Civil Service Council Meeting Minutes

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Library front overview

February 1, 2012

The February meeting of the Civil Service Council was called to order by Carolin Harvey, President.

Roll call of the members was taken by Elizabeth Cheek.

Members Present: Patrick Brumleve, Elizabeth Cheek, Mickel Cordes, Joyce Davis, Diane Frew, Shari Garnett, Tina Gerecke, Vera Gibbs, Carolin Harvey, Susan Howell, Randy Lowe, Karin McClure, Jason Phillips, Jesus Rosado, Anthony Travelstead, Vicki Nelson.Members Absent: Anita Eckhardt, Karen Waldron.

Others present: Sheryl Lloyd, Jennifer Watson.


The minutes for the meeting on January 11, 2012, were corrected under the SURS Members Advisory report to change the sentence starting, "The believe...." to "They believe...." and the next sentence to "...12 and 20 years of service may bail from the System...." Minutes were approved as corrected.


Council President 
Carolin Harvey reported the next constituency heads meeting is scheduled for February 13.

Board of Trustees 
Carolin Harvey reported there was a special Executive Committee meeting on January 17, and the next regular Board meeting will be March 22. The special meeting was held in order to approve the awarding of some contracts and to approve the purchase of a comprehensive information system for the units within Enrollment Management.

Human Resources (HR) 
Jennifer Watson reported that plans are being made for T. Rowe Price, administrator of the state of Illinois deferred compensation plan, to offer a presentation on saving for retirement. Information will be sent out in the next week. The presentation is tentatively scheduled for March 6. Also, SURS counselors will be back on campus for individual retirement counseling for those employees within four years of retirement. Information will be sent out the latter part of February.


The following Council committee reports were submitted with the February 1 agenda:Elections.

Carolin Harvey reported the committee met and set the agenda.

Karen Waldron sent the Council and Education Assistance budget reports as of December 31, 2011, which she emailed to all members prior to the meeting.

Education Assistance 
Anthony Travelstead reported the committee met on January 25. There were two main topics of discussion: the spring fund raisers and the applications for spring awards. He reported the committee is looking at other options for spring fund raisers in addition to the flea market, scheduled for April 28 (rain date April 29). With respect to awards, there were a total of 23 applications received. One applicant was not approved because s/he did not meet all the requirements. The committee is therefore recommending that the remaining 22 eligible applicants be awarded $200 each.

Elizabeth Cheek asked if any money was going into the Endowment. Anthony responded that the committee raised approximately $4800 in the fall. With 22 applicants at $200 each, that leaves a remainder of a little over $400 to put into the Endowment. It is possible that figure could go up because, according to the Foundation, each award recipient must send a thank you to the donor of the award. Letters were mailed to those recipients who had not submitted a thank you over the last few semesters, notifying them that if they did not send in the thank you by a certain date, then the award would be held until such time the thank you was received. However, if they do not provide the thank you by the end of the semester, the award will be forfeited. There were nine letters mailed and at this time, all but one have submitted a thank you note. Anthony then presented for approval the awarding of $200 to each of the eligible 22 applicants, with the remainder going into the Endowment. Motion carried.

Outstanding Civil Service Employee 
Carolin Harvey reported she has been contacted about her availability to meet with the excellence committee. She noted that the awards program has been reformulated and has a new name, the Faculty and Staff Excellence Awards. Jason Phillips moved to update the name of the Outstanding Civil Service Employee Award Committee to the Faculty and Staff Excellence Awards; seconded by Karin McClure. Motion carried.

The following Council committees did not meet or had no report: Bylaws, Civil Service Benefits, Public Information and Range.


The following constituency committee reports were submitted with the February 1 agenda:Affirmative Action Advisory.

Traffic and Parking 
Gary Beer provided a written report (included as an appendix to the minutes).

University Joint Benefits 
Karin McClure reported on the January 31 meeting: A handout was circulated which provided information on the two-tier system and on SURS investments and membership growth. There was discussion on the various ideas being batted around regarding pension reform. There is the possibility of asking school districts and universities to pick up some of the costs. It is also possible that the employee contribution rate will increase to 9.73%, which is close to what the Teachers Retirement System (TRS) pays. Karin also reported that the emeritus representative, Bruce Appleby, explained the importance of the State Universities Annuitants Association (SUAA) and the voice it has in Springfield. SUAA is planning a push to increase membership because that in turn will increase the organization's influence. Legislators listen to SUAA and ask how they can change things in a way SUAA wants, which is a good thing. SUAA seems to be the only group that is rallying around pension reform. Karin indicated that other issues discussed included: 1) health care premiums it is quite possible that retirees will be required to pay a portion of their health care premiums, and current employees will likely see their premiums increase. The AFSCME contract is up this year, and they do not believe they can hold the line on that; 2) the possibility of a dedicated fund for pensions, funded by income tax revenues or possibly gambling revenues; 3) the possibility of raising the retirement age. This has already occurred for Social Security. Currently, for new hires the retirement age is 67. SUAA is attempting to lower the age for Tier II participants to 63. Karin noted that it is possible that nothing will happen until after the primaries or after the general elections in November because incumbents will shy away from the issue; however, there are several incumbents who are not running for re-election, so this is all pretty up in the air.

The following constituency committees did not meet or had no report: Advisory Committee to Director of Public Safety, Chancellor's Advisory Review Board, Computing Advisory, Dining Services Advisory, Honorary Degrees, Intercollegiate Athletics Advisory, Naming University Facilities, Ombudsman Advisory Panel, Parking and Traffic Appeals, Recreational Sports and Services Advisory, Student Center Advisory, UWPA.


The following special/other committee report was submitted with the February 1, agenda:Employee Advisory Committee to the Merit Board and Search Committee for Dean of College of Applied Sciences and Arts..

Employee Advisory Committee to the Merit Board 
Vicki Nelson reported that Human Resources had their audit month. The auditors were nothing but complimentary of HR with respect to their cooperation and their clean records. She was told that this HR is one of the bright spots in the state of Illinois. Carolin Harvey noted that several Council members also met with auditors, and there were several concerns mentioned. One concern in particular has to do with someone who scores high on an exam being passed over for an interview in favor of a veteran who did not score as high, but does get an interview because of the additional five points a veteran receives. Carolin believes that anyone who has a near or perfect score should be allowed to interview; the interviewer can then decide whom s/he wants to hire.

Search Committee for Assistant Provost and Chief Information Officer (CIO) 
Jason Phillips reported that all the candidates have been interviewed, and the committee will be making its recommendations to Provost Nicklow.

Search Committee for Dean of College of Agricultural Sciences 
Tina Gerecke reported the committee met on January 30 and narrowed the pool to four candidates. They are now checking references.

Search Committee for Dean of College of Applied Sciences and Arts 
Shari Garnett reported that in the process of calling references, one of the four candidates has withdrawn his application.

The following special/other committees did not meet or had no report: Academic Calendar, Legislative Advisory, Search Committee for Dean of College of Education and Human Resources, Search Committee for Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement, Strategic Planning, Signage and SURS Members Advisory.


Vicki Nelson reported that one nomination came in for Vice President, which was for Jason Phillips. She asked if there were any nominations from the floor. Randy Lowe nominated Jesus Rosado, who declined. Patrick Brumleve moved to close nominations; seconded by Mickel Cordes. Ballots were then circulated, collected and tallied by the committee. Vicki announced that Jason was elected Vice President by a vote of 16-0. Randy moved to destroy the ballots; seconded by Patrick. Motion carried.


1. Jason Phillips reported that at the request of Jake Baggott, there will be a modification to the proposed changes to the Bylaws to clarify the definition of the sectors. The wording will read as follows: "The sectors shall be divided into the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and the Auxiliary Services (Student Center, Student Health Service, Recreational Sports and Services and University Housing)."

2. Shari Garnett reminded Council members to submit their bios to the Constituencies Office so they can be posted to the website.


1. Carolin Harvey reported that last year, the Council decided it would hold one business meeting a year where all civil service employees would be invited. Lunch was provided beforehand for approximately 50- 100 people, most of whom left before the start of the business meeting. Vicki Nelson commented that providing lunch was a nice idea; however, in these economic times, it might be more prudent to rent a room at the Student Center for the meeting, but not provide lunch. Carolin indicated that even though all Council meetings are open and anyone can attend, does the Council want to have an annual business meeting at Noon and send out an open invitation to all civil service employees to attend? [Karin McClure] asked if it would be a regular meeting of the Council or would there be an informational program. Patrick Brumleve believes that as a public body, the Council has a responsibility to try at least once a year to extend an open invitation to all employees. Joyce Davis suggested that the informational meeting could include discussion by Council members on the committees on which they serve.

Joyce then moved that the Council hold its meeting and invite all civil service employees to attend, but not provide a meal; seconded by Mickel Cordes. Carolin clarified that the motion is to hold an informational meeting, providing drinks and cookies, for all civil service employees. The informational meeting will start at noon, and then the regular meeting will follow at 1PM. Motion carried, with two nays. Since the meeting will be held on a regular meeting date, it was decided to check availability of a room first for May and then April. Carolin asked Council committee chairs to write a short blurb about their committee.

2. Carolin Harvey asked if anyone had suggestions for guests to attend a regular Council meeting. [Hearing none, this issue was put on hold.]

3. Carolin Harvey reported there was some discussion about holding an open forum with the Chancellor. She asked if there should be anyone else invited to speak, noting in previous years they used to invite the Chancellor and someone from Human Resources. There was agreement that both be invited, as well as someone from Labor and Employee Relations. Carolin charged the Public Information Committee with scheduling a date and time when all three can attend.


1. Carolin Harvey reported she received a request for three names (one of which will be selected) to serve on the Library Affairs dean search committee. Karin McClure, Susan Howell and Patrick Brumleve volunteered to serve, if selected. Vicki Nelson moved to forward the names of the three volunteers; seconded by Mickel Cordes. Motion carried.

2. Anthony Travelstead reported that at the Education Assistance Committee meeting last week, they discussed publicizing the committee's fund raisers using Facebook. This is an issue that would fall under the Public Information Committee. He suggested the Council could have a Facebook page under which the Education Assistance Committee could publicize its activities. It was noted that this would be looked into to see if there was any protocol that needs to be followed.