August 24, 2011

AUGUST 2011 APAC News, Vol. 4, No. 7

Welcome to the August, 2011 edition of APAC News!

Survey Shows APs’ Concerns

THE RESULTS are available from a survey conducted by the Academic Professional Advisory Committee (APAC) of Academic Professionals (APs) on the Chicago, Rockford, and Peoria campuses to address issues relevant to them. The survey of took over four years to develop, conduct, and analyze. 

SPONSORSHIP WAS provided by Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares, former Provost R. Michael Tanner, the Vice Chancellors, and the Executive Assistant Vice President for Business and Finance. The UIC Survey Research Laboratory (SRL) also assisted with the survey.

APAC CONDUCTED a web-based survey to obtain the necessary feedback from Academic Professional employees. Staff at SRL assisted in questionnaire development, programmed the Web survey instrument, managed the data collection process, and conducted data analysis.

THE QUESTIONNAIRE was designed to collect feedback from Academic Professionals on issues such as promotional pathways, career assistance, performance evaluations, job satisfaction, compensation, and benefits. Respondents also provided some demographic data. The Office for the Protection of Research Subjects at UIC approved the study protocol and all study materials on June 15, 2010.

Table: Titles of Respondents

Associate Vice Chancellor
Associate Dean
Assistant Dean
Department Head
Associate Department Head
Assistant Department Head
Associate Director
Assistant Director
Senior Coordinator
Senior Specialist
Assistant to the (Chancellor, Provost, Dean, etc.)

A TOTAL of 1,210 APs responded, a total that is approximately one-third of UIC's Academic Professional staff. According to Michael Moss, APAC Chair, "The goal of the survey is to create a reliable pool of information that can be used to inform campus decision-makers on matters that impact Academic Professional staff. Further, the information will be used by APAC to shape future programs, events, and other related efforts." To see the results of the survey, go to:



How concerned are you…
Not at all concerned
Slightly concerned
Somewhat concerned
Very concerned
Extremely concerned
Not sure/ Does not apply
That employees with comparable credentials, responsibilities, & workloads have varying titles & levels of compensation across campus? (n = 1,204)
That UIC salaries are not competitive with salaries for comparable positions outside of UIC? (n = 1,204)
That the State University Retirement System will not have funding to pay your pension when you retire? (n = 1,203)

THE AREAS of greatest concern to APs are State Universities Retirement System (SURS) funding and funding for raises.


EIGHTY-TWO percent of survey respondents reported being "very or extremely concerned" that SURS will not have funding to pay their pensions when they retire.

WHILE COMMUNICATIONS concerning this important issue have increased—for example, the SURS tab added to Nessie, coordination of the Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA) panel discussions, etc.—it is recommended that the campus supplement existing efforts by publishing a bi-monthly or quarterly "Plain Language Update on SURS" that is distributed to all UIC annuitants and addresses the following questions in each issue:

  • What is happening (funding issues, pending legislation, etc)?
  • What are the benefits and/or risks?
  • What is the campus doing about it?
  • What can individual employees do about it?
  • Who can employees contact if they have questions?

MOSS COMMENTED, "APAC has already begun to take action on the survey findings. For example, SURS is identified as a critical issue. Based on this, we coordinated a campus-wide petition to oppose recent legislation that would have diminished SURS benefits for current employees."


GIVEN THE absence of a formal salary increase program, it is recommended that opportunities for low-cost or no-cost fringe benefits be explored and implemented. The survey results suggest that these kinds of programs (telecommuting, flex time, etc.) are highly valued by employees.

SIXTY-THREE PERCENT f the survey respondents said the ability to work flexible hours is "very or extremely important," as well as the ability to telecommute (56%).


INEQUITY AND inconsistency in titling, work responsibilities, and compensation continue to be of major concern for APs.

MORE THAN 57% of respondents were "very or extremely concerned" that employees with comparable credentials, responsibilities, and workloads have varying titles and levels of compensation across campus.

WHILE THERE is currently a comprehensive, campus-wide job analysis process underway to address these inequities and inconsistencies, the purpose is sometimes comingled and confused with the Civil Service Audit findings and conversions. It is recommended that an expanded communication strategy be implemented to more broadly disseminate the impact and benefits of the final outcome of Job Analysis and what this means for academic professionals.


UIC HAS several professional development and training offices on campus. Although there are numerous classes and webinars available, the decentralized nature creates confusion since communications come from multiple offices and are delivered in multiple formats; there are multiple websites and multiple registration systems; etc.

SIXTY-FIVE PERCENT of the APs responded that they have "little or no information" about professional development opportunities, while only 9% responded that they have "a lot or a great deal of information."

WITH RESPECT to fairness and accuracy of the performance evaluation, 58% believe it is either very fair or extremely fair, while half think it accurately reflects the work done. However, 43.1% of respondents are either not at all or slightly satisfied with UIC's annual performance process, and 63.6% said the career path for their position is not at all clear.

IT IS recommended that a campus-wide committee on professional development be established. This representative committee would be charged with defining gaps in training and professional development services and to present recommendations on how to close the gaps. 

RESPONDENTS ALSO expressed concern about opportunities for advancement and notice rights, with 82.1% saying that opportunities for advancement are very or extremely important. A slightly smaller percentage (79.1%) indicated that notice rights are very or extremely important. The area of least importance to respondents was affordable child care on campus, which 43.7% said was not important.

MOSS NOTED, "APAC would like to be more pro-active in terms of professional development on campus. We have a new Professional Development subcommittee Chaired by Tricia Ransom to help us accomplish our goals. Tricia works for Training, Performance Development, and Communications, making her a uniquely qualified AP to fill this role."


Table: Factors Contributing to Overall Satisfaction

Not selected
Contributing to the University's mission (education, research, public service)
Relationships with coworkers
Flexibility with work schedule
Health benefits
Job duties & responsibilities
Location of office
Job security
Vacation & sick time
Work environment

WHEN ASKED about their overall satisfaction with employment at the University, 41.1% are either very or extremely satisfied. The largest percentage of respondents (42%) is moderately satisfied. When asked what contributes to satisfaction, relationship with coworkers, job duties and responsibilities, and vacation and sick time were selected by nearly equal numbers of respondents (34.5%, 35.3%, and 35.6%, respectively). When asked which factors detract from satisfaction, the item selected by the most respondents (44.7%) was salary, followed by job security (26.0%).

FIGURE SIX shows that 43.6% of respondents are either not at all or slightly satisfied with their overall compensation (salary and benefits), while only 12.3% are either very or extremely satisfied. Most are moderately satisfied (44.2%).

WHEN ASKED about the annual salary program/annual raise received, two-thirds of respondents are dissatisfied—27.9% very, 24.6% somewhat, and 14.1% slightly. Only 3.2% are very satisfied.



Table 38. Total Salary (n = 1,187)

Less than $20,000
$100,000 or greater
Don't know

THE MOST important fringe benefits to respondents are health insurance, which 88.1% endorsed as extremely important, followed by retirement, which 81.6% endorsed as extremely important, followed by vacation, which 75.2% stated is extremely important. The benefits of least importance are adoption assistance, which 45.7% said is not at all important, followed by same-sex domestic partner benefits, which 45.5% said is not at all important.


TABLE NINE shows the committees about which respondents have some information. Two committees stand out. Two-thirds of respondents have heard of the Academic Professional Advisory Committee, while just over half (52.1%) have heard of the Chancellor's Committee on the Status of Women. When it comes to participation in committees, however, the majority of respondents have never participated on one.



THERE IS a defined and overdue need to establish a rational and consistent job hierarchy for Academic Professionals that defines reasonable compensation and career tracks. It is stated on the HR website and included in the ARR HR Subcommittee Report as follows:

"…APs are critical to the everyday functions performed at the University and to the future success of a transformed University. They are described as "a workforce that breaks through traditional barriers and that is flexible, self-directed, multi-disciplinary, and able to adapt to the changing needs of the University" (A Report on the Status of Academic Professionals, UIUC). Given the size, complexity, and importance of this group, it is critical that a supportive AP human capital strategy be developed. Such a strategy should be grounded in job analysis so that the content of the position, the title of the position and the required qualifications and competencies are well understood. Such job analysis is also fundamentally essential to creating rational approaches to salary administration and professional development."

"WE WANT to acknowledge the significant investments made by the campus and the University, and support the job analysis efforts currently underway," said Moss. "APAC believes that there is no single, long-term, campus-based process that will result in greater benefit to Academic Professionals who pursue a career at UIC." 


"THE SURVEY of Academic Professionals took over four years to develop, conduct and analyze," Moss said. "The data collected provides unique insight into a vibrant, dynamic, and dedicated workforce. These results also highlight opportunities to improve the work-lives of APs at the UIC Campus, as well as some solutions. It is our hope that this important information will be considered in shaping the policies and practices that impact Academic Professionals. We have already distributed bound copies of the results to the campus administration, and we have been invited to partner on several initiatives as a result."

"THE SURVEY will not sit on a shelf and gather dust," Moss concluded. "We will make sure we continue to take action."

September APAC Meeting Set

THE NEXT APAC Meeting will be Wednesday, Sept. 14, in room 2750 of University Hall from 12:30 to 2 p.m. All APs are invited to attend.

Chancellor Names New APAC Rep

Monica M. Rausa Williams now is Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares’ liaison to APAC.

MONICA M. RAUSA WILLIAMS, Assistant to Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares, has been named the Chancellor’s Representative to APAC.

“THE CHANCELLOR understands how important APs are to UIC,” Rausa Williams stated. “In order to help facilitate communication and share information, she wanted a liaison with APAC and the Chancellor’s office. I eagerly accepted this role! I will be attending all of the APAC meetings, providing updates, answering questions and making sure the concerns and issues raised are communicated to the Chancellor. I think this is a wonderful opportunity to open the lines of communication, especially during these difficult times, to make sure the voice of APs are heard. I also welcome the opportunity to be more involved with APAC as this committee sponsors so many important activities that support and inform APs about all different aspects on campus (and the University).”

TO CONTACT Williams, Call (312) 413-3350 or e-mail

SURS Makes Changes to Money Purchase Factors

AT ITS meeting on June 10, the Board of Trustees of the State Universities Retirement System (SURS) set the effective date of the Money Purchase factor changes as July 2, 2012. 

FOR INDIVIDUALS retiring after July 2, 2012, the change in Money Purchase factors will result in an approximately 8% downward adjustment in the member’s annuity if their Money Purchase calculation was higher than the General Formula calculation. This change will impact current employees, and should be carefully considered by those deciding whether to retire this year or next year. Members can offset the adjustment by delaying retirement by approximately ten to 11 months for active participants and 12 to 14 months for inactive participants. 

THE CHANGES to the Money Purchase factors are a result of a recent actuarial experience study that recommended a reduction of the assumed rate of investment return and updated mortality tables due to increased life expectancy. State statute requires SURS to conduct an experience study at least every five years to test the economic and demographic assumptions used to prepare the annual actuarial valuation report. The results of this process are then evaluated to determine which, if any, of the assumptions need modification to provide better estimates of future liability and asset growth for the system. 

THE LAST experience study was conducted in 2006. Based on changing market conditions and the current economic environment, the SURS actuary recommended that the latest experience study be conducted one year early. 

THE CHANGES to the Money Purchase factors will not affect:

  • Current annuitants.
  • Members in the Self-Managed Plan.
  • Members who began participation on or after July 1, 2005.
  • The General Formula calculation.

THE MONTHLY annuity calculation using the Money Purchase Formula is unique to each individual. For this reason, SURS encourages all participants to log on to their account on the SURS member website. The online Benefit Estimator now reflects these new factors.

The SURS website is available at (Click "Member Access").

FOR ADDITIONAL details, see the May 2011 edition of the Advocate at or the SURS News Release at You can also contact the SURS office directly at at (217) 378-8800.

State Continues Self-Insured Managed Care Plans

THE COMMISSION on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) held a hearing on Aug. 16 to consider a request by the State to continue to offer self-insured managed care plans. At the end of that hearing, COGFA voted to authorize the State to continue to offer the self-insured managed care plans through June 30, 2012.

BASED ON that decision, the State of Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services is in the process of negotiating with both the self-insured managed care plans (HealthLink OAP, PersonalCare OAP, and Health Alliance Illinois) and the fully-insured managed care plans (Health Alliance HMO and PersonalCare HMO) on extensions of the current contracts.

IF THE contract with any vendor is not extended, the Group Insurance Division will hold a Special Enrollment Period in September for the affected members of that plan(s) only. Those elections would be effective Thursday, Sept. 29. A second Special Enrollment Period will be held for all members later in the fall. Alternatively, if all current contracts are extended, a Special Enrollment Period will be held for all members later in the fall.

FOR NOW, the important thing to realize is that nothing has changed. Members remain enrolled in and covered by their current health carrier. Updated information will be posted on the website of the Illinois Department of Central Management Services as it becomes available.

Converted Employees Sought

APAC NEWS would like to do an article in which employees converted from Academic Professional to Civil Service speak their minds on the process and results. If you would like to be interviewed for this article, please contact APAC News editor William S. Bike at or (312) 996-8495.

Peoria UHP’s Lorene King a Key APAC Member

APAC’s Lorene King
APAC’s Lorene King.

By Ivone De Jesus

FOR NEARLY five years, Lorene King has been the Academic Skills Specialist for the Urban Health Program (UHP) in Peoria. She provides academic support services to all the students and not only those from the UHP, and she also administers a comprehensive program that provides resources and facilitates services that are important to medical students’ academic, leadership, and professional development.

ALTHOUGH SHE specializes in providing support to UHP medical students (Black, Hispanic, and Native-American) in Peoria, King also cultivates relationships with community physicians who serve as mentors to strengthen the social and academic advisory support systems already in place for students. Her job also includes budgeting, interacting with, and providing input to the Curriculum and Promotions Site Committees; coordinating the monthly meetings of the Progress Committee, which monitors student performance;, and supervising the M3/M4 students who provide tutorial assistance to the M2 students. In addition, her role allows her to help educate the College of Medicine community on topics of diversity and inclusion.

THE MOST rewarding aspect of her responsibilities is “providing a safe environment for students to discuss academic and personal challenges that impact their success and well-being, which assists in guiding them towards appropriate resolutions,” King said. She performs a similar service for residents in Graduate Medical Education.

KING WANTED to be involved with APAC because it enhanced her “sense of connection” to the Chicago campus that employs her (Peoria is a medical school, not a University campus). She stated, “APAC gives me more insight into the broad issues that generate much debate, evaluation, and action such as AP Conversions, staff retention, benefits and strategic planning for the future, as well as providing a voice, all of which hopefully will help nurture and sustain our viability as a University and major State employer.” As a member for only a few months, she has felt “enlightened and delighted” by the depth and candor of responses on these issues.

IN THE future, King hopes to contribute to APAC’s long-standing commitment to be an effective conduit for APs, the Illinois State Legislature, and UIC Administration. She said, “APAC provides a needed forum for consistent and timely communication of the different and similar perspectives on the topics that highlight APs’ dedication to administering and implementing the tasks assigned to us as individuals and as team members.” King added that it also adds to our satisfaction of the processes and resources in place to help us fulfill those assignments as effectively and efficiently as possible.

AS WITH many APs, King’s work extends beyond the required 40 hours per week. She conducts monthly student meetings in the evenings, (which some local mentor physicians attend and help support); serves as advisor for several student interest groups, such as the Manual High School Enrichment Program; and writes many letters of support and recommendation for students (one of which resulted in a student receiving the highest service award in the nation--The Jefferson Award--a first for anyone at UIC).

“SERVICE IS an integral part of my life, on and off the job,” King said. She has several leadership roles in her local church, teaches a college success class for the local community college on Saturday mornings in the fall, and regularly volunteers at an art center to help host its Friday night gatherings of musical events. Despite her busy volunteer schedule, King manages to squeeze in some Broadway theater shows each year, as well as read a few notable books. This month, she will be leading the Singles Ministry at her church, in a discussion of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.

ABOUT UHP:The mission of the Urban Health Program (UHP) is to recruit, retain, and graduate underrepresented racial/ethnic minority students, specifically African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans, into the health professions. The UHP seeks to expand educational and research opportunities for these populations, at all academic levels (including pre-college students), in order to develop underrepresented racial/ethnic minority health care professionals, faculty, and researchers with the goals of eliminating health disparities and advancing health equity.”

APAC Hosts Town Hall on UIC Budget, Finances

APAC HOSTED a Town Hall updated on the UIC budget and Fiscal Year 2012 financial updates on Aug. 10, featuring Frank Goldberg, Vice Provost for Resource Planning and Management and Todd Van Neck, Director of Budgeting and Program Analysis. See University of Illinois at Chicago FY 2012 Budget Update (PowerPoint).

Fall Forum on Illinois Solvency

APAC and UIC United, the UIC chapter of the State Universities Annuitants Association, will co host UIC United’s Fall Forum, “Charting the Course Toward Illinois Solvency: A Panel Discussion,” Tuesday, Sept. 20, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with a reception to follow. 

THE EVENT will be held in Student Center West, 828 S. Wolcott, in Chicago Rooms A, B, and C.

PANELISTS WILL be Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, Minority Caucus Chair Senator Matt Murphy, Executive Director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability Ralph Martire, and Director of the Institute for Politics of Roosevelt University Professor Paul Green. 

TO REGISTER, please visit Seating is limited.

TO RSVP and for more information, contact Donna Knutson at (630) 579-6134,, or Rose Kirk, (630) 852-7316,

Public Sector Jobs Central to Development of Black Middle Class

Amisha Patel of Grassroots Collaborative
advocates for public-sector jobs like those at UIC.

UIC EMPLOYEES are “public sector” workers, and “the public sector has long been a source of good, living-wage jobs,” said Amisha Patel, executive director of the Grassroots Collaborative. “In Chicago, public employment has been central to the development of the Black middle class.”

FIGURES FROM a study by the Center for Labor Research and Education at the University of California Berkeley back Patel up:

* The public sector employs 23.6% of Black workers in Chicago, compared to 10.8% of non-Black workers.

* While 25% of Chicago's workers are Black, 42.2% of Chicago's public sector workers are Black.

* Median wages for African Americans in the public sector are about 39% higher than their overall levels. For example, Black men have a median wage of $22 in the public sector, compared to $14.56 in health care and social services and $12.55 in retail, the two next leading sectors employing Black workers.

“THAT REALITY is crucial in understanding the impact of attacks on the public sector,” Patel said. “The Midwest has been ground zero for such attacks, and Chicago is not exempt.”

GRASSROOTS COLLABORATIVE is a coalition of community and labor organizations. For information, call (312) 427-0510 or log on to


BENEFIT INFORMATION through the Illinois Department of Central Management Services can be found at

The Continuing Crisis

UIC faculty members
UIC faculty members at the Illinois Labor Board filing requesting recognition of their union.

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.

FOUR RETIRED public sector employees win another phase in their legal case claiming any change in their health benefits violates the Illinois constitution. See July 28 Herald-News,

UIC FACULTY unionize over working conditions. See August 5 Gazette,

ILLINOIS PENSION money may run out by 2018, says Rockford Register Star of Aug. 4. See

ILLINOIS HOUSE leaders say they still are working on legislation that would ease the State’s crushing pension burden, although they are closed-mouthed about what those changes will be and when the General Assembly will be asked to consider them. See Rockford Register-Star of Aug. 14 at

ILLINOIS BUDGET doesn’t address payment backlog, Moody’s says. See Aug. 12 Bloomberg Businessweek,

Vol. 4, No. 7, August 2011

ISSN 1946-1860

Editor: William S. Bike
Writing Staff: Ivone De Jesus, Lucia Gonzalez, Monica M. Walk
Web Publishing: Jeff Alcantar

Chair: Michael Moss
Vice Chair: Jennifer Rowan
Secretary: Jill Davis
Treasurer: Virginia Buglio