Benefits Design Workgroup

The Benefits Design Workgroup (BDW) is an employee representative group formed to provide university employees an opportunity for input into the development of university benefit plan options. The BDW obtained significant benefits knowledge during multiple educational sessions with UofL’s benefits consultants. During workgroup meetings, the BDW viewed benefit plan designs through an employee lens and, if needed, provided input on plan alternatives. The BDW will continue to meet, as needed, to further review benefit plan options and provide feedback to HR. If you have any feedback on UofL’s benefits plan, contact any of the members below.

Jason E. Beare, M.S.
Phone: 502-852-2278
Completed Master of Science degree in Anatomical Sciences & Neurobiology in 2007. Joined UL in October of 2008 as a Senior Research Technologist in the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center.  In 2013, transferred to Research Coordinator in the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute. Served on the Staff Senate since July of 2016, and currently serve as Chair of the Staff Grievance Committee.


Karan Chavis
Phone: 502-852-0141
Graduate of Texas A&M University and has more than 36 years of University administrative experience. Joined the University of Louisville School of Medicine in 2014 as Chief of Staff. Serves as operations, planning, and policy advisor to the Dean and leads the School of Medicine (SOM) staff development initiative entitled SMART (School of Medicine Advancement, Retention, and Training). Serves on several committees and is Chair of CODRE (Commission on Diversity and Racial Equality), Chair of CODRE Staff Concerns Committee, and serves on the Benefits Design Workgroup, Human Resources Advisory Committee, Consensual Sexual Relations Policy Committee, and Campus Environment Team. Also served as Co-Chair of the President’s Great Place to Work Strategic Planning Committee.


Celeste Carter
Phone: 502-852-5189
Director of Finance and Administration and Lead Fiscal Officer (LFO) for the School of Medicine and works within the HSC Financial Affairs Office. Worked at the University for 39 years with the last 20 years being in the EVPHA’s Office and the School of Medicine. Oversees the daily operations of the School of Medicine, authorizes financial and HR actions, provides high level guidance and advice to HSC LFOs, the SOM Dean, Chairs, Executive Directors, Unit Business Managers as well as other staff.  Also works with the HSC CFO/AVP for Finance on various projects.


Rhonda Gilliland
Phone: 502-852-5643
Accounts Payable Manager, Procurement Manager, and now working as a Systems Analyst on the PeopleSoft Financials team. Worked at UofL for 25 years and has been a member of Staff Senate since 2013. Worked on the Staff Grievance committee, Credentials and Nomination committee, and many other Ad-hoc committees. Currently holds the office of Secretary/Treasurer on the Staff Senate Leadership team.


Patrick Harris
Patrick (Pat) Harris, Ph.D
Phone: 502-852-5371  
Graduate with a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Missouri. Received PhD in Physiology from Northwestern University and has postdoctoral training in Microcirculation from Indiana University. Completed visiting Professorship in Biomedical Engineering from California Institute of Technology. Spent 54 years on Medical School faculty with 39 years spent at UofL. Served on numerous University committees such as Strategic Planning; University Committee on Fiscal Resources; Board of Directors, University Athletic Assoc., Entrepreneurship Advisory Council for College of Business and Public Administration; Mentor, Future Professors Program in College of Education and Human Development; Industrial Board of Advisors for Speed Scientific School; Benefits Design Workgroup; Search Committee for VP of Legal Affairs; and numerous Faculty Senate committees.


Gale R
Gale Rhodes
Phone: 502-852-5432
Received Bachelor of Science degree in Education from the University of Tennessee and Master of Science degree in College Student Personnel from the University of Tennessee. Later graduated with Education Doctorate Degree in Counseling and College Student Personnel from the University of Louisville. Prior to UofL, was the Director of Student Activities at Mississippi State University and Associate Dean of Students at the University of Central Arkansas. During her 33 years at UofL, she has held several positions – all in the Provost’s Office (Coordinator of Freshman Orientation Course, Director of Academic Services, Director of Distance and Continuing Education, Assistant Provost and Executive Director of the Delphi Center, Associate Provost and Executive Director of the Delphi Center, Vice Provost and Executive Director of the Delphi Center).


David Schultz
Phone: 502-852-5938
Joined the University as an assistant professor of biology in 2001. Currently teaches Cellular & Molecular Biology and Intermediary Metabolism. Research expertise in Plant Biochemistry where lab studies specialize plant metabolites with therapeutic applications (treatment of breast cancer) and plant lipids that can be used as renewable petroleum replacement products.


Vincent Tyra
Phone: 502-852-3858
A Louisville native and graduate of the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor of Science in Health Administration. Has served in multiple executive roles including operating partner for Southfield Capital, chairman of the board on numerous investments, corporate advisor for ISCO Industries, and president of retail and activewear for Fruit of the Loom. Began his tenure at the University of Louisville in October 2017 and has since stabilized the success of the Athletics program by providing values-based leadership, prioritizing and enhancing the student-athlete experience, improving relations with fans and donors and executing on capital projects. Also Served as a member of the University of Louisville Foundation Board of Directors and chaired the organization’s Finance Committee.



Mary Rising
Received both her bachelor and master’s degrees from UofL. Taught in the Department of Mathematics from 1978 – 2012. Currently the President of the University of Louisville Association of Retired Personnel (ULARP) and remains involved and connected to the University as an advocate for UofL retirees.



The BDW works in conjunction with HR representatives, Mimi Bell, Assistant Director of Total Rewards, Todd Kneale, Director of Total Rewards and Mary Elizabeth Miles, Vice President of HR.