August 27, 2014

August 2014 APAC News Vol. 7, No. 7

Attorney General Lisa Madigan Obtains $2.6 Million for SURS

Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced a settlement with Bank of America
that will provide $2.6 million for SURS.
ATTORNEY GENERAL LISA MADIGAN, along with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), announced on Aug. 21 that Bank of America has agreed to the largest single settlement in the history of corporate America “for its role in offering consumers toxic mortgage loans,” Madigan said.

ILLINOIS WILL recover $200 million to the State’s pension systems and $100 million in consumer relief from the $17 billion settlement. “This brings the total my office has recovered for the State’s pension systems to $344 million,” Madigan said.

A TOTAL of $2.6 million will go to the State Universities Retirement System (SURS). The rest of the money will be go the Illinois Teachers Retirement System and the State Board of Investment, the latter of which oversees the State Employees Retirement System, the General Assembly Retirement System, and Judges Retirement System.

THE SETTLEMENT “is the third agreement I have secured as part of my work on the Department of Justice’s Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group and the fourth enforcement action I have taken against Bank of America,” Madigan said.

MADIGAN ADDED that the “settlement with Bank of America will help Illinois recover its losses from the dangerous and deceptive securities that put our economy on the path to destruction. Even six years later, we are still cleaning up the mess Wall Street created with its reckless investments and fraudulent conduct.”

APAC News Surpasses 100,000 Hits

(Image courtesy Lessons from the Lamp Post)
WITH THE July issue of APAC News, the publication has exceeded 100,000 page hits on the Internet.

“THIS HIGH number is a testament to the close attention that UIC Academic Professionals and others pay to information that affects both the University and these individuals’ work lives,” said William S. Bike, editor of APAC News.

THE CURRENT issue and previous issues of APAC News can be accessed at http://uicapac.blogspot.com/.

State's Backlog of Bills Falls by 60%

GOVERNOR PATRICK Quinn announced on July 14 that the State's backlog of bills had fallen from a high of $9.9 billion in 2010 down to $3.9 billion as of June 30, the lowest point since the Governor took office.

THE BACKLOG of bills is now closer to the typical private industry 30-day billing standard.

THE OFFICE of the Governor stated that the change was “a direct result of the Governor's willingness to make the tough decisions including overhauling the Medicaid program, reforming worker's compensation and unemployment insurance systems, and implementing major efficiencies such as closing and consolidating more than 50 State facilities.”

Speed Networking Events Scheduled

APAC WILL host two Speed Networking events.

SPEED NETWORKING is aimed at bringing together Academic Professionals interested in meeting their colleagues on campus, having a few minutes of one-on-one discussion to learn about what other APs are doing, and making new connections.

THE WEST Campus event will be held in the College of Medicine Research Building, 909 S. Wolcott, Room 6175m on Tuesday, Sept. 9, noon to 1:30 p.m. To register, click here: WEST CAMPUS 9/9/2014.

THE EAST CAMPUS EVENT will be held in the Daley Library,  801 S. Morgan St. , Room 1-470, on Monday, Sept. 22, noon to 1:30 p.m. To register, click here: EAST CAMPUS 9/22/2014.

APAC Meetings Scheduled

ALL APs are invited to the monthly APAC meeting at 12:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the month. Meetings are held either in the College of Medicine Research Building (CMRB), 909 S. Wolcott, or Room 2750 of University Hall on the East Campus. Next meeting is Sept. 10 from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in 2750 UH. For information, call (312) 996-0306.

APAC PROFILE

Julie C. Kong, Director of Research Services in the Dean’s Office
at the School of Public Health, and APAC member.
Julie C. Kong Sees APAC as Advocate for APs

By Katherine Vega

JULIE C.  KONG, the Director of Research Services in the Dean’s Office at the School of Public Health, has spent more than half her life at UIC. “UIC is one of those places that many people such as myself keep coming back to!” said Kong.

AFTER RECEIVING her degree in in nutrition and dietetics from the College of Applied Health Sciences and working as a dietitian, she came back as a teaching assistant in the Department of Nutrition and Medical Dietetics in 1984 and became an instructor and the Coordinator of the Undergraduate Dietetics Program the following year.

KONG SERVED in other roles outside of UIC but came back again to become the Administrative Director of the first UIC Cancer Center in 1996. “In 1999, I came to the School of Public Health to start the pre-awards research office,” she said. Kong has been there ever since.

THE SCHOOL of Public Health’s Office of Research Services, an office with a staff of three pre-awards sponsored project specialists, helps pre-award researchers get their proposals organized and submitted to federal and non-profit organizations. This may sound like a broad set of tasks—and it is.

KONG’S OFFICE provides “full-service proposal development for faculty and students,” she said. In addition to hosting grant workshops and searching for funding opportunities, the Office of Research Services also organizes the Annual SPH Research Day. “We have a diverse set of other responsibilities…such as writing and organizing the content for the research section of the College’s website, managing the scientific peer review process, running the College’s Seed Funding Competition and poster office, and analyzing the research activities of the college,” said Kong.

“MY GOAL is to continue to advance research in the college and support the development of my staff, who are the foundation of the office,” Kong said. “It is critical for pre-awards research offices to be visionary and develop new strategies to expand their enterprise to further support faculty.”

OFFICES SUCH as Research Services are crucial to providing investigators the means to grow their research portfolio. A strong administrative backing of that process is essential to innovation and exploration, according to Kong. “The field of research administration has really progressed over the past few years,” she said. “In particular, having a pre-awards research office provides endless possibilities in creating something ‘new.’”

“THERE ARE new relationships that are being fostered for collaborations, the training of new investigators on how to prepare their first grant proposal, and the developing of new initiatives for the college,” she continued.

FOR KONG, joining APAC was an easy decision. “APAC is valuable because they are the advocate for the interests of all Academic Professionals,” she said. She also appreciates what APAC represents to her. A fan of both acronyms and advancement, she believes that “Activism is Positive and Affects Change.”

KONG KNOWS that staff members are some of the most important members of the UIC community, and this translates to her work with APAC. “I am currently part of the Professional Development Committee because I enjoy supporting the personal and professional growth of one of our campus’ most valuable resources—our staff,” she said.

KONG’S STAFF of pre-awards sponsored projects specialists are Academic Professionals. “As research administrators, it is essential that they have the resources to grow in their careers so that their talents can be further enhanced for their jobs,” said Kong.

“UIC HAS many wonderful and hard-working Academic Professionals and APAC works extremely hard to recognize and retain these professionals,” she concluded.

TO CONTACT Kong, email jckong@uic.edu.

THE CONTINUING CRISIS

Editor’s Note: “The Continuing Crisis” is a section of APAC News which links to news pertinent to the State budget crisis and other financial matters as they affect the University and Academic Professionals. These news outlets are not affiliated with or endorsed by APAC.

UNIVERSITY AT risk from Illinois budget woes? S&P offers warning. Crain’s Chicago Business, Aug. 1: http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20140801/NEWS02/140809966/state-universities-at-risk-from-illinois-budget-woes-s-p-warns

ILLINOIS GOVERNMENT shutdown, mass firings of public workers? International Business Times, Aug. 4: http://www.ibtimes.com/bruce-rauner-gop-candidate-illinois-governor-promises-government-shutdown-mass-firing-1648244

TWENTY-SIX STATE legislators have opted out of State retirement plans. Pension360.org. http://pension360.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Illinois-politicians-opt-out-pension-plans.jpg

Vol. 7, No. 7, August 2014

ISSN 1946-1860
Editor: William S. Bike
Staff: Neal Lorenzi, Gail Mansfield, Susan S. Stevens, Katherine Vega, Monica M. Walk
Chair: Michael Moss
Vice Chair: Ahlam Al-Kodmany
Secretary: Mary Berta
Treasurer: Colleen Piersen
Web Chair: Jeff Alcantar