September 24, 2012

September 2012 APAC News Vol. 5, No. 8

Constitutional Amendment Could Strip Away Pension Protection

House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton
were among sponsors of Constitutional Amendment #49.
By William S. Bike

A CONSTITUTIONAL amendment that will be on the November 6 ballot, “CA #49,” if approved by voters, could empower the Illinois General Assembly “to modify our benefits any way they want,” said Jack Hall, President of the Illinois Central College Annuitants’ Association. “If this amendment passes, it will do away with the contract protection clause in the current Illinois Constitution, which states that a contract cannot be impaired.”

CURRENTLY, THE Illinois Constitution states in Article XIII, Section 5, that “Membership in any pension or retirement system of the State, any unit of local government or school district, or any agency or instrumentality thereof shall be an enforceable contractual relationship, the benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired.”

CA #49 is about 700 words long, but its crux is that it would allow restricting or eliminating a benefit with a simple majority vote of a governing body, which in the case of the University would be the Illinois General Assembly. If passed, the amendment would overturn and supersede Article XIII, Section 5’s clause prohibiting benefits from being diminished or impaired.

OBSERVERS BELIEVE the amendment was crafted for the purpose of eliminating the constitutional protection of the State Universities Retirement System. Often, constitutional amendments pass with the public not fully understanding them because of their length and complexity.

“AMENDMENT 49 contains more words than the entire first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution—the Bill of Rights,” said John Kindt, Emeritus Professor of Business, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “The obvious intent of the verbose Amendment 49 is to hide its true impacts from voters in a 700-word avalanche of unnecessary and deceptive words. Marketing experts know that few voters will read beyond the benign first sentences and that voters will be inclined to vote ‘yes.’”

THE STATE Universities Annuitants’ Association (SUAA) recommends a “no” vote on HCA #49.

“WE ARE under attack, like never before, by a majority of powerful legislators who control the way things roll in Springfield and by an uninformed and unsympathetic private sector,” said Bruce C. Appleby, member of SUAA’s Constitutional Amendment #49 Committee and Executive Committee.

“WADING THROUGH the language that seems to purposely mislead and misdirect, it appears that Clause 1 says that a 60% majority of both houses is needed to increase any pension benefit of any unit of government in the State,” Appleby continued. “Clause 2 appears to say that the General Assembly may take any action that restricts benefit increases, which would include the COLA (cost of living adjustment) or any other aspect of our pensions and benefits—at any time and in any way.

“TALK TO your family and all your friends,” Appleby added. “Let everyone you know that Constitutional Amendment #49 must be defeated for your sake and for that of thousands of Illinois residents.”

SUAA’S LIST of talking points for defeating Constitutional Amendment 49 notes that it “is the latest in a series of attacks on you and other public employees and retirees,” would “grant unprecedented power to State and local governments to make changes to pension benefits and existing law,” will “not result in savings to taxpayers,” and will “do nothing to address the State’s financial crisis.”

THE AMENDMENT was introduced in the Illinois House by Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), and Representatives Andre M. Thapedi (D-Chicago) and Fred Crespo (D-Streamwood). In the Senate, it was introduced by Senators John Cullerton (D-Chicago), Iris Martinez (D-Chicago), and Jeffrey Schoenberg (D-Evanston). It was adopted for placement on the November 6 ballot by both houses on May 3.

APAC CHAIR Michael Moss said, “I’ve read the language of the amendment as well as the argument crafted by SUAA. I understand that there are those who support SUAA’s perspective, but acknowledge there are others who disagree. What is clear is to me is that the language of the amendment is confusing and there is no consensus on what it means.  All of the arguments aside, what I don’t see is any benefit to the amendment if it is passed. Without any clearly defined benefit, I will personally be voting ‘no’ in light of all of the confusion.” 

APAC ENCOURAGES all employees to read the amendment (available here), better understand the arguments supporting and opposing the amendment, draw their own conclusions, and to vote accordingly.

Choosing to Pursue Civil Service

By Monica M. Walk

AS UIC Human Resources staff members continue to work with departments on the mandated review of Academic Professional positions and the conversion of some positions to Civil Service, posted openings for Civil Service jobs may catch the eye of current Academic Professionals looking for new challenges.

“EVERYONE IS welcome to apply for any opening on campus,” said Assistant Vice President for Human Resources Robert Crouch. “We post positions to make people aware of vacancies and other career related opportunities on campus, as some openings may involve possibilities for advancement. I hope we have an environment where employees are encouraged to pursue their career interests. It is important to retain institutional knowledge and talent at UIC.”

WHILE ANNOUNCEMENTS of job openings may come through a variety of campus communications vehicles, Crouch recommends the HR website as the most comprehensive listing of available campus positions. The menu of job opportunities on the site includes Civil Service, Academic Professional, Student, and Faculty categories.

POSITION DESCRIPTIONS will outline the skill set, experience, and credentials required to apply for a position, including when transcripts are needed to support academic degrees required for some positions. Reviewing this information will help current employees determine if they can submit a successful application for another University position.

CROUCH EMPHASIZED that jobs classified as Civil Service cover a broad spectrum of abilities, from entry level clerical to professional level such as nurses, managerial, and sometimes supervisory-level positions.

WHEN CONSIDERING a career move within the University, Crouch stated that employees should make their current managers aware of their interest in applying for another role on campus. “No one likes that kind of a surprise,” Crouch said about losing a valued staff member.

THE PROPER classification of positions is necessary for compliance with the State Universities Civil Service System statutes. The process began last year, and may continue for three years. The time-intensive analysis includes personal interviews with employees and their managers to understand the essential functions of the job and culminates in an agreed-upon job description. The new job description is then evaluated and classified as AP or Civil Service.

CROUCH SHARED results of the process to date:
  • 1,635 positions have been reviewed and analyzed.
  • 2,877 positions remain for review.
  • 314 positions have been converted from AP to Civil Service.
  • 243 positions are in the process of conversion from AP to Civil Service.
“WHAT AN individual actually does—their duties and functions—determines if the position is Academic Professional or Civil Service,” Crouch said.

Health Benefits Contracts Extended

THE ILLINOIS Department of Central Management Services (CMS) announced that the emergency contracts currently in place with Health Alliance HMO, Health Alliance Illinois, and Coventry HMO have been extended.

CMS CURRENTLY is conducting a competitive bid procurement process for managed care plans. The emergency contracts, which would have concluded this month, are extended until this supplemental managed care procurement is completed, not to exceed Sunday, June 30, 2013.

HEALTH INSURANCE rates remain unchanged at this time. If any health plan carrier changes occur, there may be a Special Enrollment Period held to allow employees the opportunity to modify their coverage elections, if desired. More information will be provided if any such changes occur.

EMPLOYEES ARE encouraged to check the NESSIE website at on a regular basis to ensure they have the most up-to-date information. Follow-up email notices will be sent to employees as information becomes available from CMS.

IF YOU have any questions about your benefit plans, contact your campus Benefits Services office at (312) 996-6471 or send an e-mail to
SCHOOL BAG DRIVE--APAC participated in the school bag drive through the UIC Chance Program. In the photo, employees help stuff school bags. The College of Dentistry Office of Prevention and Public Health Sciences donated toothpaste and toothbrushes. The Department of Athletics donated items as well. 

Visiting AP Position Search Requirements Told

REVISIONS TO the hiring process for visiting Academic Professional (AP) positions (Human Resources’ Policy No. 203-02) went into effect Aug. 16.

IN ORDER to fill vacant or new visiting positions or extend appointments for existing visiting positions beyond the three- and five-year time limits, a unit is required to submit a position job description to Human Resources (HR) for review and approval. HR's review serves to ensure UIC's compliance with State Civil Service laws and requirements of the State Universities Civil Service System (SUCSS). Once the job description is approved, a unit is required to conduct a search pursuant to the academic search process, or "standard search."

FROM TIME to time, rare circumstances exist that make it permissible to forgo a standard search.  While circumstances must be evaluated on a case by case basis, the following are some examples of such circumstances:
  • Grant Funded Positions: When an individual is named in an externally funded grant.
  • Promotion - Transfer - Rehire: When a current, or former, AP staff member best qualifies to fill the vacancy.
  • Previous Search: When a qualified candidate is available from a previous search for a similar position.
  • Groups: When groups of employees join the campus work force by institutional decision, e.g., a previous State program becomes a UIC program or hires pursuant to the Chancellor's Cluster Hire initiative.
  • Reorganization: When a unit undergoes administrative reorganization or reassignment.
  • Spousal/Partner Hires: When a spouse or partner is appointed to an AP position for which he or she is qualified.
  • Sponsored Funding Restoration: When an employee is involuntarily terminated from a sponsored program due to lack of funds, the funds are shortly restored, and where the employee would return in the same position.

The Office of Access and Equity and HR recognize the importance of quickly and efficiently filling visiting appointments that are grant funded. HR continues to create and implement job descriptions that fall within a Civil Service exemption and which may be utilized by hiring departments to swiftly move the HR job analysis process. The template job descriptions alleviate a department's responsibility for drafting and receiving HR approval for new job descriptions for every visiting AP position. 

OAE WILL maintain its search waiver process. If an individual is named in an externally funded grant, a unit should submit a search waiver to OAE explaining that the individual to be appointed is named in the grant. OAE will continue to process such requests within 24 - 48 hours from receipt of the required documentation.

HIRING OFFICERS should consider whether the University's interests are best served in foregoing the standard search process. Waiver of all or part of the regular search process is appropriate in situations where it can be amply demonstrated that the investment of time and effort in a search is simply not in the University's best interests.

THE SEARCH waiver process is not burdensome or time consuming. A unit simply submits a Request for Waiver form to OAE along with supporting documentation, including the candidate's or employee's CV or resume; the detailed reasons for the request, including but not limited to the employee's skills and backgrounds as well as departmental needs for the request; and the HR approved job description (or PAPE, if applicable). 

APAC Member Jacqueline Berger to Receive Award of Merit

Jacqueline Berger.
JACQUELINE BERGER, longtime APAC member and one of only three members of the University Senate representing Academic Professionals, has been chosen to receive an Award of Merit from the University at its Employee Recognition Program Nov. 1 at the UIC Forum, Roosevelt Road at Halsted Street.

BERGER IS Director of Communications for the Vice Chancellor for Research, and is on the Building Community/Education Committee for APAC.

“RECEIVING THE Award of Merit came as a great surprise and is a great honor, but it is the strong network of colleagues I have developed over the years that has helped me be successful in my job,” Berger said.

AN AWARD of Merit is presented to chosen Academic Professionals and support staff for overall excellence in all aspects of work performance; consistent delivery of user-responsive service; creativity in problem solving and initiative; commitment to individual development and fostering growth; promotion of morale by leadership, teamwork, and enhancing work environment; and sensitivity to diversity and affirmative action accomplishments

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.

SCHEDULED MEETINGS are Oct. 10 in Room 5175 CMRB, Nov. 14 in Room 2750 UH, Dec. 12 in Room 5175 CMRB. For information, call (312) 996-0306.

Al-Kodmany Replaces Rodriguez as APAC Vice Chair; Chancellor Picks Bike for Top-Level Search Committee

Left to Right: Ahlam Al-Kodmany, Yair Rodriguez, and William S. Bike.
THE NEW Vice Chair of APAC is Ahlam Al-Kodmany, Director of Institute for Health Research and Policy Financial Operations. Al-Kodmany also is Chair-elect for the Chancellor’s Academic Professional Excellence (CAPE) Award Committee.

SHE SUCCEEDS Yair Rodriguez, who had been Vice Chair of APAC. Rodriguez has left the University to take a post with the Chicago Public Schools. He had been Academic Coordinator for the CHANCE program.

APAC MEMBER and AP Senator William S. Bike was chosen by Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares to serve on the search committee for the Executive Associate Chancellor of External and Governmental Relations.


Editor’s note: Civil Service Fact vs. Fiction answers employee questions about Civil Service/Academic Professional issues. Got a question for UIC Human Resources about Civil Service? Academic Professional issues? E-mail, and APAC News will attempt to get your question answered.

QUESTION: IF I’m currently an Academic Professional (AP) employee, can I apply for Civil Service positions?

RESPONSE FROM UIC Human Resources: Yes.  APs have always been able to apply for Civil Service vacancies, and the Job Analysis and Conversion Project has not changed that fact.

AN AP who applies for a Civil Service vacancy must meet all posted requirements for the open position including, in some cases, testing or verification of credentials and relevant work experience.  If the AP applicant is selected by the Hiring Manager as the preferred candidate, is offered the position, and accepts, the AP will need to resign their AP appointment and will be added to the Civil Service personnel system concurrently.  

APAC Profile

Advocating for the UIC College of Dentistry with Federal officials is one of Bill Bike’s jobs at UIC. Here, Bike (2nd from left) meets with Senator Richard Durbin (left) and then-Senator Barack Obama. At center is Bike’s wife, Anne Nordhaus-Bike, and next to Obama is Pam Svensson.
Dentistry’s Bill Bike Serves APAC in Variety of Roles
By Ivone DeJesus

WILLIAM S. BIKE is the Director of Advancement and Alumni Affairs Communications for the College of Dentistry. Since Bike has been at UIC for 17 years (all of those at the College of Dentistry), many people are quite familiar with him and his work. Speaking from my own personal experience, Bill Bike has been a mentor, motivator, and a champion for APAC issues.
BIKE STARTED out as the Editor of the College of Dentistry’s alumni magazine, Vision, writing fundraising proposals, Annual Fund letters, and stewardship letters. Many other duties have been added since then. He enjoys the variety his position offers: from being the Dean’s Liaison to the Webmaster at the College of Dentistry, being in charge of the College’s Facebook page, having the opportunity to lobby Federal officials on behalf of the Dean and the College, being a member of the College’s Alumni Association Board of Directors and its Nominations Committee, keeping the College’s photo and historical archives, to being editor of another College of Dentistry magazine, Word of Mouth. He edited a textbook, The Dentofacial Complex; a biography of a faculty member, Essays on Earl Renfroe; and currently is writing a history of the College for its Centennial.

DESPITE ALL these responsibilities, Bike still had a desire to further contribute to the campus. When APs first were allowed to elect Academic Professionals to the University Senate seven years ago, he ran and won. “I felt that my being a Senator would help the College’s publications, because I would learn more about the whole University and would be able to use that information in my publications,” he said. “Being an AP Senator means you are automatically a member of APAC, and I’ve enjoyed it so that’s been an added benefit.”

OVER THE years, Bike has seen firsthand the many successes of APAC. He reflected, “As the State has cut the University budget and threatens to cut our pensions and benefits, and as the Illinois Civil Service Commission attempts to turn as many AP jobs into Civil Service positions as they can, APAC has taken the lead in informing APs about everything that is going on, through Brown Bag sessions and through APAC News. Without APAC, many APs wouldn’t know the facts about these situations. APAC not only informs them, but inspires them to do something about these situations, too.”

ONE OF the next issues he hopes APAC can tackle is the delay from University insurance plans in paying employees’ medical bills. Bike encourages everyone to read APAC News as these types of issues are covered, helping employees receive useful information. When reflecting on APAC overall, he talks about members being “really active and committed” and finding the “time to serve even though everyone at UIC is busy.”  While this is certainly true, many of them took the time to provide some insight on Bike and his work on APAC:

“IN MY opinion, UIC is very lucky to have Bill,” said Michael Moss, APAC Chair.  “He has been one of the hardest working and most dedicated APAC members I’ve known. He takes the lead on every issue of APAC News, he actively works on the UIC Senate to represent AP issues and concerns, and he has been coordinating the annual CAPE awards for the past few years. He works hard to help our community, and I would like to take this opportunity to say thanks!”

“BILL IS always willing to go the extra mile and extend a helping hand to whomever needs it,” said Jacqueline Berger, University Professional Personnel Advisory Committee Representative and a fellow AP Senator. “Originally elected as one of three AP senators, Bill quickly jumped in and assumed other roles on APAC including the newsletter, helping to bring news relevant to APs into the campus spotlight. He genuinely enjoys his job and the people he interacts with and his enthusiasm is infectious. His pride in UIC is evident in everything he does.”
FORMER APAC Chair Holly Ann Burt said, Bill is a diligent, dedicated, and delightful person with whom I have enjoyed working. His devotion to the APAC News has taken communication of UIC AP concerns to a new level and his contributions are deeply appreciated.

HIS FELLOW College of Dentistry colleague on APAC, Treasurer Virginia Buglio, said, “Bill Bike is a committed and valuable participant on the APAC committee. He has contributed his time effortlessly to APAC as the Chair of Communications and Chair of the CAPE Award Committee and has served on the University Senate. Bill is all about communication and he does a great job getting that information out there to our academic community through the APAC News.” 

OUTSIDE OF UIC, Bike enjoys playing softball, his antique 1948 Dodge car, politics, and writing.  In fact, he wrote a political science book, Winning Political Campaigns. “It’s a how-to on all aspects of political campaigning,” he said. As someone who is politically active, Bike urged everyone to “try to do what they can to get candidates elected this fall who care about higher education and the University. On your own time, of course!”

BIKE’S WIFE is Anne Nordhaus-Bike, an artist, writer, public relations professional, and astrologer. She recently wrote an astrology book called Follow the Sun. They enjoy spending time with each other and their cat, Louis.

AS I write one of my last APAC News profiles, I am honored to be able to feature Bill Bike. Having been at UIC for eight years, I wanted to find ways to be involved on campus. APAC provided opportunities to give back despite my busy schedule. My involvement with APAC has primarily been working under Bill for the APAC News. After receiving a t-contract last year, I was thankful to have him forward job announcements and serve as a mentor in many regards. People like Bill make UIC a place where you can grow, learn, and contribute. Thank you, Bill, for the opportunity to serve APs through writing these profiles, as I have been able to learn about the amazing individuals who make up our campus. I encourage everyone to attend the next APAC meeting and meet Bill Bike, one of UIC’s not-so-hidden treasures! 


Free MIT Self-Study Courses
AN ARCHIVE of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) course materials is available free to UIC employees. The archive includes lecture notes, examinations, assignments, and even some videos. To begin go to

“SO, YOU could basically do a self-study course for free if you wanted to,” noted Michael Moss, Chair of APAC.

NO CREDIT is offered, but UIC employees are welcome to self-study any subject available. For example, if you are interested in business decision making, simply log on to self-study the course materials on that site.


New UIC Campus Microsoft Agreement WEBSTORE AT the University has announced the immediate availability of all Microsoft products offered under the new UIC Campus Microsoft Agreement to UIC faculty, staff, students, and departments (media fees not included).

“THE MICROSOFT agreement, funded by the Provost’s office, now provides the units with the licenses they need for a great number of the Microsoft products,” said Cynthia Herrera Lindstrom, Chief Information Officer, Executive Director, Academic Computing and Communications Center. “This saves time in the purchasing and managing of the licenses, as well as improving compliance. The personal purchase option is available to faculty and staff for purchase Microsoft Office licenses for home use for $10.”

UIC Faculty and Staff Products
Desktop Package and Enterprise Client Access License Suite
Includes Enterprise Upgrade Operating System, Office Professional Plus for Win/Standard for Mac, Client Access Licenses for:

CORE Server Products
*SharePoint Server Standard
*Lync Server Standard
*ForeFront Endpoint Protection
*Exchange Server Standard
*Windows Server Standard
*System Center Configuration Manager

Enterprise Server Products
*SharePoint Server Enterprise
*Lync Server Enterprise
*ForeFront Protection Suite, Unified Access Gateway
*Exchange Server Enterprise*Windows RMS
*System Center Client Management Suite

UIC Students Products
Desktop Package and CORE Client Access License Suite
Includes Windows Ultimate Upgrade Operating System, Office Professional Plus for Win/Standard for Mac, Client Access Licenses for:

CORE Server Products
*SharePoint Server Standard
*Lync Server Standard
*ForeFront Endpoint Protection
*Exchange Server Standard
*Windows Server Standard and
*System Center Configuration Manager

UIC Campus Unlimited AccessCORE Server Platform
The Microsoft Core Server Platform allows for the installation of unlimited editions of the following Microsoft software applications:
*Windows Server
*SharePoint Server
*Exchange Server
*Lync Server
*Lync Server Standard, Windows Server, and Exchange Server External Connectors
*SharePoint Server for Internet Sites Standard

TO FIND these products, login to WebStore,, choose Personal Purchase or Unit Purchase, then select Microsoft Products under Featured (Unit/Personal) Purchase Products. Contact the WebStore at or Herrera at with any questions.


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.

UIC NEWS covers Pensions, Revenue, and the Rhetoric of Reform forum, Sept. 12. See

TRUSTEES APPROVE budget; 3.7% increase in day-to-day operating costs, $227.6 million increase in payments for healthcare, pension benefits. See UIC News, Sept. 14, at

Vol. 5, No. 8, September 2012

ISSN 1946-1860
Editor: William S. Bike
Staff: Lucia Gonzalez, Ivone De Jesus

Chair: Michael Moss
Vice Chair: Ahlam Al-Kodmany
Secretary: Kathleen Engstrom
Treasurer: Virginia Buglio
Web Chair: Jeff Alcantar