Moves to reclassify 300 in Chicago add to worries

Moves to reclassify 300 in Chicago add to worries

Moves to reclassify as many as 300 academic professionals at the Chicago campus have added to worries about proposed changes in classification from academic professional to civil service at the University of Illinois, says Rick Atterberry, chairman of the Council of Academic Professionals.

The problems of the two campuses are different, says a UI administrator who works with both.

Maureen Parks, the UI director of employee relations and human resources, said the Chicago reclassifications are due in part to a lack of keeping up with the process over several years.

Of 4,000 APs in Chicago, 300 might be reclassified, but they also have job protections, especially the longer they have served, including a one-year terminal contract for experienced APs.

The civil service board audits every state school every other year, she said. In 2010, that was the UI Chicago; in 2011, it is the UIUC.

"For probably six weeks to two months we do the research, then we submit the data to the civil service; they determine which positions among academic professionals and civil service they want to audit," she said.

"When they decide, they interview each employee to make sure they understand the job duties and which classification to make."

"The law says a position must always be civil service when it matches a civil service description," she added.

Parks said the audit identified positions that should have been identified as civil service, but "for a number of years (Chicago) did not make any changes" until President Michael Hogan assigned her office to take action.

"Urbana has always had the processes in place," Parks said.

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Sid Saltfork wrote on May 08, 2011 at 10:05 am

So says Rick Atterberry, "chairman of the Council of Academic Professionals". How about getting the other side from the State of Illinois Universities Civil Service System? The hiring of academic professionals started out as a way to hire employees with specialized skills. It has become corrupted to the point that civil service employees are in decline; and the academic professionals are becoming the majority. They do not have the same employment oversight in their positions. Put them all under the system that was created for university employment. The ones with "specialized skills" will compete with others with the same "specialized skills" in their classification. The universities have over the years disregarded the system created by the State of Illinois. They receive State of Illinois money, and enjoy the benefits of state employment; but they do not want to be subject to the rules, and financial oversight that goes with the money. The more the academic professionals complain the more the public will become aware that their tax money really is better spent on civil service employees doing the job. It prevents nepotism, incompetency, and elitism.