November 28, 2011

CAPE Awards Presented; APAC Chair Gets Award of Merit

APAC Chair Michael Moss was presented an Award of Merit by Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares.

AMONG THOSE receiving awards at the Employee Recognition Awards Program Nov. 2 were the four Chancellor’s Academic Professional Excellence (CAPE) recipients. The CAPE Subcommittee, which is part of APAC, was established by the Office of the Chancellor to accept nominations for the CAPE Awards and to recommend awardees to the Chancellor, and had recommended this year’s winners.

“APAC THEREFORE plays a crucial role in the CAPE Awards process,” said CAPE Subcommittee Chair William S. Bike. “This award is for APs only, and those receiving it can be proud that they were recognized after a rigorous process in which the subcommittee worked closely with the Office of the Chancellor. Clearly, Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares recognizes the importance of the work of APs in keeping UIC a top-quality University.”

THIS YEAR’S CAPE Award recipients were Ann Kathleen Barnds, Assistant to the Director, College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs; Rhea M. Begeman, Administrative Director, Assistant to the Head, Department of Emergency Medicine; Marilyn Foster Kirk, Associate Vice Chancellor for Development; and William J. Susinka, Executive Assistant to the Provost.

ESTABLISHED IN 1988, the CAPE Award recognizes the demonstrated excellence of Academic Professional staff, encourages their professional development, and indicates UIC’s regard for APs’ contributions.

ALSO AT the employee recognition event, Michael Moss, Chair of APAC, received an Award of Merit. This campus-wide honor recognizes outstanding Academic Professionals and support staff for sustained excellence in performance and commitment to their job. Moss is Assistant Director, Cost and Analysis, Grants and Contracts, Office of Business and Financial Services.

No Action on Pension Bill So Far

Senate Bill 512 sponsored by Rep. Tom Cross, would set three tiers of pension benefits and costs for current employees..

By Christy Levy
UIC News

THE ILLINOIS House of Representatives adjourned earlier without taking action on legislation affecting pension benefits for State employees, but the bill may be re-examined this week.

SENATE BILL 512 advanced during the General Assembly’s spring session but never reached a vote. It was revived in the fall veto session with an accompanying amendment.

THE BILL, sponsored by Rep. Tom Cross (R-Plainfield), would set three tiers of pension benefits and costs for current employees who pay into the State Universities Retirement System.


  • Pay significantly more to maintain the current level of benefits;
  • Pay less and receive reduced benefits;
  • Set up a self-managed plan.

A $110,000 cap on salary earnings used to calculate pensions and an increase in retirement age to 67 would apply to employees hired after Jan. 1, 2011.

UNIVERSITY OF Illinois leaders and legislative liaisons joined representatives from other public universities and State employee unions in Springfield to work against the bill.

“WE CONTINUE to press for a solution to the state’s pension funding concerns that doesn’t unjustly place the entire burden on the backs of our hardworking employees,” President Michael Hogan wrote in a Nov. 1 email to the campus community.

“I ENCOURAGE you to contact your legislators using your own personal email and resources to assert the importance of a fair solution and the problematic aspects of SB 512.”

IF PASSED the bill, which would not affect those already retired, would become effective July 1, 2013.

QUESTIONS HAVE been raised about the legality of changes to retirement benefits for current state employees due to a clause in the Illinois Constitution 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.”

FOR MORE information on the proposed legislation, visit:

Cutting Pensions Would Lead to U. of I. Brain Drain

President Michael Hogan offered a thoughtful and well-reasoned argument for opposing Senate Bill 512.

By Michael J. Hogan
University of Illinois President

IT’S EASY to understand the Law of Unintended Consequences, the unanticipated and sometimes perverse effects of actions--sometimes government actions--that were ostensibly intended to provide a public good.

EXAMPLES OF this principle abound, but one that is often noted these days has to do with Senate Bill 512, now under discussion in Springfield, to fund the State's pension obligations to public employees. Leaders in Illinois public higher education worry that the proposed solution could have unintended consequences of substantial proportions. Their employees, many ineligible for Social Security, would have to accept diminished benefits or ante up significantly more to maintain the benefits they were promised.

THE LIKELY effect of Senate Bill 512 in its current form will be a brain drain from these public universities and their surrounding communities.

THE UNIVERSITY of Illinois is one of the largest and most productive employers in the State. Twenty percent of our workforce is pension-eligible and that includes some of our most distinguished faculty, physicians, and staff--many of whom would leave if onerous changes are made in the pension plan.

MAKE NO mistake about it, these outstanding and civic-minded employees have choices in a competitive market place not bound by geography. Those who leave may take their externally funded research projects worth millions of dollars with them and take their pension, too. Replacing these employees with comparable talent will be difficult so long as other universities are offering better benefits.

SUCH AN exodus would devastate our ability to meet the U of I's teaching, research, public service, and health care missions, and would slam the brakes on what has consistently been a vibrant economic engine for this great State.

AMONG THE top teaching and research universities in the world, the U of I and its three campuses directly and indirectly generates more than 150,000 jobs and more than $13 billion in economic impact for Illinois, a return of $17 for every $1 that the state invests in the U of I. We are the place that pioneered transistors, LED lighting, and MRI technology. We are the place that educated the founders of YouTube, PayPal and the NFL. None of this happens without great people. Entrepreneurial scientists pushing the boundaries of knowledge. Award-winning authors, artists and teachers, skilled health care professionals. Other universities in other states are hungry for this talent. We must work hard to retain them.

BUT THE proposed pension funding legislation will make it difficult to do that, and to recruit other highly professional faculty and staff. It will damage the public university system in Illinois, and in so doing, damage the State, as well.

AS WE contemplate the State's strategic advantages, how does it help in the long term to reduce funding for higher education, including two public Tier One research campuses, and provide substantially less compensation to its talented workforce?

WE KNOW that a solution to the pension problem is urgently needed, and we are willing to contribute our fair share to an equitable solution. But it needs to be based on the principles of equity and shared sacrifice, to which we can all contribute without doing great damage to the educational institutions central to the well being of our students and to the State's place in a knowledge-based economy.

I URGE legislators to consider the interests of our employees, the impact of their departure, and the threat that weakened public universities pose to the future of the State. The potential consequences are far too great to ignore.

(THIS ARTICLE originally appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times on Sunday, Oct. 30. Reprinted with permission of the Office of the University President.)

IGPA Analyzes State Economy for University Senate

The Midwest is leading the nation during the recovery in its manufacturing (above) and agricultural sectors, said David Merriman, Associate Director and Professor, IGPA.

By William S. Bike

DAVID MERRIMAN, Associate Director and Professor, Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA), and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Professor, College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, spoke on “Illinois’ Economic and Fiscal Challenges and Responsibilities” to the University Senate recently.

MERRIMAN EXPLAINED that the University’s Board of Trustees requests such analyses from the IGPA.

HE NOTED that Illinois and the Midwest are “recovering slowly” economically—yet the “Midwest is doing well relative to the rest of the nation,” he said. “In fact, the Midwest is leading the nation during the recovery in its manufacturing and agricultural sectors.” Still, he noted that three years after the start of the previous two recessions, “The Midwest had already experienced expansion of over ten percent. Not this time. The recovery looks more like tunneling out of a hole than a vertical assent.”

MERRIMAN SHOWED an Unemployment Rate graph, in which Illinois unemployment mirrored that of the U.S. “The Illinois economy is like the U.S. economy,” he said. “So it’s not like Illinois is doing something wrong. Our economy is keeping pace with that of the U.S.

ILLINOIS, another chart showed, was running a Consolidated Budget surplus in 1997 and 1998. Today, there is a deficit of about $9 billion.

ANOTHER CHART showed total State expenditures from 1997 to 2012, which revealed that the share to higher education has dropped from about seven percent to about four percent.

MERRIMAN CONCLUDED that the State asking for a recission (return of funds from the University) was not out of the question.

APAC Meetings Scheduled; All Invited

ALL APs are invited to the monthly APAC meeting at 12:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the month. The next meeting will be held Wednesday, Dec. 14, in Room 5175 of the College of Medicine Research Building, 909 S. Wolcott. Every other month, a meeting is scheduled in Room 2750 of University Hall on the East Campus. Also scheduled are meetings Jan. 11 in Room 2750 UH, Feb. 8 in Room 5175 CMRB, March 14 in Room 2750 UH, April 11 in Room 5175 CMRB, May 9 in Room 2750 UH, June 13 in Room 5175 CMRB, July 11 in Room 2750 UH, Aug. 8 in Room 5175 CMRB, Sept 12 in Room 2750 UH, Oct. 10 in Room 5175 CMRB, and Nov. 14 in Room 2750 UH. For information, call (312) 996-0306.

SPARKY VISITS--UIC mascot Sparky the Dragon visited the APAC News office at the College of Dentistry recently to remind Academic Professionals about varsity winter sports at the University. He was greeted by APAC News Editor William S. Bike.

Join UIC United (SUAA)

UIC UNITED, the UIC Chapter of the State Universities Annuitants Association (SUAA), has announced a new dues program for UIC employees: Sign up for dues deduction from paychecks at $2.75/month, a discount of $0.25/month. Follow the link in the first sentence for an online application. First, check the button next to Current Employee (after Employment Status). Then scroll down to the drop-down menu after College/University and display University of Illinois at Chicago. The following will then be displayed blow below "You can have dues automatically deducted from your regular paycheck." For more information, contact Membership Director Sue Sindelar.

THE ORGANIZATION will host its annual holiday luncheon, Wednesday, Dec. 7, at 11:30 a.m. at the Parthenon Restaurant, 314 S. Halsted St. Cost is $20. Valet parking is complimentary. All are invited. For more information, contact Donna Knutson at (630) 579-6134,, or Rose Kirk at (630) 852-7316,

Zipcars Available on Campus

GET 24/7 access to a Zipcar, a car-sharing service with autos parked at several locations around campus, across the city, and around the world. After joining Zipcar, you can reserve a car online, let yourself in with a Zipcard, and drive. Hourly and daily rates include gas and insurance, with no maintenance or car payment charges. Campus locations are 501 S. Morgan St., 761 W. Polk St., 820 S. Paulina St., and 901 S. Paulina St. For information or to join, go to

Car Pool Help Offered

UIC HAS partnered with iCarpool, an online ride-matching service, to bring employees a new transportation program that helps find ride sharing opportunities.

BY CARPOOLING instead of driving alone, participants can save 50% or more on travel and vehicle expenses, improve outdoor air quality, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3,000 lbs. per year.

TO REGISTER, visit and setup a profile using your or address. Note that this is not directly linked with your netid. For additional details, visit or

EMPLOYEES ARE encouraged to take advantage of the iCarpool program by registering as a participant; check back frequently to find carpool matches as site membership increases.!

contact or (312) 413-7440; the UIC Office of Sustainability,, (312) 413-9816; or the UIC Commuter Student Resource Center,; (312) 413-7740.

The Continuing Crisis

Rhode Island State workers rallied against pension cuts at the state capitol.

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.

PUBLIC SAYS use taxes and cuts to solve State budget crisis. See KFVS-TV Channel 12,

RHODE ISLAND may be the canary in the coal mine concerning Illinois pension woes. See Oct. 23 New York Times,

UNIVERSITY PRESIDENTS in the State universities system sent a letter to Governor Pat Quinn, with copies to Senate President John Cullerton, Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno, Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, and House Republican Leader Tom Cross, expressing the presidents’ interest in continuing to work on options and alternatives to SB512. Se the States Universities Annuitants Association site at for more information. You can read the full letter by clicking here:

Vol. 4, No. 10 November 2011

ISSN 1946-1860
Editor: William S. Bike
Writing Staff: Ivone De Jesus, Gail Mansfield, Tomeiko Sewell

Chair: Michael Moss
Vice Chair: Jennifer Rowan
Secretary: Jacqueline M. Berger
Treasurer: Virginia Buglio
Webmaster: Jeff Alcantar