July 30, 2013
MICHAEL MOSS, APAC chairman, and two other APAC representatives came away from their most recent meeting with University President Robert A. Easter expressing optimism with his take on University issues.
“IT WENT pretty well,” Moss said. The meeting lasted about one hour, and it was “high level,” he added. APAC Vice Chair Ahlam Al-Kodmany reported, “It was nice to see President Easter’s understanding and empathy.” Marelet Kirda, an APAC Senator, said, “It’s definitely a great opportunity to hear the President’s perspective.”
THE THREE APAC members were joined in the meeting at the President’s house in Urbana by representatives of the Urbana and Springfield campuses who are on the University Professional Personnel Advisory Committee (UPPAC). The June 11 meeting came toward the end of Easter’s first year as U of I President, and the session won’t be the last, the three APAC members said.
THE UNIVERSITY’S increasing dependence on tuition to fund its operations was a recurrent theme, Kirda said. Easter said that the American people at some point will say, “that’s enough,” and look at other ways of funding universities. Since time was short, they did not get into a lot of specifics, Moss said.
PENSION PLANNING drew further talk. Easter is “front and center,” working on it, Al-Kodmany said. Easter said he is working in collaboration with leadership from other State Universities to push a pension plan developed by the Institute of Government Affairs to the “attention” of State legislators. Lawmakers are looking at it, Al-Kodmany added. “This is clearly a president who has rolled up his sleeves.”
IMPROVING ON efficiencies is a goal of the President’s, Al-Kodmany noted. For example, Easter asked why seven or eight signatures need to be on a contract before it gets to him. He is “clearly not a bureaucrat,” she added.
UNIVERSITY-BUSINESS partnerships were another focus. Easter wants to build more ties to businesses, along with increasing endowments and investments, to better fund University programs and support students, Kirda said. UI LABS is an example of the kind of partnerships that can be developed, she said. UI LABS is a pathway to obtain hundreds of millions of dollars in private and government funding that wouldn’t otherwise be available for Universities to pursue.
HE UNDERSTOOD that Academic Professional staff should be recognized as major contributors to the University’s mission, although he conceded the work of Academic Professionals is not discussed often enough in public, Al-Kodmany said. “We are the foundation” for faculty and student retention and promotion, she said. “It was like a light bulb that went on when we talked about that.” He said, ‘You are absolutely correct.’”
SOMETIMES INDIVIDUALS at high levels are “too politicized,” Al-Kodmany said, noting that “Their responses have no depth”—but that is not the sense she got during the meeting with Easter. “He was listening.” Moss agreed. “He has a level of understanding of the University that is very unique.”
FURTHER MEETINGS will be scheduled, probably twice a year, Moss said. Easter is committed to “continuing that engagement” with UPPAC. Kirda added that APAC also appreciates the opportunities afforded to the group to meet with the Chancellor and Provost a couple of times throughout the year.
ALL THREE APAC members believe the U of I is the better for Easter’s time at the helm. Easter has agreed to stay on board for two-and-a-half more years until June 30, 2015, when he will be 67 years old. “Easter has provided strong leadership during challenging times – we will definitely be sad to see him go,” Moss said.
WHEN THE U of I Board of Trustees approved Easter as president in March 2012, he was asked to serve until June 2014. A new agreement has extended his tenure by a year.
“THERE IS a consensus, and this is not just on the board but throughout the institution, on campuses and among external audiences, that this first year has gone very well indeed," said U of I spokesman Tom Hardy.
FOR MORE about U of I private-public partnerships, log on to:http://research.uillinois.edu/innovation-infrastructure/interdisciplinary-research/ui-labs-future-today. For University administration reviews and a message from President Easter, log on to: http://www.uillinois.edu/uareview/. For Springfield News-Gazette coverage of Easter’s contract extension, log on to http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2013-07-19/easter-contract-be-extended-year.html.
APAC RECENTLY held an election for officers.
THE FOLLOWING individuals will serve in 2013-2014: Chair: Michael Moss, Associate Director, Budget Operations and Financial Analysis, (312) 996-0306, email@example.com; Vice Chair: Ahlam Al-Kodmany, Director, Institute for Health Research and Policy, (312) 996-7485, firstname.lastname@example.org; Secretary: Mary Berta, Assistant to the Head, Department of Occupational Therapy, Allied Health Sciences, (312) 413-8355, email@example.com; and Treasurer: Agnes Kawalec, Visiting Center Coordinator, Center for Clinical and Translational Science, (312) 413-7353, firstname.lastname@example.org.
COMMITTEE CHAIRS also were chosen: Communications: William S. Bike, Director of Advancement and Alumni Affairs Communications, College of Dentistry, (312) 996-8495, email@example.com; Chancellor’s Academic Professional Excellence (CAPE): Al-Kodmany; Building Communications and Education: Kawalec; Professional Development: Donn Kamm, Assistant Director, Office for Access and Equity, (312) 996-6424, firstname.lastname@example.org, and Uma Sriram, Accounting Consulting, Office of Business and Financial Services, (312) 355-4935, email@example.com; Representation: Margaret Moser, Director, Administrative Operations, Vice President for Health Affairs, (312) 355-5701, firstname.lastname@example.org; and Bylaws: Berta and Colleen Piersen, Assistant head for Administration, Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, (312) 413-9299, email@example.com.
THE WEBMASTER is Jeff Alcantar, Assistant Director for Web Services, Office of Business and Financial Services, (312) 996-0959, firstname.lastname@example.org. University Professional Personnel Advisory Committee (UPPAC) Representatives are Al-Kodmany; Moss; and Marelet Kirda, Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Research, (312) 996-6174, email@example.com. UPPAC alternates are Jacquie Berger, Director of Communications, Vice Chancellor for Research, (312) 413-0075, firstname.lastname@example.org; Deidre Rush, Associate Director, Financial Aid Office, (312) 996-5563, email@example.com; and Berta/
THE APMP will host a series of roundtable discussions led by UIC personnel who have been mentors in the program. They will share their insights on what it takes to be a mentor -- their professional experience, the nature of the mentoring relationship, time commitment, and the benefits of the program – and more. The tables will be moderated by APMP committee members. Light refreshments will be served.
President Robert Easter (right) with UIC Provost Lon Kaufman.
EASTER WAS appointed President-Designate of the University of Illinois in March 2012. Before becoming President, Easter spent his entire, nearly 40-year career as a senior administrator and faculty member on the University’s Urbana-Champaign campus.
ALL SURS eligible faculty and staff are welcome to attend.
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. Next meeting is August 14 in Room 5175 of the College of Medicine Research Building. For information, call (312) 996-0306.
THE UIC Children’s Center provides full-day early childhood education services to 50 preschool children of UIC students, faculty, and staff. The children range in age from two years, nine months to six years. All children must be toilet trained.
THE CHILDREN’S Center is on the West Side of campus, 1919 W. Taylor St., Room 116, MC 525, (312) 413-5330.
THE PROGRAM is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and licensed by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
AS WELL as providing quality, developmentally appropriate full-day preschool services, the Children’s Center serves as a demonstration site for the constructivist philosophy developed by former UIC professors Constance Kamii and Rheta DeVries and based upon the theory of Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget.
FOR MORE information, visit http://www.uic.edu/depts/children/.
Labels: SURS and Benefits
A POSITIVE retirement solution for public and private workers. See the Georgetown Public Policy Review, June 13, http://gppreview.com/2013/06/13/a-positive-retirement-solution-for-public-and-private-workers/?utm_source=PI+Extra+6.27.13&utm_campaign=PI+email+6.27.13&utm_medium=email.
NEW LAW makes it harder for University to rehire retirees. See the News-Gazette, July 11, http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2013-07-11/ui-prepares-comply-new-law-rehiring-retirees.html.
PAYMENT DELAYS by State causing problems for dentists who treat State employees. See the News-Gazette, July 14, http://www.sj-r.com/top-stories/x946752067/Payment-delays-gnaw-at-dentists-patients#ixzz2Z7ahxbCw.
CONSULTANTS, TRUSTEES urge University to realign University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System. See the News-Gazette, July 24, http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2013-07-24/trustees-agree-ui-medical-enterprise-needs-realignment.html.