THE UNIVERSITY Professional Personnel Advisory Committee (UPPAC), which consists of the member Academic Professional committees of each University of Illinois campus (Chicago, Springfield, and Urbana-Champaign), on July 28 endorsed the Council of Illinois University Senates Statement of Concern regarding Civil Service reclassifications of Academic Professionals.
THOSE THREE Universities’ committees, including UIC’s Academic Professional Advisory Committee (APAC), previously had individually endorsed the Statement of Concern.
FOR SEVERAL years now, at the request of the State Universities Civil Service System (SUCSS), the University of Illinois has undergone an assessment process in which many Academic Professional positions and personnel are being converted to Civil Service positions and personnel.
THE STATEMENT reads: “The Council of Illinois University Senates is gravely concerned about the actions of the Executive Director and staff of the State Universities Civil Service System (SUCSS) toward reclassifying principal Administrative/Academic Professional positions within universities, as well as their adversarial audit activities and threat thereof, without adequate and widespread consultation, including with the Presidents, Chancellors, Faculty leadership, and Human Resource Directors of the respective campuses.
“THESE ACTIONS strike us as both arbitrary and capricious, and lacking in the transparency we expect from our public bodies.”
IN THE audits of UIC jobs conducted in September 2008 and in the spring of 2009, SUCSS determined that some jobs selected for review were inappropriately classified as Academic Professional (AP) positions and therefore had to be converted to an appropriate Civil Service (CS) classification.
UIC AGREED to comply with the recommendations put forth in the audit report by SUCSS, develop processes to ensure tighter position management protocols for APs, transition jobs incorrectly classified as Academic Professional to Civil Service, and evaluate and document each AP job with appropriate job descriptions. This process became known as the Job Analysis. See https://www.hr.uic.edu/classification_and_compensation/jobanalysis/.
THE UPPAC endorsement comes after the resignation of Tom Morelock from his longtime position as Executive Director of SUCSS and his replacement by Bruce A. Finne, now Interim Executive Director.
IN ADDITION, there have been some changes in Human Resources (HR) at UIC. As described in an email from Mark Donovan, Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services, the UIC Human Resources reporting structure was moved from the Office of the President and returned to UIC campus leadership. HR now reports to Donovan’s office.
“THE CHANCELLOR has asked that I begin a thorough examination of our HR practices,” Donovan wrote. “We must identify opportunities to improve HR service delivery to the campus by working with stakeholders and campus leadership.”
DR. MICHAEL Ginsburg, a 37-year veteran of UIC, is Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources, succeeding Robert Crouch, who has left the University.
UPPAC HAS opened a dialogue with the new SUCSS leadership, and APAC has done the same with the new UIC HR leadership.
“CHANGE PROVIDES an opportunity for a fresh look at issues, and UPPAC and APAC look forward to working with the new leadership of SUCSS and HR,” said Colleen Piersen, Chair of APAC and outgoing Chair of UPPAC.
FOR MORE about UPPAC, log on to http://www.uppac.uillinois.edu/ or call (217) 333-3079.