focus groups, surveys, electronic mail, mail and phone calls to help prepare our final recommendation.

“In its final recommendation, the committee will address issues which have been singled out by faculty and staff prior to the survey, such as single-person coverage, sick leave, and the effective date of the proposed plan.

“We would like to thank the 800 members of the University community who participated in the phone survey for their thoughtful answers. Their input is an important component of the University’s study of the possibility of offering a flexible benefits program.”

Matthews explains that “a random sample of faculty and staff members were contacted for possible participation, with everyone on all three campuses—Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint—having an equal chance of being called. An even 800 individuals participated in the survey, which was stratified by faculty or staff status and by gender, age and current medical coverage level.”

The survey was conducted Feb. 28—March 10 by a market research firm. Institute for Social Research survey experts helped develop the survey script and the interview process. Results from the interviews were weighted to ensure that the final report is reflective of the U-M flex-eligible faculty and staff population.

Of the 800 individuals who partici-pated in the telephone survey, 325 were faculty and 475 were staff.

Results of portions of the survey are presented here. Complete copies of the survey report are available at the reserve desks at the Graduate, Undergraduate and Taubman Medical Libraries