NewsPub Notes

More Insurance Meetings for UGA Retirees

The next series of meetings to explain insurance changes for UGA retirees is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 18 from 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. and from  2–4 p.m. and again on Wednesday, Aug. 19 from 9-11 a.m. The meetings are in the Classic Center Theatre, since the Georgia Center auditorium proved inadequate to handle the crowds during the first round of meetings, right after people found out about the insurance changes.

You will recall, especially if you are a UGA retiree or hope to be one some day, or the spouse of one, that the University System of Georgia is in the midst of a bait-and-switch, whereby the Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance coverage that has dovetailed seamlessly with Medicare is being thrown out and replaced by an insurance exchange, through which retirees must purchase insurance on their own. USG will contribute to a medical savings account to defray insurance costs, and USG has contracted with Aon-Hewitt, a subsidiary of a global health-care management company, to oversee the exchange.

Soon, retirees will get their new packets in the mail and will have to get down to the business of letting Aon help them find insurance comparable to what they have now for a comparable cost. For people who gave their working lives to UGA in the expectation of having their old age covered by health insurance, this is an indignity. The only reason to attend one of these meetings is to (maybe) find out how much the USG insurance subsidy will be, and email would work just as well for that. The rest will simply be the USG and Aon operatives trying to put a good face on an outrage.

Know Your Regents

Here are your benefactors. Check out their credentials and see if you can spot anybody with any professional concern other than keeping employees under control and maximizing profits. Look them up at, or send them a postcard at Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, 270 Washington St., SW, Atlanta, GA 30334. The regents don’t want to talk to you on the telephone, but the main number at the USG office is 404-962-3050.

C. Dean Alford, Conyers, is president and chief executive officer of Allied Energy Services; W. Paul Bowers, Atlanta, is chairman, president and chief executive officer of Georgia Power; Lori Durden, Statesboro, is vice president for economic development at Ogeechee Technical College; Larry R. Ellis, Atlanta, is the chief executive officer of Energy Systems Southeast; Rutledge A. Griffin Jr., Valdosta, is the former chairman and chief executive officer of Griffin LLC of Valdosta, a manufacturer of crop protection and specialty chemicals; C. Thomas Hopkins, Griffin, is an orthopedic surgeon; James M. Hull, Augusta, is member/manager of Hull Property Group; Donald M. Leebern, Jr., Athens, is chairman of Georgia Crown, Alabama Crown, and Tennessee Crown beverage distributors; Doreen Stiles Poitevint, Bainbridge, is a partner in Stiles Apartments and A.B. Stiles Enterprises in Athens; Neil L. Pruitt, Jr., Norcross, is chairman and chief executive officer of PruittHealth Inc., an integrated health care company; Sachin Shailendra, Atlanta, is president of SG Contracting, a construction management and general contracting company; E. Scott Smith, Ringgold, is board member and secretary of NW Services Corp, a bank holding company; Kessel D. Stelling Jr., Columbus, is chairman and chief executive officer of Synovus, the financial services company that owns Athens First Bank and Trust; Benjamin J. Tarbutton III, Sandersville, is assistant vice president of the Sandersville Railroad Company; Richard L. Tucker Sr., Duluth, is managing partner of Arlington Capital LLC, a private equity firm; Thomas Rogers Wade, Atlanta, is the former president and chief executive officer of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank; Larry Walker, Perry, is an attorney and former legislator; Don L. Waters, Savannah, is chairman, president and chief executive officer of Brasseler USA Inc., a manufacturer of dental and medical surgical instrumentation; Philip A. Wilheit Sr., Gainesville, is the president of Wilheit Packaging and Marketing Images. Former UGA provost Hank Huckaby is USG chancellor. Among the regents are two white women and one African American man, leaving 16 white men. All regents were appointed or reappointed by Govs. Sonny Perdue or Nathan Deal.

All these regents were not necessarily on the Board of Regents when that body made its secret decision in November, 2013 to end the present health insurance provided to University System employees and retirees, but that policy is being carried out under the auspices of the current board and chancellor.