October 2017 Minutes

Council of Academic Professionals

Thursday, October 5, 2017, Illini Union 314A

Meeting Minutes submitted by Jenny Ehrnthaller, Secretary


Attendees: Jenny Ehrnthaller (2), Amy Hovious (2), Maggie Jarvis (3), Andrew Reynolds (4), Judy Van Cleeff (4), Rick Atterberry (5), Carl Baker (6), Betoel Escobar (7), Tanisha King-Taylor (7), Chantelle Thompson (8), Becky Ferrell (9), Richard Stokes (9), Elizabeth Rockman (10), Nancy Walsh (10), Jeff Stein (11), Elyne Cole (Ex Officio)


Excused Absences: Kristina Miller (1), Richard Gegg (1), Elizabeth Wahle (6), Mindy Spencer (5), Brian Brauer (8), Beth Hall (11)


  1. Call to Order – Chair Jeff Stein called the meeting order at 1:12 p.m.


  1. Guest Speaker – Chancellor Jones
    1. Last conversation, back in January, critical to be engaged in more dialogues with the Chancellor to discuss challenges at the University, so is pleased to be here. Would like to focus on how to engage with APs now and in the future.  Points to emphasize
      1. AP workforce here is a very vital, and irreplaceable component in the success of this university. This has been true for the past (sesquicentennial years) and is confident that this will continue – an anchor for Human Resources at the university.
      2. Budget crisis – a few months ago able to move forward from a 25 months budget uncertainty. This had an impact (reputational); candidates, stakeholders, and even internal faculty and staff that the institution will continue to deliver its great mission.  The university did all that was possible to strategically and intentionally protect our students, staff, and faculty.  Asking us to be better, smarter, more creative, and more efficient within our financial framework so that we can be less financially dependent on the state to allow us to move this university to the next level of excellence.
  • Strategic Plan (Budgetary Reform) – The two top initiatives that came out of this plan – IC Plan, CI College of Medicine (first new college created in the past 60 years) – new biomedical ecosystem to change the way medicine is both taught and practiced across the community, state, nation, and world.
  1. Opportunity to hear from APs. The University is dependent on the feedback of the APs, because APs live on the “ground” close to the issues and the advice and impact from APs is critical.
  2. AP Development Fund, which was suspended during the budget crisis, is being considered and working on to revamp. There are potential resources to redirect toward that effort to get the program up and running again.
  1. Questions to the Chancellor
    1. Question (Jeff Stein): Challenges to work-life balance in our effort to do more work with less… what can we do together to improve this balance as we contribute to the mission to the university.
      1. Answer: still learning as to where the gaps are and what we can do to increase efficiency. Chancellor is still learning the processes and procedures at the ground level to support this question.  Aligning the budget reform with the strategic plan, which plays a critical role within the human factor.  Elyne Cole – departments also have the ability to be flexible with work schedules, depending on the time of year, or projects occurring.  There is not a campus-wide structure or policy on this, since it is more on an individual basis, but departments are always welcome to contact Human Resources to assist in these conversations.
    2. Question from Public – Grants and Contracts Office – has a reputation of being difficult to work with, not because of the people, but because of the complexities of the system.
      1. Answer: These issues happened at his other university. It is a challenge to work with the corporate/private sector, but we need to not focus on the fact that we need to move very slowly.  We need to diversify our portfolio in this area to better serve the needs of the Grants and Contracts Office responsibilities.  There may be a need to invest in additional resources to support this issue and the Chancellor is supportive of this.
  • Question (Andrew Reynolds): What are some of the ways to better improve communications within the campus from processes that are working well in the units to alert campus, and then to disperse back out to other units.
    1. Answer: (Elyne Cole) – there is not a specific way this is done through HR, but perhaps this need to be formalized. Currently best practiced are communicated through CAP with the expectations that communication then happens to the districts.
    2. Answer: Chancellor – Suggestion to have an annual meeting/event to showcase best processes across campus
  1. Question (Elizabeth Rockman): Issues with Visas and student recruitment.  Are we currently ahead of the curve on this?  Where do you see us in terms of the changing political climate?
    1. Greatly concerned about some of these issues, particularly the expedited ones that was giving problems to hire some of the best and brightest people to our campus. Our International Programs office and Provost Office are excellent, the cases currently have been few, and the number has not been significant, which is good.
  2. Question from Public – wages for AP have been fairly stagnant. What financial environment to we need to have to get us back to a place where we can see substantial raises as had occurred in the past.
    1. Answer: Optics in a crisis like this does not look good, but the university took a risk in giving a modest increase during a budget crisis to show our APs the value of the work they complete for the campus. Up until about 2015, our faculty salaries were at the medium, first year of budget cut – dropped 5%, second year dropped 7% according to our peers.  There is a mission to get back to a regular salary increase cycle for campus.
  3. Question from Public – underrepresented employee, she has always been asked to serve on the committees because of the diversity initiative, and would like to know how HR determines how much to pay employees here. Seems that the person that makes the most noise or change jobs will pull ahead.  There is not a system in place at the university level to guard against this.  Please look at salary compression issues, especially for the seasoned employees.
    1. Answer: (Elyne Cole) – appreciate concerns, but notion that there is not a system is in place is not quite accurate. Job titles, duties, and responsibilities are looked at (within units) to determine the salary for the position itself.  This is then compared to other units once received at campus level to make sure equity is adhered to.  Suggested talk to HR office if feels like not being paid appropriately.  It is HR obligation to address that fact if the case.
  • Comment from Public – received Professional Development Fund, used it for university training (dreamweaver) and got some pushback from this, and wanted to comment that this also stay within the university, for those who might not be able to travel, etc.
  1. Public Comment – none.


  1. Review and Approval Previous Month’s Minutes – Procedures and Elections Committee representative needs to be updated to Becky Ferrell, otherwise approved by consensus.


  1. Chair’s Remarks (Jeff Stein) – Rich remarks from the Chancellor, work with Elyne and Deb to see what we can do to asses communications not only among the AP community, but in general through the university. Great comment from Andrew to move forward with.  Comment from Elyne – the Chancellor also made strong reference to the strategic plan, and it is recommended that CAP review this and make recommendations on behalf of the APs (Amy, Judy, and Jenny – subcommittee to begin this process).  Welcome Judy Van Cleeff, new CAP rep from District (4).


  1. Announcements – none.


  1. Committee Reports:
    1. CAPE Awards Committee (Jenny Ehrnthaller on behalf of Kristina Miller) – The CAPE Award Selection Committee members have been selected.  We have emailed those selected to verify their willingness and ability to serve.  They have a deadline of October 6th to confirm or decline.  If any member declines, we do have a pool of alternates for each district.  By the 2nd week of October, we will have the CAPE Award Selection Committee confirmed with letters of appointment from the Chancellor’s office.  We will also have letters from the Chairs to those who volunteered to be on the committee but were not selected thanking them for their willingness to serve and ask them to keep an eye out for other opportunities in the future.  Again, we have 1 committee member from each district for a total of 11 CAPE Award Selection Committee members and they will remain confidential until the selection process is finalized in April. The CAPE Award nomination process started on September 29th and runs to 5:00 PM on Friday, October 27th.  Chair and Committee will not be meeting until early November.  More information in November CAP Meeting.  If you, or any of your constituency, have any questions, please feel free to contact Kristina Miller.
    2. University Professional Personnel Advisory Committee (UPPAC; Jeff Stein) – Next meeting is in November. UIC concerned about audits for Civil Service. Elyne – discussions are happening regarding rules that exempt positions from Civil Service (across the state).  Attempted to clean up the Rule of 3 issue on out of state recruitment (if a candidate is not a resident, they are not eligible to apply to a position of Civil Service) which was critical for the Chicago campus given their location.  This is an on-going discussion which could affect Urbana-Champaign, but at this point, it is not clear how CAP can be helpful.
    3. AP Senators – Very brief senate meeting, resolution of support of those who would be impacted by the DACA situation.
    4. Senate, Campus, and University Committees
      1. Senate Committee for Campus Operations (Jenny Ehrnthaller) – Committee met on Thursday, September 21st and discussed capital projects on campus (75 projects ranging from $75K to $600M). The Provost Office charged a committee to review rates and funding – new rates in FY18 for crafts and trades positions.  There was also a discussion on a Shared Bikes Program on campus.
      2. USSP (University Senate Statutes and Procedures) – Revival of some of the university statutes which were first circulated in 2015 (ST72).
    5. Procedures and Elections (Rebecca Ferrell)
      1. Special Election – Replacement for District 3 representative, Todd Spinner, who has left CAP, but could not elect a new representative because the nomination was from the same org code as our current CAP representative in District 3 – Maggie Jarvis. CAP will reopen the nomination process.
      2. Faculty Senate Committee – two seats open, district 2 and 6 need representatives.
    6. Communications (Richard Stokes) – All Employee Expo – lots of traffic, event went well for CAP.
    7. Grievance (Tanisha King-Taylor) – No report.
    8. Ad Hoc Committee on Senate Representation (Jeff Stein)
      1. Doodle poll out for this group. Fall semester to develop the proposal and spring to move the process forward.  Continued discussion occurred on the issues of redistricting.


  1. AHR Report (Elyne Cole):
    1. Professional Development Fund is on the table for moving forward, as the Chancellor also referred to in his remarks. Questions regarding how much of the fund is used.  Also questions on where the fund should reside… should it be at the college level to allocate to the departments.  This is how it works at the extension.  Transactions from the section level are a lot on a $500 award basis – discussions on how to make this more efficient.
      1. Question regarding real-time AP lists to make communications more effective – EDW (Enterprise Data Warehouse) should be able to do this, and Richard will continue to the conversation with Deb to get what is needed.
      2. Question regarding service recognitions for both Civil Service and AP. HR handles Civil Service, but not the Academic side.


  1. Unfinished Business – None.


  1. New Business – New Employee Training? Rick ran into someone downstairs who didn’t know where he was going.  This training has stopped.  Need to rethink the best delivery model for this kind of information.


  1. Closed Session (called if required) –


  1. Adjourned – 3:47 p.m.