Fund review committee for UW retirement plans


The University of Washington Retirement Plan (UWRP) and Voluntary Investment Program (VIP) Fund Review Committee (FRC) is a standing committee defined in each plan document and authorized by the UW Board of Regents. The committee’s structure and authority is outlined in Section 5.2 of the UW Retirement Plan Plan Document (PDF) and Section 5.4 of the Voluntary Investment Program Plan Document (PDF) documents. The language in each section is identical, and one committee serves both programs. The Committee has a fiduciary role in regard to both plans and is charged with operating exclusively in the best interests of the participants.

The FRC was created by a subcommittee of the Faculty Council on Benefits & Retirement, working together with representatives of the Professional Staff Association (PSO) and the Association of Librarians at the University of Washington (ALUW); and the UW Benefits Office.

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Fiduciary responsibility

The Board of Regents is the fiduciary for the plans. However the FRC members are also held to fiduciary standards for the UWRP and VIP. Fiduciaries have important responsibilities and are subject to certain standards of conduct because they act on behalf of the participants in the plan. These responsibilities include:

  • Acting solely in the interest of plan participants and their beneficiaries, with the exclusive purpose of providing benefits to them
  • Carrying out their duties with skill, prudence, and diligence
  • Following the plan documents
  • Diversifying plan investments
  • Paying only reasonable expenses of administering the plan and investing its assets
  • Avoiding conflicts of interests

The FRC is also responsible for selecting and recommending the plan record keeper(s) and investment options, and for monitoring their performance. Recommendations from the FRC go to the Provost and Executive Vice President who has the delegated authority from the Regents to act on the recommendations.

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Investment policy statement

The FRC operates under an Investment Policy Statement (IPS) (PDF) to guide oversight of investment options and recommendations to the Provost. The IPS is routinely reviewed to ensure that the goals remain relevant and appropriate.

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Conflict of interest statement

FRC members shall not participate in the formulation or rendering of FRC advice where it reasonably appears that their participation could be influenced by financial or other considerations that are in conflict with their FRC obligations to only consider the best interests of plan participants and the University of Washington. Where a member is uncertain about this rule, the member should consult the Executive Director of Benefits, who will seek the advice of the Attorney General as appropriate.

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Fund data and recommendations to the Provost

You can assess the following documents using your UW NetID.

Fund Data: Investment Fund Reviews
Presentation Slides from Participants’ Meetings

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Administrative support

Administrative support to the committee is provided by Benefits including:

  • Coordination of meeting dates and locations
  • Coordination of requests/responses from the Committee to the Investment Consultant and/or Record Keepers for data or for meetings with appropriate representatives from same
  • Coordinate evaluation of any legal issues which may arise
  • Web support for information for the campus community
  • Collection point for comments from the campus community to share with the Committee
  • Provide routine updates to the Provost and Executive Vice President, the Faculty Council on Benefits and Retirement, the Professional Staff Organization Board, the Board of the Association of Librarians of the UW
  • Coordination of any actions (legal review, Requests for Proposals, etc.) required as a result of recommendations made and accepted by the Provost and Executive Vice President

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Committee members

The following people comprise the FRC. Their terms of appointment are defined in Section 5.2 of the UWRP plan document and Section 5.4 of the VIP plan document.

Robert Breidenthal

Professor, Aeronautics and Astronautics

Robert Breidenthal is a professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He arrived at the University of Washington in 1980 from Caltech. His research interest is turbulence.

Scott Davies

Senior Investment Officer & COO, UWINCO

Scott Davies is Chief Operations Officer for the University’s Investment Office. Prior to assuming the role of COO, Scott focused on real asset and credit strategies. Previously, he managed the University’s debt portfolio and was a key contributor on the University’s major real estate projects. Before coming to the University in 1996, Scott worked for a regional real estate consulting and valuation firm and a Big 4 accounting firm. He graduated from Claremont McKenna College and received both CPA and MAI designations (inactive status). Scott has over 15 years of experience in the investment management industry.

Mindy Kornberg

Vice President for UW Human Resources (UWHR)

Mindy Kornberg, appointed vice president for UW Human Resources (UWHR) in 2006, provides human resources leadership and strategic guidance across the University of Washington system consisting of three campuses, two medical centers, and several smaller offsite locations locally and globally. UWHR’s responsibilities for labor relations, benefits, organizational development, violence prevention, disability accommodation services, and employee engagement encompass all faculty, staff and graduate student employees at the University of Washington. In addition, UWHR provides full cycle staff human resources services in the following areas: talent management, compensation, professional development, employee relations, HR information services, legislative analysis, and policy development.

From creating welcoming workplaces and productive relationships with our nine union partners to fostering leadership development and employee engagement programs that have achieved national recognition, Mindy emphasizes the importance every employee plays in advancing the mission of the University.

A frequent guest speaker at national human resources and higher education conferences, Mindy is also a lawyer, sworn into the United States Supreme Court Bar and admitted to the North Carolina State Bar, Alaska State Bar, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

Ex Officio, Representing Human Resources

Laura Lillard

Director, Libraries Human Resources
Representing UW Librarians as recommended by the Association of Librarians of the University of Washington (ALUW)

Laura Lillard came to the UW Libraries in 2001 as Education Librarian, liaison to the College of Education. In addition to her role as Education Librarian, Laura began serving as Assistant Director, Libraries Academic Human Resources in 2012, managing librarian appointments and promotions. She took on the role of Director, Libraries Human Resources in 2017. Prior to her work at the UW, Laura served as Education Librarian at Texas A&M University (1998-2001). Laura has a BA in Politics from Wake Forest University, an MA in Elementary Education from American University and an MLIS from University of North Carolina, Greensboro.

T. Aaron Morello

Research Scientist/Engineer 3, School of Oceanography
Professional Staff Representative as recommended by the Professional Staff Organization (PSO) Board

Aaron Morello has been an oceanographer in the UW’s Marine Chemistry Laboratory since 1998. He has served on the PSO Board of Directors, and has been a member of the Board’s Scholarship and Legislative Committees. Morello earned a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology from Western Washington University in the spring of 1995.

S. Gowri Shankar

Associate Professor, UWB School of Business
Representing the Faculty Council on Benefits and Retirement (FCBR) as recommended by the Faculty Senate.

Professor Shankar is an Associate Professor at the UW Bothell School of Business where he has taught courses in Finance, Economics and Accounting since 2000. Prior to joining UW Bothell, he taught at SUNY-Oswego, Cornell University and Syracuse University. He earned his MBA at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and his PhD at Syracuse University. Dr. Shankar is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and has been awarded the University of Washington Distinguished Teaching Award, besides several teaching awards at the School. His published research includes papers on personal finance and retirement planning. He currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the General Faculty Organization at UW Bothell.

Western Washington University and Central Washington University

Non-voting representatives, one from each institution

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