Domestic partner benefits at UGA?

Your thoughts?

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

We’re seeking feedback from readers and bloggers on the following news for publication on an upcoming opinion page:

Faculty members at the University of Georgia are once again requesting that university leaders extend benefits, such as health insurance, to domestic partners. The University Council’s Human Resources Committee recently voted unanimously in favor of the request. The same council passed resolutions calling for the Board of Regents to approve benefits in 2002, 2005 and 2007. But the Regents  so far have ignored repeated calls from faculty at UGA and other University System of Georgia colleges and universities.

UGA is in a small minority of major colleges that have not extended health and other benefits to unmarried partners, according to the committee’s research. Most of the “aspirational” universities UGA would like to be more like offer the same benefits to domestic partners as available to spouses, including state flagship universities in Michigan, Wisconsin Texas .

Most of UGA’s “comparator peer institutions” — including the University of Florida and  the University of Kentucky — also have extended health insurance and other benefits beyond spouses to domestic partners.

The committee says that UGA administrators could set up a system using non-state funds even if the regents won’t approve spending the additional money. Previous studies have shown that costs involved with domestic partner coverage typically increase 1 percent to 2 percent when a company or university adopts such a system.

An executive committee is expected to approve the proposal Thursday. The proposal would then go to the full University Council for a vote. The council’s first meeting of the academic year is set for Sept. 27.

13 comments Add your comment

Out by the Pond

September 10th, 2012
8:01 pm

Insanity has been defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. By definition then the University of Georgia is insane. Keep up the good work. One day the Regents will wake up and join the 19th century. To bad we are already in the 21st.

Let the hate spewers begin.


September 10th, 2012
8:15 pm

What exactly is the difference between an “aspirational” university and UGA?


September 10th, 2012
10:07 pm

This is nothing more than an effort to give recognition to same-sex relationships in the state of Georgia. Given Georgia’s constitutional definition of marriage, no way should tax-payer dollars be used in such an end-run effort. This is especially true given the state of the economy. And “Pond,” speaking of the 21st century, here we are in the middle of it and NO state electorate (with over 30 opportunities) has given approval to same-sex marriage. I would say that puts the Regents not only in line with the voters of GA, but with a significant majority of the rest of the country.


September 11th, 2012
12:02 am

Initially I don’t really see a problem with offering these benefits to unmarried partners. However, I wonder exactly how “unmarried partner” is defined? Must these folks live together? What if two unmarried individuals are in a committed relationship, but not sexually active would they be eligible? Could this coverage extend to someone who is just a casual acquaintance that doesn’t have health insurance?

Again, doesn’t seem like too big of a deal, but I would be a little concerned about fraud and/or inconsistent application.

Van Jones

September 11th, 2012
8:12 am

Hate is the assumption that a disagreement equals hate…

Veteran Observer

September 11th, 2012
9:17 am

In this time of fiscal belt tightening, this is wrong! For a change the regents get it right! How much is a 1 to 2% increase at Uga? Also, if this becomes reality then the next step is the rest of the university system! These benefits are now very generous and way beyond what the average business in Georgia can afford! If the general public taxpayer knew what it costs them to provide these benefits they would be stunned! The system should be looking to cut and streamline this package, not add a further benefit which is not justified by proper business practice and very difficult to administer! It is time to come down from the ivory tower and run the system with some common sense and less envy of other schools in other states!


September 11th, 2012
9:52 am

As usual, the Gay Agenda being pushed….glad my kids are out; at least I won’t be DIRECTLY paying for something like this. Anything goes these days, and it has nothing to do with the times or the century. Because you don’t think gays are entitled to special rights does not mean you are a hater; it means you have the same opinion that most states who were allowed to vote on it have….


September 11th, 2012
2:57 pm

As I figured….not too many comments on this one, as it is indefensible!


September 12th, 2012
12:04 pm

Everyone one should know that it is not ALL of the UGA faculty pushing for these benefits, only a small, liberally-active minority, goaded by the gay/lesbian network. Political correctness is so strong on campus that no one has the courage/nerve to stand up and speak out against these requests because of reprisals. Many, maybe most, faculty do not approve of this and it’s a bogus argument that UGA needs this because “other” universities do it and that it is needed to recruit good people.

Dea Whyte-Mansburten

September 12th, 2012
12:41 pm

This is long overdue! We need a way to funnel more “free money” to more AIDS-ridden, gay “domestic partners.” This will certainly drive our already stratospheric health insurance premiums down!
I can only hope & pray to Allah that this proposal only applies to “normal” homosexuals, and not to the vast majority of abnormal heterosexual unmarried couples!
And don’t you think the Georgia taxpayers & UGA should also pay for my dog’s vet bills? After all, I love him, and we’re all the same, aren’t we?


September 12th, 2012
1:43 pm

Tell it like it is…………..I went to UGA (years ago) and this is the biggest crock imaginable…..


September 12th, 2012
3:45 pm

Yes — the UGA should once against demonstrate its leadership role among the University System of Georgia institutions and provide domestic partner benefits. It will reduce barriers to attracting outstanding faculty and staff, thereby enhancing the quality of the educational experience for students. Georgia generally is behind the rest of the country in recognizing that we live in the 21st Century, and that economic conditions such as domestic partner benefits can have a critical influence on where people choose to work. If UGA succeeds, then perhaps the System office will take notice — even at a time when the System office is clawing back across-the-board state allocations.

Dea Whyte-Mansburten

September 12th, 2012
4:41 pm

Sorry…but why continue to PANDER to “outstanding faculty and staff” are gay?

In this economy, anyone who wants to jump ship and try their luck at landing a better job elsewhere is welcome to try. (Rotsa ruck!) That’s part of what a free country means…or at least used to mean…before equal protection under the law gave way to “protected classes of people.”
If UGA REALLY wants to attract/maintain quality faculty & staff, I might imagine that GIVING RAISES TO GAYS & STRAIGHTS ALIKE, after 6 years of fiscal drought would be a more even-handed & successful strategy.