March 2021 Meeting Minutes

March 2021 Monthly CAP Meeting
Date: Thursday, March 4, 2021
Time: 1:15 PM
Location: Zoom

  1. Call to Order: 1:15 pm
  2. Guest Speaker: Dee Walls Extension Outreach Associate, Community Engagement
    • Public Engagement: “Engagement is the collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local or global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity. (Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 2015)”
      • The main thing to be focused on is mutual benefit and reciprocity
    • Principles of Engagement
      • Responsiveness: to community needs/ this year this has tested our responsiveness skills
      • Respect for partners: goes with the idea of mutual beneficial and reciprocity
      • Accessibility
    • Different Stakeholder Groups
      • Communities: how are making sure that their voices are heard and have access to campus resources
      • Professionals: how are we engaging with one another
      • Students: how are engaging with students for career pathways
    • One thing that is important from EPECC (Extension & Public Engagement Connection Center) is to figure out ways to encourage collaboration because their can be causes of burn out in university settings, so it allows for people to help each other
  3. Academic Senate report:
    • Comments by the chancellor talking about challenge of both budget and COVID.
    • Talked about the stagger of students returning and we did not see a huge surge in cases.
    • Talked about compliance and vaccination is beginning on campus.
  4. Academic Senate Committee Reports:
    • Had a report on how the Pandemic had impacted grad-students.
    • Grad students are having challenges to do research impacted by COVID and closure of facilities and due to not being able to have in person learning and engagement.
    • 47,000 freshman applications came in this year up 10% from last year.
    • We accepted a recorder number of Illinois Residents and underrepresented groups. Deadline for commit is May 1
    • There was a new policy for not having to submit test scores and 44% of applicants took advantage of this and did not submit test scores with application
    • Senate is looking to extend test policy for the next two admission cycles so that would be for 2022 and 2023
    • Illinois legislation is looking at test and seeing if it is needed and may act on it at sometime
    • They are looking to get rid of students having to give test scores and if so it could be 60,000 to 65,000 applicants for the University
    • The Faculty and Academic Staff Benefits shared a mediation plan that the medical plans have given and hope to get a list and share the apps and different YouTube channels to share. See addendum below for information shared by Systems HR.
    • Public engagement and outreach are trying to find ways to collaborate and make ways easier for engagement. They have talked about doing a needs assessment for the community. They want to help people understand the great work that Epic is doing and providing our community and campus.
  5. CAP Committee Reports
    • Ad Hoc Committee has been meeting and should expect to see a new draft of bylaws in the April meeting.
    • CAPE Awards Committee has identified 12 semifinalists and has received letters of support. Committee will meet on March 11 to go from 12 semifinalists to 6 finalists
    • Award ceremony is set for tentative April 15, 2021 4-5pm with location TBD
    • PSAC Public Safety Advisory Committee: Has four policies out for review right now. Officer Complaints, Domestic Violence, Comfort Canine Unit and Eyewitness Identification
    • Racism and Social Injustice: not a lot going on there but should see a call to action in April Meeting
    • Special Events Advisory Committee: New way of approval for events it will be done first by Department then a Student active will be done by Student Affair or COLT.
    • University of Personnel Advisory Committee: Working on benchmarking is done on other institutions campus and how benefits are administered. Changes are going to be coming to the parental and funeral/Bereavement Leave
    • AP Development Fund: Had more than enough people volunteer for the committee. Would like for CAP to send out an announcement so people can apply
    • Recruitment and Retention: the goal of this committee is to recruit and retain AP’s to the University using CAP as a vehicle to do this
  6. Academic Human Resources Report
    • Employees who took advantage of the new retirement plan, have till the end of this month to sign and approve that they will be retiring.
    • A lot of work trying to figure out how we might shift some jobs around and what job duties might staff for certain positions and what might go
    • Where will they need to refill the people that retire and how will they refill. How will they reorganize some of their work?
    • They also have HR team of how we will return to on campus work. What does fall 2021 look like? What things do we want to do differently?
    • Trying to figure out vacation days and how they will be handled of rolling them over or if they will roll more over
    • New Committee Campus HR Staffing Committee to address the future of work at Illinois

Dates and Locations of CAP Monthly Meetings and CAP-Sponsored Events

Date Location Notes and Other Events
3/4/2021 Virtual Dee Walls, University of Illinois Extension
4/1/2021 Virtual Eliana Brown, Virtual Campus Red Oak Raingarden Tour


Shared by System HR with the Faculty and Academic Staff Benefits committee

  1. SURS Executive Director Martin Noven Resigned February 18
  2. SURS Announces Candidates For Upcoming Board Election April 1 – May 3, 2021
    • February 18:
    • Active-Member Trustees
      • Only two active SURS members completed petitions to fill the two expiring seats, so election will not be held.
      • Scott Weisbenner, professor at UIUC and Andriy Bodnaruk, professor at UIC will begin serving 6-year trustee terms on July 15.
    • Annuitant Trustee Election
      • There are two open seats. One 6-year term and a 3-year term.
      • 3-year term candidates are Michael Fortner NIU, David Sinason NIU and Mitchell Vogel NIU.
      • 6-year term candidates are J. Fred Giertz, UIUC and William Marzano, from Waubonsee Community College and Illinois Valley Community College.
      • Eligible annuitants will receive voting materials via email, if on file with SURS, or by U.S. mail.
  1. SURS Urges Members to Carefully Read Emails Offering Retirement Counseling
  2. Questions? Call your HR or Benefits office, or contact SURS at 217-378-8800 or 800-275-7877
CMS – State Health & Dental Insurance
  1. CMS recently launched the Be Well Illinois program – focus on supporting physical health, mental, financial, and social wellbeing
  2. Designate and/or Review Your State Life Insurance Beneficiaries
  3. State healthcare plans offer reduced-cost Telehealth Virtual Visits and approved COVID-19 testing/exams/vaccine at no charge through March 6 or April 20, depending on the plan.
  4. Higi Wellness Station now available at the Physical Plant Service Bldg.
    • A State of Illinois wellness initiative; CMS partnering with Aetna and the Higi company
    • Wellness Stations allow employees to perform a health screening (examples: blood pressure, pulse, weight, body mass index), available 24/7. Higi Wellness Stations are available at:
      • Urbana – Illini Union, first floor east hallway and the Physical Plant Service Bldg.
      • Chicago – Student Recreation Facility FitWell Center and Clinical Sciences North Bldg. room 115
      • Springfield – The Recreation and Athletic Center
      • Rockford – UIC Health Sciences
Supplemental Retirement & Investments
  1. Know Your Approved Retirement Plan Representatives
  2. 403(b) One-on-one Counseling – free, phone or online appointments are available, register at
  1. Meditation Apps and other self-care tools
    • Campus Wellbeing Services currently does not have a mediation app for employees. They offer virtual meditation and movement classes (in real time). Krannert Art Museum offers virtual yoga classes and Spurlock Museum offers virtual mindfulness meditation classes. McKinley Health Center website (health education section) has downloadable relaxation exercises – breathing, muscle relaxation and imagery.
    • Magellan EAP has a new digital self-care tool from myStrength by Livongo as of February 1, 2021.
    • Aetna does not have an app, but suggested using the free capabilities in the Calm, Aura, Stop/Breathe/Think apps and the YouTube Meditation channels.
    • HealthLink members have access to Lifestyle Management through the HealthLink partner Sharecare. The Sharecare app and website offers meditations and relaxing videos to help with stress. Plan participants need to create an account/download the app. They can start the process at
    • HMO Illinois and BlueAdvantage – Well onTarget (WoT) BCBSIL Wellness Platform has a program on Managing Your Stress with videos and article resources on meditation and mindfulness. WoT includes a Personal Challenge to practice meditation for 30 days using online resources.
    • Health Alliance currently doesn’t offer any “Meditation type” services with any of its plans.
  2. COVID-19 Vaccine – CU Public Health is leading the vaccine distribution for Champaign County
    • The university will share information as it becomes available.
    • Contact CU Public Health 217-239-7877 with questions regarding the vaccine.
  1. Virtual Retirement Savings Plan Pre-Retirement Seminar – active and inactive members, five years from retirement
    • Thursday, April 8, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., registration is required. You may attend all or only the sessions of interest.
    • Topics discussed are health insurance, retirement education, and social security.
  2. SURS Traditional/Portable Group Counseling Webinar for Tier I and II members – Recording (2 hr. 30 min) and handout available.
  3. SURS RSP Group Counseling Webinar for Tier I and II members – Recording (2 hrs.) and handout available.
  4. SURS RSP Distribution Options Webinar – Thursday, March 11, 9:30 – 11 a.m., registration is required
  5. Other SURS Webinars


This document compiled by System Human Resource Services (SHRS), contact us at with inquiries.
Contact University Payroll & Benefits (UPB) at 217-265-6363, 312-996-7200, or 217-206-7144 for benefit plan questions specific to a faculty or staff member’s own situation. Contact SURS at 217-378-8800.