February 17, 2005

Tommy Lucas named Staff Employee of the Month

Tommy Lucas, dispatcher in the Public Safety Department, uses his in-depth knowledge of computers to improve the efficiency of his department.   The College recognized him for that work yesterday, naming him February Staff Employee of the Month.

Lucas administers the department's police reporting system and helped train his co workers to use the statewide system.   He developed an Access program to handle parking ticket storage, and he entered all of the tickets into the system himself.   He also created an Excel spreadsheet to handle the department's lost and found items and then downloaded the sheet to a location that all officers could access, even after office hours.  

Further modernizing the department, Lucas converted the key issuance system from old-fashioned index cards to a computer program, and he is working on a computer-aided dispatch system. He also maintains the department's cell phone list, which helped him   collect and verify information for the new "Critical Information" book, a reference guide for dispatchers.  

"Tom is the kind of person who seizes the moment and takes the initiative to improve something when he sees it," said John Nestor, chief of Public Safety. "That kind of an employee is a breath of fresh air to any administrator."  

Columbus State to look at alternative health care plans

As discussed in the January 20 edition of Update , the cost of health care continues to rise. In fact, rising health care costs prompted Columbus Public Schools this week to cut more than $20 million from next year's budget and close one elementary school.

In years past, Columbus State had not taken advantage of alternative options available for health care insurance, but with continued rising costs, the College can no longer continue to absorb these payments.

Based on historical claims data, the College is expected to have a projected 26 percent to 28 percent increase in premium renewal with Medical Mutual for fiscal year 2006 (beginning July 1, 2005).   Columbus State employees' claims have been paid at six percent more than the total premiums paid to Medical Mutual, with 3.2 percent of covered Columbus State employees, or 57 individuals, incurring 47 percent of Columbus State's current medical claims.

What does all this mean for the future of health insurance coverage at Columbus State?

Currently the College's Health Care Committee is reviewing insurance alternatives that incorporate wellness, a cost shift to consumers and consumerism.   One such option is a health-savings account.  

To give you an idea of how a health-savings account compares to a traditional health plan, below is information from the U.S. Department of Treasury, reprinted courtesy of The Columbus Dispatch .

Traditional health plan

  • Employers and employees share the cost of monthly premiums.

  • Employees pay co-payments of $10 to $50 for doctor's appointments, prescription drugs and emergency-room visits.

  • If employees or their dependents don't go to the doctor or need medication during a year, the insurance company keeps the premiums.

Health-savings account

  • Employee is enrolled in a catastrophic, high-deductible health plan.

  • High deductibles mean $1,000 for singles, $2,000 for families.

  • Accounts are set up through the insurance carrier or banks that offer them.

  • Individuals own these accounts and can deposit the amount of the deductible each year.

  • These are pre-tax dollars, reducing taxable income.

  • Medical expenses are paid out of this account which is much like a checking account.

  • After expenses meet the deductible, the health plan covers 100 percent of expenses.

  • Employees are responsible for all records.

  • Any unused money in the account rolls over to the next year.   The account stays with individuals, even if they change jobs.

  • The money can be used only for medical expenses (without penalty) until age 65, when it can be withdrawn for retirement.

Who is eligible?

  • Individual must be enrolled in a catastrophic, high-deductible health plan.

  • Individual cannot be covered by another (i.e. spouse's) traditional health plan.

  • Individual cannot be enrolled in Medicare.

  • Individual cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone else's tax return.

In the next few weeks, more information will be provided on incorporating wellness and consumerism into your health care plan. Open forum dates also will be announced to discuss health care options that will be available beginning July 1, 2005.

Compensation Review Update

In January, most of the College's 850 staff and administrators received a letter informing them of an initiative to review the College's compensation and performance appraisal system. The College contracted with Fox-Lawson Associates to assist in this study.

On February 7 and 8, 100 employees were randomly selected to participate in open forums and focus groups. Of the 100 selected, 98 participated. The purpose of the focus groups was to gather information about the College's current compensation system. Feedback from the groups will be shared with the College in March.

Soon you will be able to have additional input in this study. Each affected employee will be given an opportunity to answer a confidential survey on-line directly with Fox-Lawson. Look for that survey in early April.

The Human Resources Department is establishing a website so you can track the progress of this study. The website will consist of Frequently Asked Questions, a timeline for the study and a question-and-answer e-mail to reduce misinformation.

If you have any questions about the compensation and appraisal study, please contact the Human Resources Department or one of the many employees who are on the Compensation Review Steering Committee:

Lou Ann Carman   ext. 2416
Tom Erney   ext. 2532                                
Claire Fohl   ext. 2466
Stacey Guard    ext. 5128               
Rhonda Harley   ext. 5435
Vickie Hunter    ext.2412                     
Jim Kalna   ext. 5425
Ann Page ext. 2406
Tim Wagner   ext.   2408
Yvonne Watson     ext. 2439               
Nikki Wright   ext. 3622
Jim Wyant    ext. 3419          

Circle your calendar for free breakfast

"Break" will take on a whole new meaning for hard-working employees during spring break March 22, when Sunny 95 radio station will bring their Breakfast Break road show to the Delaware Hall gymnasium, from 7:30 to 9 a.m.

The station will provide breakfast, giveaways, prizes, caricature drawings and massages for up to 1,000 people on campus between quarters at Columbus State.

The event was initiated by Trish Jenkins in IT, who called in to 94.7 FM to request the Breakfast Break and was asked if she could produce more employees than just those in her department, "up to 1,000."   Well, that's just about everyone working during Spring Break, so the event was on! Thanks Trish!

President's Message

For this month's President's column, we reprint the text of President Moeller's February 9 speech to the Columbus Metropolitan Club . Read the speech

Arts & Sciences Lecture Series to offer "Solartopia" presentation February 23

Please join the Arts & Sciences Department on Wednesday, February 23, for the final presentation in the Winter Quarter Arts & Sciences Lecture Series. Harvey Wasserman, from the Humanities Department, will present "Solartopia: The Future of Energy," from 3-4 p.m. in Nestor Hall Seminar Room D. For more information, contact Terry Eisele, at teisele@cscc.edu .

Clinton Tatsch, founder and first president of Columbus State, dies at 90

Clinton E. Tatsch, the first executive director and president of Columbus Area Technician School (CATS) and Columbus Technical Institute (CTI) passed away February 9 at his home in Shell Point Village, Florida. He was 90.

Tatsch was chosen as executive director of CATS in 1963 when the Superintendent of the Columbus Board of Education, Harold Eibling, decided that a trade school would be an ideal post-secondary education for many Columbus students.  

Tatsch started the technician school in the basement of Central High School, with 13 employees and a budget of $85,000 annually.   The first term at CATS began September 30, 1963, with 67 students.

Clinton Tatsch presided over CATS' move to the Spring Street campus, the charter and name change to Columbus Technical Institute in 1965, and several phases of campus construction through the groundbreaking of Union Hall in 1973. He resigned the presidency in 1973, and Harold Nestor was named interim president of CTI.  

"We are saddened at the news of Dr. Tatsch's passing," said Provost Mike Snider. "We should all take a moment to reflect on the important contributions he made and how he touched the lives of so many as the founder of our college."

Tatsch is survived by sons Gene Tatsch, Ph.D., of Fairview, N.C., and
Paul Tatsch, Ph.D., of Stockton, Calif.

Former Trustee Fred Kindig passes away February 4

Fred E. Kindig, Ph.D., a former member of the Columbus Technical Institute and Columbus State Board of Trustees, passed away Friday, February 4 in Orlando , at the age of 84.

Kindig served on the CTI and Columbus State Boards from 1982 through 1991. He was made a Trustee Emeritus in 1992.  Kindig was also Professor Emeritus of Quantitative Methods at the Business School of The Ohio State University.  He was a Labor Management Arbitrator and a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators, as well as many other professional associations.  

He is survived by his wife Susan, six children, six grandchildren and one great-grandchild. The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, a memorial contribution be made to the Columbus State Development Foundation.  


Special Columbus Symphony Orchestra offer for Columbus State

Columbus State employees can take advantage of a buy one, get one free offer to Holst's The Planets, and Elgar's Cello Concerto, on Friday, February 18, at 8 p.m., or Sunday February 20, at 3 p.m. at the Ohio Theatre. James Judd will be the conductor, with Alban Gerhardt on cello, accompanied by the Women of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra.

To take advantage of this offer, call the CSO Ticket Office at (614) 228-8600 and mention code #CSCC-CO8 .   Ticket Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-6 pm; Saturday 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Discount not valid with other discounts/offers or previously purchased tickets. The offer is not available without the proper code and excludes rear balcony seating.

Basic video seminar offered Friday

Want to shoot better video for classroom or personal use? Whether you have the most basic consumer camera or a more professional model, you can improve the quality of your video by understanding basic guidelines for composing a pleasing shot that communicates want you want it to. We will review the basics of camera movement, lighting, focus and composition and discuss how to use some of the common features on most consumer cameras. There will be time for creative hands on application of techniques. We will also review the video production equipment available for borrowing from the Teaching and Learning Resource Center , and some of the production services we provide. Bring your own camera and/or a sample of video, if you wish, and your questions about using video cameras. For more information, visit this link: http://cscc.edu/CSCCtraining/viewRoster.asp?CID=114&detailKey=444

Seminar Title: WDM400  Basic Videography 101
Instructor: Richard James
Date: Friday 2/18/05
Time: 1:00 PM - 3PM