March 19, 2012

March 2012 APAC News Vol. 5, No. 3

State Universities Civil Service System Attempts to Take Power to Exempt Workers from Civil Service Status Away from University

A PROPOSED rule change from the State Universities Civil Service System (SUCSS), which would take the power to exempt University workers from Civil Service status away from the University and give it to SUCSS, was posted by SUCSS in the Illinois Register, the rulebook for Illinois Governmental agencies, on March 9, Volume 36, Issue 10.

THE AUTHORITY to approve exemptions in order to establish Academic Professional positions would therefore no longer reside with the University, but solely with SUCSS and its Executive Director.

THE PROPOSED amendment, which would hinder the University’s ability to create Academic Professional positions, is on page 3840 and can be found at

ANY ILLINOIS citizen has 45 days from March 9 (approximately April 25) to provide comments. Comments should be addressed to:

Abby K. Daniels
Manager, Legal Services and Legal Counsel
State Universities Civil Service System
1717 Philo Road, Suite 24
Urbana, IL 61820
Phone: 217/278-3150 ext 226

THERE ARE several serious negative implications should this amendment go into effect:

  • If the University loses its exemption authority, it would cause significant delays in hiring processes. Any new AP position would have to be approved by SUCSS.
  • UIC has hundreds of Human Resources (HR) professionals who are able to efficiently and accurately process these transactions. If the change is implemented, the process would be managed by an external agency that is disconnected from the University’s day-to-day HR operations and UIC’s campus-specific HR needs.
  • SUCSS has only 11 staff. If this change is implemented, the work currently supported by hundreds of dedicated UIC HR staff will have to be absorbed by these 11 SUCSS staff members who already have full-time job responsibilities. SUCSS does not have the capacity to absorb the HR transactions from the entire UIC campus, much less all 11 State Universities that they support.
  • The change could be implemented as early as May; a critical window for hiring new employees to replace retirees (the University anticipates significant retirements prior to July 1, 2012, as a result of the changes to the SURS Money Purchase formula).

WHILE AT work, you may review and submit a comment before work, after work, or during any normally scheduled break (such as lunch) using your work computer. Do not participate in this activity while at work if it will significantly interfere with your ability to perform your job effectively. You may also review/submit a comment outside of work.

HUMAN RESOURCES and the Office of Governmental Relations have been made aware of this process. APAC has assurances that it does not represent a prohibited political activity, and it is not forbidden by the State Officials Employee Ethics Act.

University Opposes Legislation to Eliminate Employee Tuition Discount

Protesters at UIC marched against proposed tuition waiver cuts in 2010. Now, the State Legislature is looking at cutting our tuition waivers again.

THE UNIVERSITY has formally registered its opposition to proposed State legislation that, if adopted, would eliminate discount tuition waivers for employees.

EMPLOYEES AT Illinois public universities such as UIC, who have held positions for at least seven years, are eligible to receive half-price tuition for their children. Each year, more than 2,000 students statewide take advantage of the tuition.

“MOST UNIVERSITIES around the country provide tuition waivers, so eliminating them would impair our ability to recruit and retain top faculty and staff,” said University President Michael J. Hogan. “The waivers are a reasonable benefit for our hard-working faculty and staff, who contribute greatly to the State’s well-being through their teaching and research. The waivers are part of what universities consider the normal compensation package when we recruit faculty in a very competitive market. Without them we are at an extreme disadvantage.”

AT A Feb. 29 hearing on the legislation, House Bill 5531, sponsored by Rep. Luis Arroyo (D-Chicago), the University filed a formal notice of opposition, according to DeShana Forney, Associate Director of University Governmental Relations. Illinois public universities and organized labor lined up to testify in opposition to the legislation, which advanced out of the House Executive Committee and will be considered next by the full House of Representatives. If passed by the House, it would require approval in the Senate before final consideration by the Governor.

“WE WILL continue to talk to legislators on both sides of the aisle and let them know how this legislation would put public universities in Illinois at a competitive disadvantage,” Forney said. “We will do everything we can to explain our position.”

COMMON AT colleges and universities nationally, including UIC peer institutions, the waivers are an incentive to retain high-quality faculty and staff at the University.

REP ARROYO maintains that the State cannot afford the waivers. If passed, the new legislation would be effective immediately.

TWO OTHER bills, HB 2959 and HB 3873, also have been introduced that would repeal the tuition waivers. They have been assigned to the House Higher Education Committee; the University will oppose both bills.

YOU CAN look up contact information for your local district officials by clicking the URL at the end of this paragraph, should you wish to contact them and let them know how you feel about the proposed legislation:

SEE ALSO related UIC News article at

APAC Elections Currently Underway

PETITIONS TO run for a seat on the Academic Professional Advisory Committee (APAC), or for the AP seat in the University Senate, are due Wednesday, March 21.
APAC REPRESENTS the more than 3,700 Academic Professionals on campus and advises University Administration, reviews policy, represents APs on search committees, voices concerns regarding APs to the Chancellor, and plays an active role in professional development efforts at UIC. APAC is comprised of 15-to-18 APs, elected for a three-year term. Approximately one-third of the APAC seats are up for election this year.
SENATE AP representatives attend regular University Senate meetings and may also serve as AP representatives on Senate Committees. One AP Senator will be elected this year.
NOMINATION MATERIALS for APAC and Senate seats are available on the APAC website: Complete the appropriate nomination petition, including a personal statement and the name and signature of ten endorsers who are APs. Fully completed petitions must be received by noon on Wednesday, March 21. Send your completed packet to Jennifer Rowan, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, 310 AOB, MC 672. For information, e-mail
ELECTION BALLOTS will be available on the APAC website ( beginning Wednesday, March 28. All ballots must be submitted by noon on Wednesday, April 11.

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. Meetings are held either in Room 5175 of the College of Medicine Research Building, 909 S. Wolcott, or Room 2750 of University Hall on the East Campus.

THE REGULARLY scheduled meeting originally set for April 11, has been cancelled due to conflicts with the Bringing Administrators Together conference.

SCHEDULED MEETINGS are 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, Nov. 14 in Room 2750 UH, Dec. 12 in Room 5175 CMRB. For information, call (312) 996-0306.

Events Chair Agnes Kawalec Creates Opportunities to Learn About Work Environment, Network

Agnes Kawalec shows her UIC loyalty at Machu Picchu, Peru.

By Ivone De Jesus

AGNES KAWALEC is Center Coordinator at the Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS). Located in the Medical Administration Building, CCTS has three overarching mandates: Education, Research Support, and Facilitation of Novel and Collaborative Approaches to Clinical Translational Research. Kawalec has worked at UIC for four years, previously as Projects Coordinator in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics.

“I LOVE my job because of the people I work with, a group of enthusiastic and driven individuals who create a very dynamic and nurturing environment-- a dreamland for those who want to continuously acquire new skills and evolve,” Kawalec said. She enjoys the variety in her job, from complex finance reports to budget creation to facilities management.

WHILE SHE enjoys her work, traveling is her passion. “I always find time to grab a backpack and go places,” Kawalec said. “My biggest adventure was walking the entire night in rain and darkness to reach Machu Picchu [Peru] in the morning.”

KAWALEC BECAME an AP because she wanted to have an impact on the decisions made by UIC Administration that affect APs. She is very impressed by the way Chairman Michael Moss leads the committee and proud of the pension petition initiative. “A petition has been signed by over 6,200 University employees and retirees, as well as their family, friends, colleagues, and other supporters, to demand that their elected officials oppose pension legislation such as Senate Bill 512 that would increase employee contributions or reduce pension benefits for current annuitants of Illinois' State Universities Retirement System” (SURS), Kawalec said. “It was sent to officials in the Illinois Senate and House.”

AS CHAIR of the Community Building and Events Committee, she would like to host more events to “create opportunities for APs to not only learn more about what is happening at UIC, but also to interact more with APAC and draw new members to our organization.” In addition, she thinks APAC should organize more professional development opportunities for UIC APs.

KAWALEC RECOMMENDS that APs come to APAC meetings and join a committee. She added, “I would like to thank APAC members for being so enthusiastic in their roles and for picking up my duties while I was on maternity leave.”

SHE AND her husband, Darek, welcomed a son, Alexander, on Dec. 19, 2011. She divides her days and nights between joys of motherhood and loving her job, all while dreaming of taking her son for a trip around the world when “he is old enough to appreciate the beauty of all of it.”


Management Skills Academy

THE MANAGEMENT Skills Academy is a professional development initiative designed to strengthen the participant's basic and intermediate level management skills. The curriculum encompasses topics offered on a monthly basis for three hour sessions in person at the UIC School of Public Health (SPH).

SESSIONS ARE scheduled through February 2013 in Room 932 of the SPH, 1603 W. Taylor St. They are sponsored by the MidAmerica Public Health Training Center and Maternal and Child Health Program at the SPH, and the Great Cities Institute at UIC.

SESSIONS WILL be offered in a workshop format and will include an overview of the workshop topic as well as participatory learning activities such as case studies, role-playing, and group discussion. Participants will have the opportunity to build their knowledge on management practices, policies, and principles; sharpen comprehension of fundamental management issues; and practice ways to apply new knowledge and skills as a manager in a public health setting.


  • Vision, Mission, and Planning – April 2, 2012.
  • Building an Effective Board of Directors/Advisory Board – May 14, 2012.
  • Understanding Communication Styles – June 4, 2012.
  • Building and Motivating Teams – July 9, 2012.
  • Conflict Resolution – August 6, 2012.
  • Overcoming Burnout – September 10, 2012.
  • Planning and Managing a Sustainable Budget – October 1, 2012.
  • Project Management Essentials – November 5, 2012.
  • Continuous Quality Improvement – December 3, 2012.
  • Increasing Impact Through Collaboration and Partnerships – January 7, 2013.
  • Using Social Media for Marketing and Advocacy – February 4, 2013.
COST IS $50 per session. Contact Rani Saxena at (312) 996-7919 or at


Campus Recreation Facilities offers a variety of modern exercise amenities.

UIC Campus Recreation Facilities Encouraged for Staff/Faculty

By Jennifer Costanzo

UIC’S CAMPUS Recreation facilities and programs have significantly altered the sense of community and health on the East, South, and West Campuses. According to Brian Cousins, Director of Campus Recreation, “The numbers of both students and faculty/staff that participate in membership at either the Student Recreation Facility (located on East Campus), or the Sport & Fitness Center (located on West Campus), have drastically increased since the establishment of many programs and activities that are great for both children and adults.” Specifically, staff and faculty are encouraged to join in and learn about the many opportunities that they and their families can take advantage of through UIC’s dedication to providing health, fitness, and relaxation techniques for a very manageable price.

OFFERED NEARLY every day of the week are “Drop-In” Fitness classes, which are included in one’s membership payment, and include Cardio Workouts, Cycling, Total Body Workouts, and Lower Body Workouts. Depending on which side of campus is more convenient for you to attend, there are sessions that range in difficulty and location. For example, West Campus offers many sessions of Flex and Boot Camp classes that are targeted for a challenging the drill-oriented aerobic session. “And if Drop-In Sessions are not available at appropriate times in your schedule, there are also ‘Session’ Classes, which come at an additional small fee,” Cousins said. “These classes include courses in Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, and Water Aerobics, to name a few.”

ANOTHER AREA of the Recreation Centers includes “Fitness Services,” which dedicate their time towards relaxation and the learning of health tactics. For a minimal fee, State-licensed masseuses provide massage therapy programs that will rejuvenate your health. They also provide a “Learn-To-Swim” program that includes private and group lessons for children, as well as parent/tot lessons for babies. Currently, this program is the most popular, with a wait list of both community and staff/faculty members. Most importantly, you do not have to be a member to take advantage of this swimming program. UIC is looking to help provide you with the most convenient and safe ways to teach your youngsters how to have fun in the water, while learning a very important skill.

NEW TO the Student Recreation Facility (East Campus) is Tropical Smoothie Café, which has healthy smoothies and sandwiches to offer before or after your workout, or just for lunch or a snack. It not only provides food on campus, but also caters campus events. Non-members are able to gain a 15-minute tour pass in exchange for their valid i-Card, and they can use this 15 minutes to visit Tropical Smoothie Café “You can also utilize the 15-minute pass to look around the facilities and see if membership is right for you and your family,” Cousins said.

THE CAMPUS Recreation Department includes the Outdoor Field Complex, Outdoor Basketball and Tennis Courts, a Climbing Wall, and the Student Games and Bowling Center. All are available to be used with membership or for a small fee. Cousins enthusiastically proclaimed that there are “Over 100 pieces of cardio and strength equipment available amongst the facilities, as well as a pool, personal training program, sauna, steam room, locker rooms, and free towels,” he said. “There are also rooms available to rent out for special events, meetings, and birthday parties for children. Even pool parties are exclusively offered on Saturdays and Sundays.” Specialized dance instruction classes are currently being introduced into the program as well.

STAFF/FACULTY memberships offer you accessibility to both facilities, but are only sold at the Student Recreation Facility. Membership is $330 per year, with a six-month minimum. There is a $50 cancellation fee if you decide to cancel before your six months are up, but this does not seem to happen very often, as the facilities have something to offer everyone. A payroll deduction plan is available.

TO LEARN more about Campus Recreation, visit if you are interested in becoming healthy while finding a place that also offers relaxation and personal attention.

Interesting Facts from Illinois Connection

ILLINOIS CONNECTION, the advocacy network for the University of Illinois (see, recently provided a list of interesting facts:
  • The University’s operating budget in Fiscal 2011 was $1.76 billion
  • Only 15% of the operating budget comes from the State of Illinois.
  • During Fiscal 2011, the University received the same State funding as it did in the 1970s, adjusted for inflation.


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.

PENSION UNCERTAINTIES have more employees considering retirement, said UIC News in its Feb. 29 edition. See

GRADUATED INCOME tax could solve State’s budget crisis, says Center for Tax and Budget Accountability. See Progress Report, Feb. 28,

NO IMMINENT danger to our pensions, says Executive Director of State Universities Retirement System. See UIC News, March 7,

ON THE other hand, Illinois Statehouse News on March 5 said “Illinois public pensions worse than the numbers show”:

Vol. 5, No. 3 March 2012

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

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