Trustees to take up items approved by committees
Other items to be considered Thursday by UI trustees, all approved by board committees earlier this month:
— An update of a policy outlining the process for rehiring certain categories of retirees, to comply with a new state law trying to rein in that practice. The State Universities Retirement System Return-to-Work Act requires universities or community colleges that participate in SURS to reimburse the system for pensions paid to employees rehired after Aug. 13, 2013, if the employee works more than 18 weeks (cumulative) and earns more than 40 percent of his or her highest salary in an academic year.
Certain exemptions are allowed, such as retirees whose salaries are paid by federal grants, state grants in which the individual is listed as a principal investigator, or by gift or foundation money.
UI officials say it's not clear yet how many employees will be affected this year. About 950 to 960 retirees are rehired each year on the UI's three campuses, including hourly or temporary employees working at sporting events, faculty teaching classes or conducting research, and civil service and academic professionals.
— A bond sale of $70.7 million to fund an ongoing $85 million renovation of the 33-year-old UI Hospital in Chicago. It will include interior and exterior upgrades and a two-story addition.
The plan was to approve the debt-financing plan last January, but officials had put the bond sale on hold because of uncertainties about state bond ratings and an unexpected drop in Medicaid reimbursements. Those issues were resolved earlier this month, administrators said.
— The appointment of Andreas Cangellaris, head of the College of Engineering's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, to be dean of the College of Engineering. He replaces interim Dean Mike Bragg, who will be the new dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Washington. The previous dean, Ilesanmi "Ade" Adesida, was promoted to provost. Cangellaris will earn $328,000 annually.
— The appointment of John Wilkin, an associate university librarian at the University of Michigan, as UI dean of libraries and university librarian. He replaces Paula Kaufman, who is returning to teaching. Wilkin will earn $240,000 annually.
— The appointment of Professor Brian Ross as interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences until a permanent successor is chosen for former Dean Ruth Watkins. She is leaving the UI to be senior vice president for academic affairs at the University of Utah.
— A two-year appointment for advertising Professor Jan Slater as dean of the College of Media, with plans for a national search for the position in 2014. Slater has been interim dean for three years. She will earn $253,400 annually.
— A one-year continuation of the appointment of Bob Hauser, dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences since 2010.