April 2016 Minutes

Council of Academic Professionals
Tuesday, April 12, 2016, 314A Illini Union
Meeting Minutes submitted by Elizabeth Rockman

Attendees:  Richard Gegg (1), Kristina Miller (1), Shawna Naidu (3), Todd Spinner (3), Maeve Reilly (4), Rick Atterberry (5), Teresa Steckler (6), 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 2:05 p.m.

2.    Public Comment – None.

3.    Chair’s Remarks – Mike Bohlmann noted state budget is still in flux, and that there was a budget resolution at Senate.  Elections are winding down, and the June meeting will be when new members come in.  Mike didn’t run, but might volunteer for Senate Committees; he will remain Chair one more full meeting and the start of the following meeting.

4.    Review and Approval Previous Month’s Minutes – Jeff Stein made the motion to approve, and Ravi Ramrattan seconded; motion passed.

5.    Announcements:

Report from Academic Professional Senators – Rick noted that in the last Senate meeting the motion was to divest from coal-related energy, which is minimal, which passed.  Senate also adopted a climate action plan, and the afore-mentioned budget resolution.  Senate Chair Gay Miller was supporting of continuing to find real-world examples of when health-care bills are not being paid/honored.  There is one Senate meeting (5/2/16) left in the Academic Year.

Senate, Campus and University Committee Reports – Jeff Stein noted that the Committee on Admissions was going to have their first of the year.  Rich Gegg discussed a 24 notice rule related to e-mail release, and that there will be a licensing committee (no one unit can determine that issue).

Senate asks for names for faculty positions for Senate Committees by May, and usually CAP submits in the summer, which is not as timely.  Mike will work with Tim Flanagin and Rich Gegg about which committees will have AP vacancies, and announce those to all APs.

6.    Communications Committee – Nothing to report.

7.    Procedures and Elections Committee – Rich Gegg discussed that elections just finished, that they were challenging, and that voter turnout was low.  The following seats were filled:  District 2 – Amy Hovious, District 3 – Todd Spinner, District 4 – Andrew Reynolds, District 5 – Rick Atterberry, District 9 – Richard Stokes.  Discussion followed about how to get more to run for CAP, and while participation is encouraged, it is not required for all supervisors to support individuals to be in CAP, and that higher-level administration can support CAP but not require that of units.  It was also noted that it’s CAP members’ responsibility to talk up what CAP does.

8.    CAPE Awards – CAPE Awards ceremony follows CAP meeting.

9.    Grievance Officer Update – Beth Hall had met with one individual, and Jeffrey Stein reported being in the middle of one report.

10.    Academic Human Resources Report by the Associate Provost for Human Resources

Budget Update – No official plans regarding eliminations have been released.  Mike clarified that while the Provost said payroll could be covered through FY17, that reassurance did not guarantee positions.  Elyne clarified that nothing has been imposed regarding Civil Service, but that HR is trying to minimize the impact (ie., of one elimination causing 8-10 bumps).  Duties cannot just be given to APs as whole jobs, and AHR may be contacted about when that balance becomes a tipping point.

Academic Professional Development Fund – The APDF has had 96 applications for a total of $50,019.50; 5 were declined and 1 was pending.  Unfortunately the program has been suspended (and applications received by the end of April 12 would be reviewed), and CAP would notify members.

Elyne also noted that there has been SURS communications about tax issues individuals and units not being allowed to agree on a future work plan once retirement plan is submitted, nor may an individual volunteer to help after the service date and before an agreement is made.  If this is violated, SURS may lose their tax exempt status.  This is particularly problematic for faculty, as they advise graduate students, supervise research, etc.  This does not mean individuals cannot come back to work after the transition, but that the agreement cannot be made ahead of time.  There will be retirement seminars to clarify this issue.

11.    Information from OBFS on employee reimbursements – Kristina noted there had been two articles in the News-Gazette about the communication regarding 30+ days before payments, and that there are 8 openings in UPAY and 18% of the employees are Civil Service; the manpower is lacking, and they have one-third of their positions vacant.  There is a process for individuals to apply to get their funds faster if they have dire circumstances, but few cases are accepted and that only reduces the time to 15 days.  It’s advised to use TEM/Pcard whenever possible to avoid going out-of-pocket on expenses.  Beth Hall noted that some units don’t allow that mode of payment, and Elizabeth Rockman added that not all charges are accepted.

12.    Ad hoc committee on health insurance issues for APs – There was discussion regarding whether CAP should make a resolution.  Tracy Parish said that directly state-funded plans are paying claims, but payment plans are out of pocket.  Dental payments are 9-10 months behind.  CMS will add interest to old payments.  Deb Stone noted that using in-network providers will ensure that individuals will not have to pay up-front.  Tracy plans to follow up with Candace Shimkus at CMS, and Deb Stone recommended contacting Katie Ross of UHR, as she works with CMS.  Mike continues to accept and pass along stories about these issues.  Related to the resolution, Jeff made the motion, and Rich seconded; it passed.

13.    Ad hoc committee on CAP role in budget crisis – Mindy and Maeve will meet with Amanda soon.

14.    Ad hoc committee on by-laws update – No update.

15.    Unfinished Business – Ravi discussed Eastern Illinois University situation.

16.    New Business – A guest brought up the non-tenure track faculty issue relating to CAP.

19.    Closed Session for Privileged Information/Grievances – None.

16.    Adjournment – Kristina Miller made the motion to adjourn, and Ravi Ramrattan seconded; motion passed.
Meeting was adjourned at 3:45 p.m.