December 2015 Minutes

Council of Academic Professionals
Thursday, December 3, 2015, 407 Illini Union
Meeting Minutes submitted by Elizabeth Rockman

Attendees: Richard Gegg (1), Kristina Miller (1), Kathleen Booth (2), Shawna Naidu (3), Maeve Reilly (4), Dustin Yocum (4), Elizabeth Wahle (6), Betoel Escobar (7), Tanisha King-Taylor (7), Tracy Parish (8), Mindy Spencer (8), Mike Bohlmann (9), Ravi Ramrattan (10), Elizabeth Rockman (10), Beth Hall (11), Jeffrey Stein (11), Elyne Cole (ex-officio)

  1. Call to Order – Chair Mike Bohlmann called the meeting to order at 1:18 p.m.
  1. Public Comment – none
  1. Chair’s Remarks – Mike Bohlmann discussed Senate agenda items, including the background check issue, the Chancellor sharing the White Student Union was started by an outside entity, and underrepresented student scholarships (recruitment has gone from 42% to 67% with the additional funding).Mike provided details about the UPPAC meeting, which includes officers of other CAP organizations at UIC and UIS; discussions focused on strategic planning and budget, and the fact that health care providers are not being paid (while employee contributions continue to be withheld) even though most still continue to provide services.

    Mike was pleased with the numbers of CAP and AP representation at the strategic planning forum the President and Chancellor hosted at Beckman with the consultants; there were many well-thought out responses from campus, community, and students. However, CAP representatives were not asked to focus groups (as UIC and UIS were); Elyne noted that she had provided lists of stakeholders, which included CAP. Mike continues to provide his feedback through the committee, which is discussing how to move forward; the President has been tasked by the BOT to finish this process this academic year.

  1. Review and Approval Previous Month’s Minutes – Richard Gegg made the motion to approve, and Ravi Ramrattan seconded; motion passed. Elizabeth Rockman noted that everyone should sign-in at the meeting, particularly in light of a new attendance policy being introduced into CAP Bylaws.
  1. Announcements:
    Report from Academic Professional Senators – None.Senate, Campus and University Committee Reports – Rich Gegg said that General University Policy was contentious, due to the discussion of the background check policy; there were untrue and misleading statements that were cleared up. The final position of GUP is that the policy is acceptable, but to keep an eye on how it’s implemented. Tracy Parish noted that Senate Committee for Public Engagement has not been active. Elizabeth Rockman said that the Faculty Staff Assistance Program is working on a new web tool to assist clients with issues on a 24-7 basis, and that she will check with them about when they might unveil a draft version to CAP.
  1. Communications Committee – Maeve Reilly offered to provide a session on web tools and how to use the mailer functions.
  1. Procedures and Elections Committee – Special elections were held for Districts 2 and 9 (incumbents changed districts); District 2 has been filled (there was one candidate), but District 9 was a tied vote (so there will be a special runoff election. Otherwise, some AP Senators and some CAP seats will be up for regular elections; continued thanks to AHR for all their help with all election cycles. There are multiple individuals on the PEC as per CAP Bylaws.
  1. CAPE Awards – Kristina Miller noted that the Steering Committee was meeting on December 4, and the full CAPE Committee is meeting on December 7 to determine finalists.
  1. Grievance Officer Update – Jeffrey Stein and Beth Hall had no report.
  1. Academic Human Resources Report by the Associate Provost for Human Resources
    Budget and Academic Professional Development Fund – Elyne Cole said there was no news on budget, and that many departments have their own guidelines even though no budget has been provided.The APDF have had 53 applications (2 denied for time submitted) for a total of $26,647.50 (with a bit under $50K remaining). There was discussion about presenting on the fund (whether that would lead to curtailing the funds and/or if underuse would lose the funding), and there has been no travel freeze.

    Civil Service AuditCivil Service Director is suspending audits, except for UIUC, as it’s already underway; there are concerns about decisions made prior to the previous Director’s retirement. He has also consulted University Audits about policies and procedures.

    Other – Elyne touched on weather-related policy, which led to a discussion of AP issues related to working while not on site.

  2. Ad Hoc Committee on Bylaws update – Mike Bohlmann, Kathleen Booth, Kostas Yfantis, and Rick Atterberry worked on the proposed revisions, which were sent to CAP prior to this meeting. Mike noted that what will continue as per CAP Bylaws (but haven’t been practice) are the annual report and the Elections Committee make-up (Vice Chair, Secretary, and AP on USSP), Changes proposed are an attendance policy (notification to the Chair or Secretary), and that the Communications Officer will not need to put out a monthly newsletter, and that if there are two vacancies in one district, the one with the most votes will take on the longer staggered term.

    Other details clarified were:

  • Mindy Spencer asked about Section 1 related to appointment with UIUC (some Veterinary, Foundation, Nursing are UIC with UA benefits).
  • Mike noted there is also an issue with someone who is split AP/Faculty appointment, but they cannot be both in Senate.
  • Elyne Cole noted to change Central Administration to University Administration.
  • Elizabeth felt that health should be one factor for attendance policy; Mike said it was based on Senate (if not notified, drop).
  • Jeff Stein said that in 1.1 Electorates, there is a duplicate sentence.
  • Tracy Parish brought up the annual report; it goes to the Chancellor via Elyne.
  • Mindy asked if 5.6 should state AP’s on committees, and Mike said it will be left as it is.
  • Mike noted the Bylaws will be cleaned up and re-sent to all for January vote, and Jeffrey asked to see it with track changes.
  1. Ad Hoc Committee on Provost Communications 22 – Jeffrey Stein noted this group is meeting next week and that the Committee has had helpful context from Sharon Reynolds, Bill Bernhardt, and Katherine Gallivan. He also pointed out that departmental compliance is unclear, and his committee had considered some kind of survey to determine compliance. Jeff also discussed the apocryphal nature of mediation that several CAP Grievance Officers have helped provide.
  1. Unfinished Business – None.
  1. New Business
    Elizabeth Rockman asked for a broader discussion of what CAP can do to support APs who are in units that are being fully absorbed or eliminated, particularly if they are receiving terminal contracts as a part of that group. Issues discussed:
  • Mike Bohlmann noted that CAP has multiple roles, including seeking feedback on if policies in place are being utilized, AP Senators having a voice, offering a sympathetic ear, and helping others find employment. He also noted if there are specific situations that CAP could be a voice for APs to media, and could offer a forum for APs to discuss various issues and/or have programs (such as relocation) clarified.
  • Elyne Cole discussed the process of what happens when an employee receives notice, and asked if the questions CAP was raising were about the validity of the decisions rather than the support that is there for the employee; it was agreed the units have the purview, but there was a concern when whole units that are primarily APs are eliminated. At one time, AHR was mobilizing to create a larger compendium of resources (such as resume review, etc.), and Elyne noted that CAP is welcome to help with such efforts. At another juncture, under a previous Provost, it was introduced (much like UIC did in a previous budget crunch) to have only internal searches.
  • Betoel Escobar emphasized internal searches would be of benefit, and Elyne noted that could work on a smaller scale, but there were issues with how to control that in a larger scale. Kathleen Booth said that internal searches hurt “have-not” departments as they lose expertise.
  • Beth Hall introduced an issue of a department with all grant-funded employees being put on “permanent” T-contract (which in effect can provide no notification rights, including the implications of the relocation plan. Elyne will look into this issue.
  • Kristin noted that elimination of Civil Service positions also impacts APs, as APs are expected to pick up the significant slack left in the wake of eliminated positions.
  • Jeff reiterated some points, including CAP helping with empowerment, advocacy, and functional support to impacted APs.
  • Kathleen Booth asked if CAP members could vote on-line for the three candidates for District 2 (information was not available to read at the meeting). Jeff Stein said that there would be no opportunity for feedback, and it was noted they would only be seated until June. A vote was taken, with the result to wait to vote in person until the January CAP meeting.
  1. Closed Session for Privileged Information/Grievances – None.
  1. Adjournment – Jeffrey Stein made a motion to adjourn, and Ravi Ramrattan seconded; meeting was adjourned at 3:40 p.m.