October 2, 2013

October 2013 APAC News Vol. 6, No. 9

Committees Working Together to Address Shared Concerns

Participants at June’s COLLABORATE meeting.
MANY CONCERNS on campus, such as potential changes to pensions, are shared by Academic Professionals across UIC.  But they are not unique to APs – our faculty and Civil Service staff colleagues are concerned as well.  So how do we all work together to get these concerns addressed?  We COLLABORATE!

COLLABORATE IS the name of a newly emerging committee, with a goal of providing various groups across campus the opportunity to discuss these types of shared concerns and collectively work towards solutions. COLLABORATE currently includes representatives from the following:
  • The Academic Professional Advisory Committee
  • The Staff Advisory Council
  • The UIC Senate
  • The Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Asian Americans
  • The Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Blacks
  • The Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer People and Allies
  • The Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women
  • The Chancellor’s Committee on Sustainability and Energy
  • The Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Latinos
  • The Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Persons with Disabilities
  • The UIC UNITED, the UIC Chapter of the State Universities Annuitants Association
COLLABORATE HELD its first meeting in June with much success. Although the committee is still evolving, there seem to be many shared values around which future endeavors may focus:
  • Diversity
  • Equity
  • Accessibility
  • Sustainability
  • Safety
  • Professional Development
  • Benefits & Compensation
  • Awards & Recognition
COLLABORATE’S NEXT meeting is Wednesday, Oct. 9.  If you would like to know more about COLLABORATE, contact Michael Moss at mmoss2@uillinois.edu.

UIC Human Resources Launches New Website

THE NEWLY designed UIC Human Resources website may be accessed at http://hr.uic.edu. The reorganization and redesign was performed to make it easier to locate and access information, forms, policies and procedures related to Human Resources functions. Incorporating feedback from focus groups, site users, and employees, the new site is intended to provide users with an improved experience when visiting the website.

DESIGNED TO allow quicker response times to user needs, the site is built on a flexible content management engine so as to be easily updated. In addition, a feedback form has been integrated throughout the site. With a single click from any page, site users may offer comments, recommend changes, or request additional information. The feedback link will allow UIC Human Resources an opportunity to more easily communicate with employees.

CONCEIVED AS a single point of reference, the new website provides information alerts, timely articles, and links to Human Resources services. It can be used for obtaining information for exploring benefits, updating personal information, starting a new job, or hiring new staff,. The new website also will provide updates regarding changes to policies and procedures, new training opportunities, and insight into University human capital practices.

Politics and University Subject of Upcoming Forum

UIC UNITED, the UIC chapter of SUAA, the State Universities Annuitants Association, along with APAC, will present a Fall Forum, Illinois Politics and the Public University, Monday, Oct. 14, in the Michele M. Thompson Rooms, Student Center West (SCW), 828 S. Wolcott St., 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

THE PANEL will feature Robert Easter, President, University of Illinois; Christopher Mooney, Director, Institute of Government and Public Affairs, University of Illinois; And Dick Simpson, Professor of Political Science, UIC. The moderator will be Mitchell Vogel, Trustee, State Universities Retirement System (SURS).

PARKING IS available at the Wood Street Parking Structure (WSPS), 1100 S. Wood St.  Discounted parking coupons will be available for purchase at $7.

TO RSVP, go http://tinyurl.com/uiccampus or contact Debbie Matthews, debmatt18@gmail.com, (815) 254-3731, or Karen Scherman,  kscherman@att.net, (630) 257-1491.

Speed Networking Event a Success; More Professional Development Events Planned

Attendees at APAC’s Speed Networking event.
APAC HELD a successful Speed Networking event on Sept. 5. Those in attendance had the opportunity to meet others from across campus and expand their professional contacts.

APAC HAS a new Professional Development committee, co-chaired by Donn Kamm, Office of Access and Equity, and Uma Sriram, Accounting Consulting Group.  Virginia Buglio, College of Dentistry, is the third member of the committee.  This was the committee’s first event, and five more events are already under development for the upcoming year.  If you would like more information about the Professional Development committee, or if you would be interested in helping with future endeavors, please contact Kamm at donn@uic.edu, Sriram at usriram@uic.edu, and/or Buglio at vbuglio@uic.edu.

Job Analysis Updates Presented to a Full House

A full house at APAC’s Job Analysis Town Hall Event.
APAC HELD a Town Hall event on Sept. 26 to provide updates on the status of the campus Job Analysis process and the conversions of Academic Professional positions to Civil Service.  Presenters were Maureen Parks, Associate Vice President for Human Resources; Robert Crouch, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources; and Ron Puskarits, Director of Compensation.

THE PRESENTERS shared a PowerPoint presentation with general information, and left ample time at the end of the event for audience questions. APAC will share a link to the PowerPoint presentation on PACADEMY soon.

THE PRESENTATION is now on the HR Website and the link is: http://www.hr.uic.edu/UserFiles/Servers/Server_1316432/File/d_compensation/APAC%20Town%20Hall%209_26_13.pdf

APAC offers special thanks to Agnes Kawalec for organizing and moderating the meeting.


John Brach, new APAC member.
IHRP HR’s John Brach Joins APAC
By Lucia Gonzalez

JOHN BRACH, Director of Human Resources, Institute for Health and Research Policy (IHRP), has been employed by UIC for 17 years, but he has been a part of the UIC community since he was an undergrad student 23 years ago.
INITIALLY, BRACH worked at the College of Business Administration and the Office of the Associate Vice Chancellor for Administration (OAVCA). In October 2004, he started working as the HR director at the Institute for Health Research and Policy in the School of Public Health. It was a big change for Brach to switch his focus from the administrative and academic communities to the research community.

“I’M ALWAYS looking for ways to bring the unique issues that research creates to the forefront and to the attention of the campus decision makers so this important area can receive the special HR attention it needs,” Brach said.

OVER THE years, Brach has faced quite a few challenges due to HR changes that occasionally occur.  However, the campus has been able to evolve in such a way that the hiring and payroll process is much smoother and more efficient than it was years ago, he said. Brach believes that UIC has progressed immensely throughout the years he has been here.

“WORKING AT UIC has been great, and I’ve met a lot of wonderful people in my career here and have learned a lot more than I ever would have imagined,” Brach said. “Even after 17 years, there aren’t many days that go by that I don’t learn something new.”

BRACH’S MAIN interest is in doing anything he can do to help the campus be a better place to work. He goes out of his way to know employees’ names and to learn what these individuals believe are working well, and what things they believe could use improvements.

“I’VE ALWAYS enjoyed helping people and my main goals have always been to recruit employees to work here, hire them, and make the process easy so that they don’t have to worry about anything other than showing up on time on their first day,” Brach explained.

AS A new member of APAC, Brach has not signed up for any special committees, but is exploring how or where he might fit in best. Since his experience has been centered on HR, he’d like to find a spot where he can make a difference for UIC employees.

“BECAUSE WORK is such a huge part of our lives,” Brach said, “it needs to be an area where individuals can feel accomplished. If I can play some small role in helping that happen, I will feel like I’ve accomplished what I’ve set out to do.”

TO CONTACT Brach, email jebrach@uic.edu.


THE ACADEMIC Computing and Communications Center (ACCC) offers a wide range of services, including campus wi-fi networks, computer labs, software sales, and help by phone, email, and walk-in. Some services are offered in the Instructional Technology Lab, the Daley Library, and the Goldberg Research Center. ACCC also offers equipment, support for Blackboard and Google Aps, and instruction in popular software programs and web-related topics through Lynda.com, webinars, and short workshops. Log on to http://accc.uic.edu or email consult@uic.edu.


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.

ATTORNEYS ARGUE that retired State workers should not be required to pay premiums for health insurance. See Springfield State Journal-Register, Sept. 18: http://www.sj-r.com/breaking/x1837087108/States-high-court-hears-case-on-retiree-health-premiums#ixzz2fLMeIdO9.

Vol. 6, No. 9, October 2013

ISSN 1946-1860
Editor: William S. Bike
Staff: Lucia Gonzalez, Neal Lorenzi, Gail Mansfield, Susan S. Stevens, Monica M. Walk
Vice Chair: Ahlam Al-Kodmany
Chair: Michael Moss
Secretary: Mary Berta
Treasurer: Agnes Kawalec
Web Chair: Jeff Alcantar