“Blue Cross to reinstate board fees, though at reduced level.” By Robert Weisman. Boston Globe. March 1, 2013. Andrew Dreyfus, president and chief executive officer for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts at the annual Boston College’s Chief Executives’ Club of Boston annual luncheon at the Boston Harbor Hotel’s Wharf Room in June 2012. Two years after bowing to its critics and suspending five-figure annual pay for directors, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is reinstating the compensation — though at reduced levels and to fewer board members. The state’s largest health insurance carrier will pay part-time board members who chair committees a maximum of $54,500. That is down from the $78,60 before the public outcry over how much directors were paid at nonprofit insurers regulated as public charities. Blue Cross will pay other directors no more than $47,000, down from $58,600 in 2011. Despite the reductions, Blue Cross board members will remain among the best compensated directors at any nonprofit health plan in the state. Blue Cross board members attend up to five full board meetings a year, a strategic planning session, and about eight committee meetings, executives said. Boston-based Blue Cross — criticized in the past for having a well-connected board with minimal qualifications — has also named five new directors to replace six that recently left. That puts the head count at 17, but the goal is to whittle it to 14, while improving the board’s level of health care expertise, said chief executive Andrew Dreyfus.
“At U-Va., tensions persist between Sullivan and Dragas.” By Jenna Johnson. Washington Post. March 1, 2013. The University of Virginia’s president and governing board leader have, in public, maintained an air of united collegiality for the past eight months, hoping to move beyond the summer’s leadership crisis. Out of sight, tension has continued to build between U-Va. President Teresa Sullivan and U-Va. Board of Visitors Rector Helen Dragas as they struggle for control over the university’s agenda and priorities, according to several people close to the situation. In recent weeks, the conflict hit a boiling point. Days after Virginia lawmakers confirmed Dragas’s reappointment to the board in January, the rector sent the president a lengthy and detailed list of goals to meet this school year. Sullivan, apparently incensed, responded by sending the entire board an e-mail arguing that the 65 goals constitute, among other things, “micromanagement.” “The sheer number of goals is close to impossible to achieve, especially with only five months left in the academic year,” Sullivan wrote in a Feb. 6 e-mail obtained by The Washington Post. “I am not averse to stretch goals, but I also do not care to be set up to fail.” The university is still recovering from the events of the summer, when Dragas and another board leader asked Sullivan to resign in early June without publicly providing reasons. Faculty revolted, formally demanding Sullivan’s return and the resignation of responsible board members. They were soon joined by thousands of alumni, students, donors and others. After 18 days of upheaval, the board reinstated Sullivan. The crisis brought national attention to the school, which Thomas Jefferson founded, along with challenges facing public universities across the country. It also gave the leaders reasons to dislike and distrust each other.