May 3, 2011

MAY 2011 APAC News, Vol. 4, No. 4
*NEW* What Do You Think of the Conversions?

This is an Open Forum for Readers to Discuss Civil Service Conversions. 

WHAT DO you think about the Civil Service audit findings, job analysis, and the conversions?  What questions do you have?  Please let us know.

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PART OF APAC's role is to help represent the issues and concerns of UIC's Academic Professional staff. In order to do this, we need as much input from APs as we can get.  We also want to provide an opportunity for people to discuss the conversions.

May Marks Beginning of
AP to Civil Service Conversion at Hospital

If these APs are converted to Civil Service, should they retain all seniority accrued in all their previous AP positions? The University Senate recently approved a letter to be sent to Board Chair Christopher Kennedy and University President Michael Hogan asking for retention of all seniority for APs converted to Civil Service. (Photo courtesy AADE.)
By Monica M. Walk

QUESTIONS FROM employees are percolating across the Chicago campus as the Human Resources Office continues to analyze and categorize jobs as Academic Professional or Civil Service as required to resolve State University Civil Service System (SUCSS) audit findings that UIC had misclassified some jobs.

THE JOB analysis process is close to complete in the Medical Center and May 1, 2011, was the first date that Medical Center employees could choose to convert from AP to CS. Jobs in the East Side colleges, West Side colleges, and UA positions will be analyzed in the coming months.

“WE WANT our employees to remain our employees,” stressed Executive Director and Associate Vice President for Human Resources Maureen Parks, noting that the University is working hard to personalize the process through both group and individual meetings and ongoing communication.

REPRESENTATIVES FROM the State’s Civil Service Office and Human Resources participated in a Town Hall meeting sponsored by APAC at UIC for Academic Professionals on April 19. At that time employees received information about the audit, the job analysis process, the conversion process, and its implications for the employee. The information shared can be found on the Human Resources website, along with additional campus communication reports, FAQs, and related University resources. Visit UIC's Civil Service Audit and Job Analysis to view these specifics. Additional website updates are expected soon.

"THE CIVIL Service office and the executive director are working closely with us to resolve problems,” Parks said. “I am grateful for the way they have partnered with us to work through issues. Civil Service is not trying to do anything bad to the University of Illinois; they are trying to apply the law fairly. The problem is these are old rules—from 1954—and not always a good fit. So, we are working closely to figure out how a rule or statute affects us today. We will work through the issues to explain them. We don’t want anyone to leave because they don’t understand what is happening.”

AP POSITIONS currently funded by grants, or “soft money,” are among the situations still being clarified in the reclassification from AP to CS. “The position being Civil Service is separate from funding,” Parks said. “The University is concerned about what happens if the money [for a position] runs out. We don’t have an answer right now, but we are working on it with Civil Service. Our goal is to have something in place so it’s not an issue. We want to have a proposal to the Civil Service office and merit board to review by August, so we can set aside the issue and not have it be a problem.”

It’s the Law

in AP jobs that have substantially similar duties as the jobs in the Civil Service class plan must be converted to Civil Service. Because it’s the law, departments not have an option on whether or not to convert. “We do not want to lose our good and valuable employees,” Parks said. “This is not so we can eradicate positions or dismiss people.”

THERE ARE several aspects of employment that will change as a result of conversion. For example, Civil Service jobs have either six-month or 12-month probationary periods attached to them. AP employees who are converted must satisfy the applicable probationary period for the new “converted to” Civil Service position. However, time in the “converted from” position will be counted toward satisfying the probationary periods. Additionally, employees will begin to earn seniority in the new Civil Service job classes. Seniority accrued in a visiting position also will count when that position is converted to Civil Service.

OTHER ASPECTS of employment will not change. For example, pay rates (with the possible exception of those covered by collective bargaining agreements), health benefits, and paid time off banks to name a few.

FOR A full description of the implications of converting from AP to Civil Service, visit the HR website UIC's Civil Service Audit and Job Analysis.

EVENTUALLY ALL Academic Professional positions will have been analyzed via this process. However, jobs posted since January 2011 should be classified correctly, as new positions are required to go through job analysis before being posted. So, individuals considering employment with the university or considering a change in employment within the University can expect a job posted as Academic Professional to remain in this category.

IF AN internal applicant in the interview process is concerned, particularly about seniority, Parks urges the job candidate to ask the hiring manager if the job has been through the analysis process. “They will not be offended if asked,” Parks said. “People expect the question. This is a hot topic on the Chicago campus. If the job has been though the analysis process it is fine. If it hasn’t been through the process, ask why and how confident the hiring manager is that it will remain AP.”

University Senate Supports Retention of Full Seniority when APs Converted to Civil Service

THE UNIVERSITY SENATE on April 21 unanimously passed a letter to be sent to University Board of Trustees Chair Christopher G. Kennedy and University President Michael J. Hogan opposing the reclassification of Academic Professional positions to Civil Service without retention of seniority accrued throughout an employee’s entire Academic Professional career at UIC.

CURRENTLY, WHEN APs are converted to Civil Service, they retain only the seniority for their last AP position, but do not receive seniority credit for all their previous AP positions at UIC.

THE LETTER had been drafted by AP Senators William S. Bike, Jacqueline M. Berger, and Jill M. Davis.

THE LETTER read in part that APs “have taken new positions on campus in an effort to advance their careers and have done so in good faith, assuming that the University had properly classified these positions as Academic Professional. By not allowing seniority accrued from all positions an individual has held, many of these employees who have ten-to-20 years of experience at the University, will be reclassified as Civil Service with only one-to-two years of seniority. This means that if position elimination occurs in their new Civil Service classification, many of these individuals will be at the bottom of the ‘bumping tree’ and could be laid off in favor of other employees with less total experience at the University.”

BERGER USED herself as an example to illustrate the concerns to the Senate. While she has been employed at UIC for over 15 years, she was recently promoted and has been in her current position for less than two years. If she is converted, she will have less than two years of seniority - the other 13 years of service to the campus will not "count."

THE LETTER also notes, “Academic Professionals are a vital part of the University’s ability to respond to the needs of the citizens of the State of Illinois. Inequitable treatment of their years of dedication to the University will have a devastating impact on the daily operations of the University and on the level of service we provide our students. We encourage the Board of Trustees and the President to ensure the protection of full seniority during the process of conversion of Academic Professional positions to Civil Service classifications.”

BIKE, BERGER, and Davis on the Senate floor explained the reasons for the letter before the Senate took a vote. They addressed the concerns of faculty, who comprise most of the Senate roster.

“CIVIL SERVICE personnel are subject to ‘bumping’—removal from their position should a Civil Service employee with greater seniority seek that position,” Bike said. “So if a faculty member had a particularly skilled assistant in his or her department who had been an AP and now is Civil Service, that person would be subject to bumping, and could lose that qualified assistant. A way to protect against that is for the University to count all of our seniority.”

TO SEE a recording of the Senate meeting, click below.  Discussion of letter runs from 17:24 to 25:12.

Uncertain Forecast for Pension Changes

“It is an exaggeration to say all the State’s budget problems have arisen from the State’s pension program,” said economist J. Fred Giertz, an economist with the University’s Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

By Sam Hostettler, for UIC News, and William S. Bike, for APAC News

MAY 31. That’s the final day lawmakers convene for the current legislative session and the date employees at the three University of Illinois campuses will have circled on their calendars to learn what, if any, changes the Illinois General Assembly will make to the State’s massively underfunded pension system.

A PANEL of experts — Robert Rich, director of the Institute of Government and Public Affairs; economists Darren Lubotsky, David Merriman, and J. Fred Giertz; law professor Laurie Reynolds; and Kappy Laing, executive director of the Office of Governmental Relations and the University’s chief lobbyist — provided an overview of a new report on the public pension policy to nearly 800 UIC faculty and staff April 12 at the UIC Forum.

“WE”RE NOT here to here to take positions,” said Rich, who along with Lubotsky, Merriman, and Reynolds authored the report, “Public Pension Policy in Illinois: An Introduction to a Crucial Issue.”

“THERE’S LITTLE practical value to talk about who is at fault. We are here to provide you with information on the issue.”

IN MAY 2010, Illinois’s unfunded pension liabilities were officially estimated at more than $79 billion, the worst in the nation. The State’s total new pension obligations were greater than $11.9 billion in fiscal year 2011. Illinois contributed only about $3.7 billion to State pension trust funds in fiscal year 2011 and added more state debt to make this contribution.

NATIONALLY, UNDERFUNDING of State pension funds totals more than $3 trillion. Illinois faces two important questions, Rich said: How should the State dispose of its accumulated pension liability? And what sort of pension system should the state have moving forward?

SOME OF the following reforms are being considered:

• Switching from a “defined benefit” (usually financed primarily by the employer) to a “defined contribution” (usually financed by the employee) program;

• Increasing the contributions required of employees;

• Limiting the total amount of pension for which an employee is eligible;

• Changing eligibility criteria;

• Limiting retiree benefits or increasing the costs of the benefits (such as medical benefits) to employees;

• Limiting increases in direct pension benefits by tying these increases directly to rates of inflation.

ACCORDING TO Reynolds, there is a debate over the legality of legislative reforms to the retirement systems, and it all begins with the State’s pension law, which in part reads: “Membership in any pension or retirement system of the State…shall be an enforceable contractual relationship, the benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired.”

“WHEN THAT language was added to the 1970 constitution, it radically changed the status of government employee pension systems in the State of Illinois,” she said.

THERE ARE several different ways the sentence could be interpreted by the Illinois Supreme Court, she said. One scenario is that the Illinois Constitution creates a legally binding obligation between the employee and the pension system itself, the State Universities Retirement System (SURS), but not the State of Illinois. This, Reynolds said, would be the worst case of pensioners.

ANOTHER INTERPRETATION is that the State could recognize its obligation to its employees under the pension system, but that it can reduce benefits for current employees, reducing existing, accrued benefits, she said.

REYNOLDS SAID the most widely held interpretation is the State has no power to change any benefits, formulas for calculating benefits, or to alter any of the terms and conditions of the pension plan that was in effect on the employee’s first day at work.

IT IS unknown at the present time how the Illinois Supreme Court would interpret the decision, Reynolds said.

“IF THE Legislature passes laws reducing benefits for current employees, there will be lawsuits,” Reynolds said. “This is probably going to the Illinois Supreme Court.”

SHE NOTED that the Illinois Supreme Court tends to show “judicial restraint” and deference to the will of the Legislature. The court also is unlikely to let any litigant “put the State over a cliff” by making a decision that would bankrupt the State.

“VALIDITY OF a decree is contingent on if the money is available,” Reynolds said. “If they give litigants a $69 billion judgment but $69 billion isn’t available, what good is it?”

CHANGES HAVE already been made to the pension program by Illinois lawmakers. The adjustments, which apply to employees hired on or after Jan. 1, include:

• An increase in the retirement age from 60 to 67;

• Benefits are now based on the eight highest years of pay in the past ten years, rather than the highest pay in four consecutive years;

• Cost of living adjustments are calculated using simple interest instead of compound interest;

• The earnings based used to calculate benefits is now capped at $106,800;

• The cost of living adjustments are limited to three percent per year or one-half of the actual inflation rate, whichever is less.

IT IS an exaggeration to say all the State’s budget problems have arisen from the State’s pension program, said Giertz.

IT ALSO is an exaggeration to think that the pension system will fail and no one will receive their benefits — that is unlikely to happen, he said. “Failure assumes the State stops funding them, but that won’t happen. The State isn’t that close to insolvency.”

“SINCE PENSIONS are not the cause of all the problems, changing them won’t solve all the problems,” Giertz said. “The State never funded pensions in a timely way, shorting them decade after decade.”

LAING SAID, “We’re looking at a redeployment of contributions. That would result in less possibility of lawsuits than changing benefits paid out would.

“ANY LEGISLATION will have a long implementation period,” Laing concluded. “If you want to affect legislation, the most effective lobbying is your letter or phone call to Legislators.”

SUCH LOBBYING must not be done on University time, on a University telephone or computer, on University stationery, or on the University premises.

TO SEE the entire April 12 meeting, please click the following:

For more information on pension issues, go to,,, or

Shari Smith Representing APs
on VPAA Search Committee

Shari Smith, Associate Director, Center for Online Learning Research and Service,
University of Illinois at Springfield.

PRESIDENT MICHAEL Hogan has selected Shari Smith, Associate Director, Center for Online Learning Research and Service, University of Illinois at Springfield, as the AP rep on the search committee for Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA). 

SMITH, IN applying for the post, noted, “I would lend a voice to the importance of online learning in the academic future of the University of Illinois. In addition, I have strong interest in promoting AP retention and expanding professional development and opportunity for APs, faculty, and staff in the University. Through the University Administrative Fellows, I'm familiar with the system-wide needs and strengths of the three campuses and have heard from many departments who ultimately would report to the VPAA. Finally, I believe in the diversity of talent that exists in the ranks of Academic Professionals at the U of I and would like to be of service to this very talented group of people."

Pending ‘Washroom’ Legislation Senate Bill 1150 Would Remove UI Exemption Authority

By Michael Moss

THE CAMPUS currently has the authority to exempt individual positions from the Civil Service System and create new, Academic Professional positions. These exemptions are based on the standards defined by the Civil Service System "Exemption Procedures." This decision is made locally by UIC HR as a normal part of the Academic Professional hiring process. 

HOWEVER, PROPOSED changes to the "Employee Washroom Act" (SB1150) would seem to have implications beyond washrooms - the authority to exempt positions from the Civil Service System and create new AP positions would be removed from UIC. Further, "the intent to propose an exemption must be provided to impacted employees and any labor organization with exclusive bargaining rights for that position and posted in all public places allocated for Civil Service employment information". 

APAC WOULD like to acknowledge the efforts of senior University of Illinois administrators who attended the Senate Labor Committee to speak in opposition to this legislation. However, this bill passed the Senate and was sent to the House. 

THE HOUSE Sponsor is Rep, Patrick J. Verschoore (D 72nd Rock Island):

Springfield Office:
259-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-5970 (217)
558-1253 FAX

District Office:
1504 3rd Ave., 2nd Floor
County Office Bldg.
Rock Island, IL 61201
(309) 558-3612 (309)
793-4764 FAX Rock Island County

THE ALTERNATE Chief House Sponsor is Representative Kenneth Dunkin (D 5th District):

Springfield Office:
278-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL   62706
(217) 782-4535
(217) 782-4213 FAX

District Office:
1543 North Wells Street
Chicago, IL  60610
(312) 266-0340
(312) 266-0699 FAX
Cook County


SEVERAL PEOPLE also have also requested contact information for their specific State Representatives in the House. You can look up your Illinois District Officials here: 

IF YOU wish to search by zip code, you will need the full 9-digit zip code which you can find here: 

READ MORE at Illinois Senate Bill 1150: 

HOUSE ACTIONS as of Publication:

  4/15/2011          Arrived in House
  4/25/2011          Placed on Calendar Order of First Reading
  4/25/2011          Chief House Sponsor Rep. Patrick J. Verschoore
  4/26/2011          First Reading
  4/26/2011          Referred to Rules Committee
  4/27/2011          Assigned to Executive Committee
  4/28/2011          Alternate Chief Sponsor Changed to Rep. Kenneth Dunkin 

"WITH RESPECT to principal administrative employee positions exempted from the State Universities Civil Service System, provides that the positions must be approved by the Merit Board (instead of as determined by the Merit Board). Provides that no position may be exempt unless the exemption has been reviewed and approved by the Merit Board or by the Executive Director as delegated by the Merit Board. Provides that the authority to exempt lies solely with the Merit Board or the Executive Director as delegated by the Merit Board, and such authority shall not be extended to any other employing institution or agency. Provides that adequate advance notice of the intent to propose an exemption must be provided to impacted employees and any labor organization with exclusive bargaining rights for that position and posted in all public places allocated for civil service employment information."

We’re Not the Problem

It was the September 2008 collapse and bankruptcy of the Lehman Brothers investment bank that signaled the start of what is now called the Great Recession.

Reprint from USW@Work, published by the United Steelworkers

BLAME WALL Street and lax regulation. Blame global capital and bad trade deals. Blame banks and an overzealous mortgage industry. But don’t blame workers for the mess our economy is in.

THE RUSE, of course, is that public employee salaries and benefits are the underlying cause of budget problems that have gripped state and local governments across the nation.

PUBLIC EMPLOYEES didn’t deregulate the financial services industry or promote complex and risky investments like derivatives. Their pensions didn’t push Wall Street to a crisis.

“THE PEOPLE who do the work – those who take care of our kids and try to give them a good education, the firemen who run into burning buildings to save us, the policemen who patrol our streets at the risk of taking a bullet, the nurses who fight for patient care or the steelworkers who are fighting to keep their plants open – we’re not the problem,” said International Steelworkers President Leo W. Gerard.

IT WAS the September 2008 collapse and bankruptcy of the Lehman Brothers investment bank that signaled the start of what is now called the Great Recession.

LEHMAN HAD had borrowed significant amounts of money to fund its investments, much of it in housing-related assets that made it vulnerable to a downtown. When the subprime mortgage crisis hit, Lehman faced an unprecedented loss and filed for bankruptcy.

LESS THAN a week after Lehman’s filing, the Bush administration asked Congress for powers to buy bad debt and mortgages. On Sept. 29, after the House rejected a $700 billion rescue bill, the Dow fell 777 points, its largest one-day point loss in history. The Senate passed the bailout on Oct. 1. The House approved it on Oct. 3 and President George Bush signed the bill.

BY THE end of October, it was very clear the country was in recession as consumers cut back on their spending by the biggest amount in 28 years.

THE RECESSION led to unsustainably high unemployment, which still exists today, and continued bad economic consequences, including budget problems at state and local governments.

MUCH OF the problem can be traced to tax revenues that have fallen because of the recession and political decisions to give huge tax breaks to the rich.

IDLED BUSNESSES no longer pay taxes. Nor do the 27 million people who are still unemployed or underemployed.

TO JUSTIFY the assault on public employees, some falsely blame employees for the dismal conditions of public pension funds. But public sector workers did not lose trillions of dollars in risky Wall Street investments. Wall Street money managers did that, not ordinary working people

FOR MORE Information, go to

State Comptroller Says No to Bankruptcy

Illinois State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka is dead set against the idea of bankruptcy for Illinois.

A PROPOSAL has been floated in the U.S. Congress to allow states to declare bankruptcy, which heretofore has been illegal under Federal law. Although the proposal is the brainchild of prominent Republicans, the Illinois State Comptroller, Judy Baar Topinka, a Republican herself, is dead set against the idea for Illinois.

“THERE IS no question Illinois faces serious financial challenges, but declaring bankruptcy is not the answer,” Topinka said.

WHILE SUPPORTERS of bankruptcy “are no doubt well-intentioned, their proposal to allow states like Illinois to break their financial commitments is misguided at best,” she continued.

STATE BANKRUPTCY would immediately result in increased borrowing costs, reduced access to financial markets and suspended or downgraded credit ratings, Topinka contends, noting “It is irresponsible. In fact, I fear that the mere discussion of this option runs the risk of destabilizing the bond market.”

BEYOND THOSE consequences, “State bankruptcy threatens to create more financial uncertainty and stunt economic recovery,” Topinka said. “Residents in our State already face high unemployment, residential foreclosures and other economic difficulties. Bankruptcy will only exacerbate their plight. In addition to disrupting the bond market in the short-term, it would stop infrastructure and construction projects that are needed to jump start the economy. In Illinois specifically, it would also further paralyze business recruitment already made more-difficult by the recently-approved corporate tax increase.

“PERHAPS MOST important: bankruptcy is simply not the right thing to do. Sadly, my State and others have made irresponsible spending and borrowing decisions that have led to massive deficits. As State leaders, we now have a responsibility to make difficult and unpopular decisions to reduce spending and restore our fiscal integrity. Bankruptcy is little more than an ‘easy way out’ that would wrongly allow the State to skip out on its financial obligations without correcting the choices that have led to this point,” Topinka concluded.

Government Workers Vital to Economy, says Campaign for America’s Future

Study after study shows the public employees do not receive extravagant compensation. (Photo courtesy

THE CAMPAIGN for America’s Future is a progressive economic strategy center based in Washington, DC. Bill Scher, online campaign manager for the Campaign for America’s Future, recently discussed why the government workers need to be protected from attacks on our salaries and pensions.

Weak Economies Need More Demand

“OUR ECONOMY is struggling and our state budgets are distressed because increased unemployment and falling home prices have reduced economic demand,” Scher explained. “Weakening the ability of any workers to negotiate fair pay and secure retirements will only weaken demand further, hurting the overall economy.”

Strong Standards Strengthen the Middle Class

WHEN PUBLIC sector workers get fair pay, healthy workplaces, and secure retirements, “that puts pressure on private sector CEOs to do the same, or else they risk losing talent to the public sector,” Scher said. “Making public sector work less inviting does nothing to make private sector jobs pay better. We need to raise the bar, not lower it.”

Decent Government Pay Means Decent Government

MOST EVERYONE wants our federal, state and local governments to function effectively. “That means being able to attract skilled, productive workers with fair pay, healthy workplaces and secure retirements,” Scher noted.

Public Employees Are Not The Problem

STUDY AFTER study shows the public employees do not receive extravagant compensation, and that the problems with state public pension systems are largely overblown. State budgets are reeling from an economic recession caused by reckless Wall Street speculators, top end tax cuts, and corporate tax avoidance. “The projected shortfalls in public retirement benefits derive mostly from skyrocketing health care costs thanks to private insurers, and poorly performing pension investments thanks to deregulated Wall Street firms,” Scher asserted.

Scapegoating Lets The Culprits Get Away

“RIGHT-WING billionaires,” said Scher, “are pumping millions into a nationwide effort to break” public sector employees. “Because if they can get most people to blame public employees for the nation's economic ills, they won't hold irresponsible corporations accountable and force the ultra-rich to make any sacrifices, such as higher taxes and tougher regulations.

“THIS IS a critical moment in our nation's history. Will we be a nation where workers can thrive, or where workers are nickel and dimed? Will we have a vibrant economy that works for all, or will we have a stagnant economy that serves the few? Now's the time to stand up,” Scher concluded.

FOR MORE information, see

APAC at Full Strength

APAC member Jill Davis leads an APAC resources session for employees.

THE ACADEMIC Professional Advisory Committee (APAC) now is at full strength, with the addition of some new members.

NEW PERSONNEL are Vainis Aleksa, Director of the Writing Center, Department of English; Tomeiko Windham Sewell, Real Estate Specialist, Capital Programs and Real Estate Services; Lee Jackson, Project Coordinator, Department of Pediatrics; Agnes Kawalec, Center Coordinator, Center for Clinical and Translational Science; Lorene King, Academic Skills Specialist, Academic Affairs, College of Medicine, Peoria; Patricia Lynn Ransom, Instructional Designer, OBFS; and Susan Varghese, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Medicine, Cardiology.

RETURNING APAC members are Jacqueline Berger, William S. Bike, Virginia Buglio, Jill Davis, Margaret Moser, Michael Moss, Melinda Reeter, Yair Rodriquez, Jennifer Rowan and Deidre Rush.

IN ADDITION, Monica Rausa Williams has been appointed Liaison to APAC from the Office of Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares. Anniese Lemond will continue to serve as the liaison to APAC from University Human Resources.

Jeff Alcantar, Assistant Director, Business Information Systems, Office of Business and Financial Services (OBFS), is holding the role of APAC Webmaster.

Tomeiko Sewell Joins APAC

New APAC member Tomeiko Sewell.

By Ivone De Jesus

TOMEIKO SEWELL serves as Real Estate Specialist for the University Office of Capitol Programs and Real Estate (UOCPRES). For the past six years, she has worked with the University handling all real estate related matters for various departments and colleges campus wide. Many of these units have various leasing and space needs, and it is Sewell’s job to execute them. Her responsibilities are expanding as office personnel retire and as the office works toward ensuring they meet the needs of the campus entities.

PRIOR TO joining the campus, Sewell worked as a real estate paralegal, but wanted to venture into property management. “I never expected to find this opportunity at a University, but I am glad I did,” she said. “I love that every lease is different, being that each unit has different needs.”

WHILE HER involvement with APAC has been rather recent, Sewell always has followed the events via the APAC website and e-mail. She stated, “I am proud of their [APAC’s] ability to be a voice for the APs and their ability to engage and inform them across campus by hosting various events that are specific to our concerns.”

AS A newly appointed member she is looking forward to working with APs and possibly with the Communications or Building Community Committees. “I would like to help out wherever possible to see that we are of service to our colleagues.”

SEWELL HOPES to be able to reach more APs on campus and form more alliances with a broader scope of people. “We are dealing with various compelling issues and this is the time that we can engage the masses,” she noted. With that said, she also wants to work in engaging more APs within her department and others who work in close proximity.

IN HER spare time she loves to read novels and watch movies. Sewell is very active in her church and volunteers with the youth groups in various Chicago-land communities. She is married and has two sons Jordan (11) and Jason (2).


CAPE Award chair William S. Bike explains the nomination process to UIC employees.

APAC Meeting

THE MONTHLY APAC meeting will be held Wednesday, May 11, on the East Campus, at 12:30 p.m. Room to be announced.

ALL ARE invited. For more information, contact Yair Rodriguez at or call (312) 355-0322.

CAPE Awards

CHANCELLOR’S ACADEMIC Professional Excellence Award nominations can be submitted between now and Friday, July 1. For more information and a nomination form, go to

UIC–HR Organizational Effectiveness Business Writing Course Set

A UIC-HR Organizational Effectiveness Business Writing Fundamentals course for any level of staff reviews basic rules of writing, and provides guidelines for planning, organizing, drafting, and editing processes. Register at Upcoming dates are Wednesday, May 25, at 10 a.m. and Tuesday, June 28, at 1 p.m.


Tuition Waiver Benefit Available for Graduate-Level Courses

THERE IS an important benefit to Academic Professionals, Faculty, and Civil Service who are taking graduate-level courses and who are eligible to receive a tuition waiver at the University.

THE UNIVERSITY exempts the first $5,250 of the tuition waiver from taxable income in accordance with Internal Revenue Code Section 127. This exemption is based on tuition waivers received by an employee in a calendar year.

UNIVERSITY PAYROLL monitors waivers posted to employees' student accounts. When the value exceeds the exempted amount of $5,250, the employee is notified of the taxability. The notification will be in the form of an email and via the U.S. Postal Service to the mailing address in Banner.

FOR ADDITIONAL information regarding employee eligibility and restrictions for graduate-level tuition waivers, see and select your appropriate employee group. For contact information regarding tuition waivers, please see


UPDATED February 20, 2012

UIC has policies in place to help employees deal with sexual harassment.

MANY OF you have received Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares' announcement of the Online Sexual Harassment Prevention Course that is now available to the UIC campus.  The Office for Access and Equity (OAE) and the campus community strive to ensure that the University's work and academic environments are free from unlawful sexual harassment in all its forms.  This is a rolling registration and faculty and staff may enroll at their convenience.  We look forward to you and your unit's participation in this important course.

YOU MAY register for the course at:
(Please note that you may need to cut and paste this link into your web browser)

ONCE THE staff at OAE processes your registration request, you will receive instructions on how to access this online course. If you have any questions, please contact me at 312-413-8145 or

Sincerely, Caryn Bills, Director, Office for Access and Equity

Originally Published May 3, 2011

Official university policy on sexual harassment

THE UNIVERSITY of Illinois will not tolerate sexual harassment of employees or students and will take action to provide remedies when such harassment is discovered. The University environment must be free of sexual harassment in work and study.

IN ORDER to assure that the University is free of sexual harassment, appropriate sanctions will be imposed on offenders in a case-by-case manner.

THE UNIVERSITY will respond to every complaint of sexual harassment reported.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT is prohibited by Federal and State nondiscrimination law.
Where can I go for help?

THE FOLLOWING services are available to staff, faculty, and students who wish to learn more about the University sexual harassment policy and procedures, or who are looking for counseling and advice about sexual harassment matters.

IF YOU want information or help with a sexual harassment problem, phone or visit:

Office for Access and Equity (OAE)
809 S. Marshfield Avenue
Room 717 (M/C 602)
(312) 9968670

IF YOU want to discuss a problem before taking action or need supportive counseling, please contact:

Counseling Center
Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Student Services Building, Suite 2010
1200 W. Harrison St.
(312) 996-3490
312-996-5535 (InTouch Crisis Hotline)

UIC Gender and Sexuality Center
1180 Behavioral Sciences Building
1007 W. Harrison St.
(312) 413-8619

Office of Women’s Affairs
802 University Hall
601 S. Morgan St.
(312) 413-1025

Employee Assistance Service
511 Psychiatric Institute
1601 W. Taylor St.
(312) 996-3588


PENSION BILLS. A website,, is available containing proposed bills in the Illinois State Legislature that could affect our benefits and pensions, with links to reports and summaries which you can use as an additional information resource.
OTHER PENSION information from the Institute of Government and Public Affairs:, and
THE STATE Universities Retirement System of Illinois (SURS) website also has a detailed pending legislation page, available here:
HUMAN RESOURCES has a page devoted to the Civil Service Audit and Job Analysis, available here: The PowerPoint from the recent APAC Town Hall event, as well as other important communications and presentations, are available here:

The Continuing Crisis

“Get active with your State Rep, your State Senator, the Governor’s office, your Congressman, and the two Senators,” Christopher Kennedy, Chairman of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees, told his audience and the University at large recently when he presented “The Research University and Our Future” at the UIC Forum. (Photo by Kathryn Marchetti.)

SOME STATE Senators want to cut our pensions. See CarmiTimes of March 17:

PRESIDENT HOGAN spoke to the Appropriations Higher Education Committee of the House of Representatives of the State of Illinois on April 4:

PENSION BILLS on hold, but action is expected, in State Legislature. See UIC News of April 6 at

PENSION CHANGES put UIC’s status, future at risk, says former Chancellor. See Chicago Sun-Times of April 10:

BOARD CHAIR Christopher M. Kennedy speaks at UIC April 14.

One of things Trustee Kennedy encouraged us to do at the Q and A session after his talk was to contact our State elected officials about our pensions and any other issue which is important to us. He indicated that they don't get contacted by large numbers of people, and they will listen if we speak, especially in large numbers. You can find your elected officials at this webpage: Here are the State Representatives:; and here are the State Senators:

DIRECTOR OF the Illinois Retirement Securities Initiative Bukola Bello presents an analysis of State Universities Retirement System (SURS) retirement benefit conditions relative to fiscal problems and State Legislators:

GRIM OUTLOOK for University’s fiscal future. See UIC News,