October 15, 2012

October 2012 APAC News Vol. 5, No. 9

Proposal to Strip University of Position Exemption Authority Moves Forward

Is her job AP or Civil Service? Right now, the University decides, but SUCCS is trying to get
the State to change the rules. (Photo courtesy American Association of Dental Editors.)
A PROPOSAL that would strip the University of its position exemption authority—its ability to create Academic Professional positions exempt from being Civil Service without outside approval—is winding its way through the State administrative rules process.

LAST YEAR, the proposal was in a bill passed by the Illinois State Senate, but it was tabled in the House and did not take effect. The State Universities Civil Service System (SUCSS) then took the proposal, which would move position exemption authority from the University to SUCSS, to the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR), a committee featuring Senate and House members that reviews administrative rules of State agencies.
HERE ARE several serious negative implications should this rule 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 a network 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 about 13 staff. If this change is implemented, the work currently supported by dedicated UIC HR staff will have to be absorbed by these 13 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 13 State Universities that they support.
IN THE Oct. 6 issue of the News-Gazette of Champaign-Urbana, Maureen Parks, Executive Director and Associate Vice President of Human Resources for the University, was quoted as saying losing the exemption authority would be “very, very negative in terms of our ability to quickly hire the employees we need to fill critical positions.”

THE PROPOSED rule was published in the Illinois Register, the rulebook for Illinois governmental agencies, on March 9, and the public was given 45 days to comment. A second comment period will be held at an unspecified time in the future. SUCSS is considering revising the language in the proposed rule change to include more specific guidelines on the review process.

TO CONTACT JCAR, e-mail jcar@ilga.gov or call (217) 785-2254.

New Education Modules Aim to Reduce Myths about Civil Service

By Monica M. Walk
AS ACADEMIC Professional positions are reviewed and some reclassified as Civil Service, new education modules will help employees better understand the purpose of the Civil Service system on the UIC campus.

“CIVIL SERVICE is a type of objective personnel management system. It is designed to ensure fairness and equity,” said Assistant Vice President for Human Resources Robert Crouch. Civil Service provides that the employment process is fair so that individuals have an equal opportunity to compete for job openings.” Employees in the Civil Service classification run the gamut from entry level to the most professional, from clerical to managerial.

“THE MAJORITY of my career has been in a Civil Service environment, where people were very professional and conscientious,” Crouch said. “My experience within a Civil Service environment has been great. Everyone worked side-by-side and you couldn’t tell the difference between Academic Professional and Civil Service: work standards and benefits were the same. To me, Civil Service has always been an honorable employment classification.”

THE CAMPUS has established a meaningful partnership with the State Universities Civil Service System (SUCSS), to create awareness about what Civil Service means as a personnel management system at UIC. “As part of a continuous learning process, it is critically important to increase awareness of what Civil Service is,” Crouch said.

A SERIES of educational modules are being developed to help inform the campus about the structure and guidelines within the Civil Service system. More than 50 employees in the UIC HR unit were the first to experience a customer service module recently presented jointly by UIC HR and SUCSS. A future module is targeted at college and departmental level HR. Another module under development is geared toward senior level managers.

“IN ACADEMIA we understand the importance of education,” Crouch said. “We want to eliminate misunderstandings about Civil Service. We are working collaboratively with the SUCSS office to provide opportunities to better understand Civil Service on the UIC campus. The strong partnership we have developed with SUCSS will help us to more effectively acquire the best talent.”

Flexible System
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR of the State Universities Civil Service System Tom Morelock has been working directly with UIC HR staff, and is scheduled to present in the upcoming training modules.

“FIRST AND foremost, it is important to understand that every large organization needs a personnel management system,” Morelock said. “In these modules, we want to demonstrate how delivery of this comprehensive personnel plan incorporates state-of-the-art management of personnel and human capital. Our end goal is to demonstrate there is a lot of flexibility in this system.”

MORELOCK STATED that while the law is built on regulations and statutes, these do not govern every step in the Civil Service hiring process. “Only one or two rules and regulations are involved, and the rest of the process revolves around local policies and procedures,” he said. “You can get through [the hiring process] more quickly if you manage these other steps. It simply takes too long to hire someone now, but the vast majority of that timeframe is from local policies and not statewide regulations. They can be changed or upgraded.  These modules are intended to give a common foundation about the system and local policy.”

HE NOTED that the veterinary school is changing its job classification structure to assist the delivery of their customer service module.  “The system allows for relatively quick changes like this,” Morelock said.  “It is reactive to operational needs.”

CURRENTLY, MISPERCEPTIONS about Civil Service hiring do exist, acknowledged Director of Organizational Effectiveness for UIC HR Kim Morris-Lee.  “Hiring managers have a sense that hiring Civil Service takes forever,” she said.  “And, if they don’t work out, it takes forever to remove them.”

THREE MORE planned education modules will show how this isn’t the case.

“THERE ARE lots of positives of Civil Service,” Morris-Lee said.

Additional Modules Slated
THE MODULE planned for November roll-out is aimed at campus employees who function as conduits between a unit or college and the university Human Resources office, such as the human resources coordinator in an administrative unit or college who processes hiring forms and related tasks.

“THIS MODULE explains the kinds of things they need to know to get talent in their unit or college, what actions they need to take,” Morris-Lee said. “Things that allow them to be flexible, but guided by certain policies and procedures to move the process forward. We want our customers to understand that the actions for the requisition process work well and get talent in place quickly.”

A THIRD module created for Vice Presidents, Deans, and Directors is slated for late January 2013 and will explain how Civil Service gets needed talent efficiently and without service gaps.

A FOURTH module, planned for March 2013, will be for individuals functioning in Civil Service roles on campus. Content will include how to move a career forward at UIC.  It will be scheduled on a monthly basis.

FOR MORE information, call (312) 355-5230.

Learn About Constitutional Amendment That Could Strip Away Pension Protection

APAC AND UIC UNITED, the UIC chapter of SUAA, invites you to a SURS/Pension town hall event, “Understanding the Constitutional Amendment on the November 6th Ballot,” Monday, Oct. 22, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the College of Medicine West Tower Auditorium, 2nd Floor, Room 221, 1853 W. Polk St.

IF PASSED, Constitutional Amendment #49 would require three-fifths votes in the House and Senate to enhance retirement benefits for public employees—but only a simple majority to reduce benefits. Coming in at over 700 words, the amendment is longer than the entire first ten Amendments to the U.S. Constitution (the Bill of Rights). Please join our presenters, who will help you untangle the complicated language and share their perspectives on the potential implications if passed. You will have an opportunity to submit questions during your registration, which will be addressed at the close of the presentation.

PRESENTERS ARE John Kindt, Professor Emeritus of Business and Legal Policy, UIUC, and Dick Lockhart, Lobbyist for the State University Annuitants Association (SUAA).

ACCORDING TO Kindt, “The Constitutional Amendment question on the November ballot, if passed, would probably eliminate the current Illinois Constitutional clause protecting benefits from being diminished or impaired.”

LOCKHART ADDED, “Constitutional Amendment #49 creates very special problems for State Universities, and for those who are committed to their improvement. As we know, a Constitutional Amendment would last beyond our lifetime.”

REGISTRATION IS required. You can register at:

Employee Recognition Awards Program Set

Onintze Zenarutzabeitia Pikatza (left), of Latin American Recruitment and Educational Services, pictured with chancellor Paula Allen-Meares, Latin American Recruitment and Educational Services, was a previous UIC Award of Merit recipient recognized for sustained excellence
in performance and commitment to her job.
THIS YEAR’S Employee Recognition Awards Program will be held on Thursday, Nov. 1, at the UIC Forum at Roosevelt and Halsted Streets. This campus-wide event honors the 2012 recipients of the Award of Merit, CAPE Award, Wow, INSPIRE, and Luminary Awards; the individuals who have achieved 25, 30, 35, 40, and 45 years of service; and other campus award winners. Everyone is welcome to attend as the University congratulates and honors the awardees for their outstanding achievements.

CEREMONY BEGINS at 11 a.m., with formal reception immediately following. For questions, contact Rebecca Fortier at rfortier@uic.edu

Dr. Marilyn Marshall New Assistant VP for Academic Affairs; Has Worked for AP Interests

Dr. Marilyn Marshall.
DR. MARILYN MARSHALL has been named Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs. Dr. Marshall has been very supportive of APs via her role with the University Professional Personnel Advisory Committee (UPPAC), which serves the needs of APs and provides advice to the President of the University on behalf of APs.

DR. MARSHALL has an accomplished record of achievement in her tenure at the University of Illinois as Director of University Academic Programs and Services and as Director of University-wide Student Programs. In her new position, she will be responsible for all University-level academic programs and student affairs. As such she will work in close partnership with the three campuses.

IN ADDITION, Dr. Marshall will lead efforts with external constituents of the University of Illinois, such as the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Community College Board, on curricular alignment and articulation matters. She will serve as the University liaison with the Illinois Board of Higher Education, providing leadership regarding statewide policy for academic affairs. Additionally her office will seek to promote the innovation and impact of the University’s expanding activities in areas such as online education.

“MARILYN WAS of immense assistance to me during my two terms as chair of UPPAC,” said Gerald Burkhart, Director, Office of Electronic Media, University of Illinois-Springfield. “Her office provided staff support and Marilyn always saw that UPPAC received whatever was needed to carry out our mission. Her support for Academic Professionals through UPPAC has been outstanding and I congratulate her on this important appointment.”

“I HAVE enjoyed working with Marilyn within the context of UPPAC,” said Konstantinos Yfantis of Campus Information Technologies and Educational Services at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “I believe that her extensive knowledge about our University and the positive attitude that she has been bringing to our meetings have helped generate an atmosphere conducive to collaboration among Academic Professionals of the University of Illinois system.”

“MARILYN HAS contributed to APs across all three of the UI campuses, but I would like to focus on how her contributions have benefitted UIC,” said Michael Moss, APAC Chair. “She has facilitated meetings with former President Michael Hogan and President Robert Easter, and helped provide a conduit for UIC APs to express our concerns to senior administration. She was actively engaged in developing the agenda and materials for these meetings, and helped us frame complex and sensitive issues into a format conducive to productive discussions. Marilyn has also been our point of contact for the AP representatives to the UI Board of Trustees meetings. She has helped ensure that each AP in attendance knows what to expect, and in many cases has personally met with them at the Trustees meetings to help answer any questions. I don’t think the work that Marilyn has done has always been visible to the APs on our campus, but I am hopeful they can appreciate her efforts the scenes.”

Successful Peer-to-Peer Learning Event Held

Managing Multiple Awards for a Principal Investigator (researcher) was the
subject of a recent joint APAC/Office of Grants and Contracts event.
APAC AND the Office of Grants & Contracts on Oct. 11 held a Peer-to-Peer Learning Event, “Managing Multiple Awards for a PI.” Best practices, tips, and questions related to managing multiple awards for a Principal Investigator were discussed.

PEER MODERATORS were Colleen Piersen of the College of Pharmacy and Ahlam Al-Kodmany of the Institute for Health Research & Policy. Both are APAC members. Grants & Contracts Representatives were Colleen Kehoe, Assistant Director; Ed Seighman, Assistant Director; and Mee Mee Lee-Choi, Associate Director.

MORE THAN 40 people attended—so many that the session was split into two groups.  “Ahlam and Colleen each ran one,” said Michael Moss, APAC Chair. “Both did outstanding.  The feedback we got from people after the event was very positive.  They both did a great job and deserve lots of thanks.”

OTHER PEER learning events will be held in the near future.

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


Those interested in becoming a member of the CCSL should
CCSL Aims to Help Latino Employees at UIC

By Lucia Gonzalez

THE CHANCELLOR’S Committee on the Status of Latinos (CCSL) was established to aid the UIC community by promoting educational, professional, and career opportunities among Latinos. The committee addresses issues and concerns that are specific to Latinos at UIC through the Office of the Chancellor. The goal is to advise the Chancellor on these issues and to develop, initiate, and manage programs that address the concerns of the Latino community.

THE CCSL has many programs that help UIC employees. For example, the Latina Network Subcommittee and Employment Subcommittee serve as resources in professional and leadership development. One can go to the network and find opportunities to meet with other professionals and even find ways to achieve a healthy lifestyle while at work.

THIS ACADEMIC YEAR, the CCSL would like to develop and implement a Latino Graduate Student Organization and a Latino Alumni Association. The CCSL also decided to focus on Latino faculty representation and on Academic Professionals who have administrative leadership positions on campus by engaging them and seeing what their needs are. The CCSL also created a survey to see what the current needs are of the Latino employees at UIC.

“THE EMPLOYMENT committee has addressed the lack of Latino employees at UIC at the faculty, civil service, and academic professional levels,” explained Melissa Hernandez, Co-Chair of the CCSL. “We want to bridge the employment gap concerning our current employed Latinos on campus, and how this relates to our Latino students and community.”

TO CONTACT the CCSL you can go to http://www.uic.edu/depts/lcc/CCSL. This site lists the current executive board members, whom anyone can contact at any time. There also will be an Open House on Wednesday, Oct. 24 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Latino Cultural Center, Lecture Center B2 on the East Campus, 803 S. Morgan St., which will focus on unity, pride, and empowerment of Latinos on campus.

MEMBERSHIP IS voluntary and open to all employee sectors at UIC.

FOR MORE information, contact Hernandez at pmhern@uic.edu.


Help Available for Victims of Sexual Assault, Stalking, Domestic Violence

THE UIC Campus Advocacy Network (CAN) is a free and confidential program that serves students, staff and faculty who are dealing with the aftermath of rape, stalking, or abusive relationships with family members, intimate partners, acquaintances, or roommates. You have a right to be heard; CAN is there to listen. 

CAN WANTS you to know that:
  • They will believe you
  • It's not your fault; no one deserves to be a victim of these crimes
  • You have options. They are here to help you explore all of the options available to you both on and off campus.

CAN SERVICES are designed for people of all gender orientations, sexual orientations, races, ethnicities, religious beliefs, and abilities. CAN is dedicated to ensuring that all members of the community feel safe, listened to, and valued. CAN is committed to working together with survivors of violence to explore options open to them and support their attempts to access resources both on and off campus. CAN also is a place you can anonymously report a crime that has occurred on campus.  

FOR A fuller listing of the services CAN provides, as well as more information about sexual assault, stalking, and abusive relationships, visit:

ALL CAN services are free and confidential.

CAN STAFF are available for appointment Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Room 802 of University Hall.

CALL (312) 413-8206 to schedule an appointment, or email can@uic.edu.

WALK-INS BETWEEN the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. are welcome.


State Resources Include Mortgage Assistance, Data

THE ILLINOIS Housing Development Authority (IHDA) is currently taking applications from homeowners who have been hit by the economy. The initiative, named Illinois Hardest Hit Program began last year. The program offers mortgage assistance to those who are struggling with income loss due to unemployment or underemployment. Visit www.illinoishardesthit.org for more information.

GOVERNOR PATRICK Quinn recently signed a new executive order to further increase transparency and accountability in government by establishing a new state Open Operating Standard. The order encourages State agencies and local governments across Illinois to increase the amount of raw data they share with each other, businesses, academic institutions, and the general public. The State of Illinois' Open Data site, Data.Illinois.Gov, is a searchable clearinghouse of information from State agencies that is helping inform residents about the operation of State government and encouraging the creative use of State information. The site now contains more than 6,400 data sets.


The Gazette, a newspaper in the UIC area, editorialized against
Constitutional Amendment #49 in its Oct. 5 issue.
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.

LEARN MORE about Constitutional Amendment #49 /HJRCA49 at http://uicretirement.blogspot.com/.

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT #49 a catastrophic attack on public workers, says Gazette of Oct. 5. See http://www.gazettechicago.com/index/2012/10/constitutional-amendment-49-a-%e2%80%98catastrophic%e2%80%99-attack-on-public-workers/.

Vol. 5, No. 9, October 2012

ISSN 1946-1860
Editor: William S. Bike
Staff: Ivone De Jesus, Lucia Gonzalez, Monica M. Walk
Vice Chair: Ahlam Al-Kodmany
Chair: Michael Moss
Secretary: Kathleen Engstrom
Treasurer: Virginia Buglio
Web Chair: Jeff Alcantar