Council of Academic Professionals
Thursday, August 4, 2016, 314A Illini Union
Meeting Minutes submitted by Andrew Reynolds
Attendees: Todd Spinner (3), Rick Atterberry (5), Elizabeth Wahle (6), Betoel Escobar (7), Tracy Parish (8), Tanisha King-Taylor (7), Richard Stokes (9), Jeffrey Stein (11), Richard Gegg (1), Ravi Ramrattan (10), Andrew Reynolds (4), Amy Hovious (2), Deb Stone (ex-officio), Elyne Cole (ex-officio)
- Call to Order –Jeffrey Stein called the meeting to order, and noted that both the discussion of candidates for district 9 and the grievance orientation would be held in closed session.
- Review and Approve Previous Month’s Minutes – Ravi Ramrattan made a motion to approve. Tracy Parish seconded. Motion passed.
- Public Comment – None
- Chair’s Remarks – Jeffrey Stein attended the July Board of Trustees meeting in Urbana, where the main item of note had been the hire of Robert Jones as Chancellor the day before. The CAP guest speaker schedule is full for the next few months. Campus Parking had been scheduled for this meeting but was unable to attend due to emergency. Next month’s guest will either be the Vice Provost for Budget and Resources or Campus Parking. Jeffrey has requested that Robert Jones attend, and hopes for a November appearance. Dustin Yocum (4) has taken a job off campus, so CAP will need to hold a special election to fill the vacancy. Amy Hovious will coordinate the committee to staff a table at Academic Human Resources’ All Employee Expo on October 18. Faculty Senate leaders have requested that John Bambanek’s appointment be moved to an at-large seat.
- Announcements – None
- Committee Reports:
CAPE Awards – Ravi Ramrattan stated that most districts have volunteers for the CAPE Selection Committee. Rick Atterberry will follow up with the remaining districts.
University Professional Personnel Advisory Committee (UPAC) – None
Academic Professionals Senators (Faculty Senate) – Jeffrey Stein referenced John Bambanek’s seat in the Chair’s Remarks and the News Gazette article on AAUP censure.
Senate, Campus, and University Committees – None
Procedures and Elections Committee – Tracy Parish announced Dustin Yocum’s resignation and the need for a special election to fill his seat, and noted the closed session to discuss District 9 candidates. Jeffrey Stein noted that CAP had lost 14 members recently and asked whether there was interest in a group to build a procedures manual in order to prevent the loss of institutional knowledge. Tracy, Elizabeth Rockman, Mindy, and Richard Gegg will form this group. Tracy reminded everyone to fill out confidentiality agreements. Jeffrey requested that points of contact be added to the procedures manual.
Communications Committee – Tracy Parish read a report from Mindy stating that the CAP website should be up to date except for the union center district. All interested committee members have been contacted; meetings will start at the end of August. Mindy requests that members with projects or messaging needs contact the Communications Committee. The report notes the need for additional Procedures and Elections members. Mindy will provide communications tools training next month.
Grievance Officer – None
- Academic Human Resources Report by the Associate Provost for Human Resources:
Governor’s Code of Ethics – Elyne Cole spoke with Donna McNeally regarding the Governor’s new ethics code. She believes the code was intended to fill a gap for agencies that don’t have their own codes in place, but because the code was issued at the state level, it provides blanket coverage. The question of governance will be determined by the code with the greater standard. Since the University’s code of conduct holds employees to a higher standard, we shouldn’t need to do anything different.
Budget Update – Elyne reiterated that there is no complete budget for 2016 or 2017, but otherwise had no new specifics to share. She noted that the Vice Provost for Budget and Resources is scheduled to attend CAP as a guest speaker. The provost’s office is particularly focused on frugal spending and cash savings, as cash is how we protect ourselves from the budget crisis. Jeffrey asked about the university’s decision process for percentage distribution. Elyne said that the provost wants units to make their own budget decisions, so will not specify percentages. Richard Stokes asked whether we were under a hiring freeze. Elyne responded that temporary hiring restrictions had been in place, particularly for civil service, but were not applied universally, so were not a true hiring freeze. Deb Stone clarified that UA restrictions were still in place.
APDF – No fund in place, and unclear when it will be reinstated.
FLSA Updates – Deb Stone and Robbie Witt have been talking about FLSA changes. Units are concerned about changes being implemented in time. Employees are worried about fair treatment. Elyne reiterated that all positions and recommendations will be reviewed based on salary and duties, and that HR will be actively engaged. Betoel asked whether there is a legal provision for the exceptions. Elyne answered yes. Deb provided Elizabeth Wahle with the number of affected employees: 828 AP, 13 RA, 380 Postdoc, and 153 Civil Service at last count. Richard Gegg asked about a hotline for concerned employees. Deb and Elyne responded that there is no hotline because decisions haven’t been made, but there will be more communications when a plan is in place. Robbie Witt is the contact for Civil Service, Deb Stone for Academic Professionals, and individual departments should be the first line of communication.
Civil Service Exemptions – AHR is reviewing a draft of the 2014/2015 civil service position audit. Civil Service is particularly interested in AP and Academic Hourly exemptions, believing that there is no provision for Academic Hourlies in the statutes. Its primary areas of focus are IT, Admissions, Advising, Fundraising, and HR.
Labor and Relations Study – Joseph Martocchio leading an AHR-backed review of 300+ AP positions, starting with IT. The goals are to identify similar titles with mismatched duties and/or salaries, and to create templates for setting up positions with similar duties and responsibilities. Elyne expects recognizable progress by the end of next semester.
Notice Rights (new topic) – Jeffrey stated that he has heard from APs who are concerned about possible changes in notice rights. Elyne stated that the request for input is reasonable, but that our notice rights are generous compared to our peers, and that these changes have been on the table for a long time. She asked whether CAP would field a committee to work on options. Rick Atterberry, Jeffrey Stein, Todd Spinner, Amy Hovious, Richard Gegg, and Richard Stokes will form that committee to discuss strategy and communications. Elyne reiterated that administration is looking hardest at benefits that represent a cash liability, and that many options could be substituted for notice rights, but that success would require research prior to crisis. She noted that in the past, the most successful early exit programs were those that enabled people to leave more quickly. Jeffrey asked whether there are specific actions CAP should take. Rick noted that reluctance toward unionization is falling. Elyne advised inviting HR to discuss specific examples of bumping rights, and to be aware of the possibility of giving up one right for another that can’t be used in your position. Deb clarified that bumping is a civil service provision, not specifically union.
- Unfinished Business – See AP notice rights, above
- New Business – Richard Gegg requested help planning a presentation for the All Employee Expo. Amy will coordinate and lead the effort to have a CAP table; Richard will help. Elyne stated that there is no budget for activities, but she is available to make provisioning requests.
- Closed Session for Privileged Information/Grievances
Special Elections for District 9 – Rebecca Ferrell was elected District 9 representative.
Grievance Orientation – Sharon Reynolds led the grievance orientation
Grievances – None
Adjournment – Tanisha King-Taylor made the motion to adjourn. Richard Gegg seconded. Motion passed.