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Benefit Plan Design Analysis: Ross University

Yasmin M. Nielsen
HR 599 Benefits
Professor Turner
April 14, 2012

Week 7 final course project

Introduction
In this course project paper I will focus on Ross University which is comprised of a School of Medicine (RUSM) and a School of Veterinary Medicine (RUSVM). Though based in New Jersey, the University has campuses in St. Kitts (RUSVM), Dominica (RUSM) and the Bahamas(RUSM). In addition to these Caribbean locations, Ross University has clinical rotation sites and affiliations with teaching hospitals throughout the United States. Ross University is a very well-known institution both in the United States and internationally. It has been in operation for over 30 years, and was purchased by DeVry Inc. several years ago. The school is viewed by many to be among the top Caribbean Medical and Veterinary schools, producing more physicians and veterinarians than many US educational institutions. In addition to simply graduating large numbers, the University’s alumni have high ranks in statistics such as national placement exams, board certifications, and incredibly low loan default (0.0% for RUSVM and less than 1% for RUSM). Over the past few years, Ross University has seen tremendous growth, and continues to see change every day. I began working at Ross University in 2007 as the first director of alumni relations for the University, as an example of this growth I am now the director of institutional advancement and alumni relations for DeVry Medical International which encompasses both Ross schools as well as another Caribbean medical school. While Ross University is now a part of DeVry Medical International this paper will focus on Ross only as the third institution is still being integrated and their benefits are not yet in line with those of Ross University.

The University’s Human Resources department understands that no benefits plan is going to satisfy all employees; however, as a growing company it strives for flexibility and continuous improvement. In selecting benefits providers and suites of services, the HR department as well as various providers try to look at the larger picture of what is important to employees. Important factors include familial relationships and needs, age/demographics of employees, lifestyle needs and choices. They understand that these factors make a big difference in preferences for health coverage and financial services. For example, older workers might care more about the cost of hospital stays or want greater flexibility in choosing their own doctor, whereas younger workers might be more worried about reducing their co-payments and other out-of-pocket expenses.

They have developed a benefit plan that is linked to the organizational strategy and have taken into consideration external as well as internal factors, such as demographics and market and industry data, in order to offer a benefit plan that will suit their employees’ needs. There are several elements to Ross University’s compensation program. In addition to base pay, they used to offer short-term incentive compensation through an annual bonus and special awards. However, due to budget cuts and new regulations, many employees are no longer eligible for either. Only top level employees are eligible for an end of year bonus called the Management Incentive Plan. Due to compliance regulations, external facing staff members– such as those in Admissions – are not eligible to be awarded monetary prizes for the special awards. The Human Resources staff maintains their competitive-edge practices through regular evaluation of external market data. Statement of the Issue

The total compensation package is comprised of both intrinsic and extrinsic compensation that combines monetary rewards with employees’ satisfaction that result from performing their jobs. However, over the past few years, the policy has dwindled...
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