President's Message

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Back in 2001 when hired at the university, my supervisor, Jay Brooks, encouraged me to run for a seat on the Civil Service Council. At the time, I did not know much about the Civil Service Council. I won the first term in 2002 and have continued to serve in various capacities throughout my career at SIU.

I have had the honor of serving under the leadership of many Civil Service Council President’s over several decades, including Karen Jennings (2000-2003), Jay Brooks (2003-2008), Mark Wetstein (2008-2011), Carolin Harvey (2011-2016), and Tony Travelstead (2016-2023). All professionally represented Civil Service staff and have been passionate about serving those they represent. Their friendship and mentorship have helped guide me through numerous processes, procedures, and staff concerns and I cannot thank them enough for their leadership on the SIU Carbondale campus throughout their terms.

On February 1, 2017, I became the Vice-President of the Civil Service Council. I often remind Tony as I look back on our terms that we have faced some of the most challenging times in these roles including lack of state funding, lack of salary increases, decreased enrollment, a pandemic, continual change in campus administrative leadership, increase in minimum wage resulting in salary compression, and some of the worst morale on campus, just to name a few.  These challenges required us to step outside our comfort zones in many ways to represent you, but it also allowed us to grow professionally in the process.

I am honored to be elected President of the Civil Service Council representing 1,193 of the finest staff on our campus. Over the years, I have been a part of many discussions with administration involving changes that have taken place for the betterment of staff, including Veteran’s Day recognition, summer flex schedules, multiple range salary studies, workplace violence and bullying policy, reinstating the University Ombudsman office for staff, fundraising for dependent scholarships, etc. We have stood in front of the Board of Trustees and have voiced your campus concerns. We have created multiple surveys to gauge the climate of the campus, and your feedback both positive and negative have been relayed to administration. Everything we have worked towards required a group effort with the full Council and administration. I am the proudest of our ability to sit down at the table and work through the campus issues making improvements for staff, but our work is not finished yet.

As your Civil Service Council President, I will continue to professionally lead the Civil Service Council in representing you and your concerns. I have always had an open-door policy, and am available at 453-3337,, or stop by in person at 1263 Lincoln Drive, Room 185. I also encourage you to meet with the Civil Service Council Executive Committee if you are inclined to do so.

The Civil Service Council represents civil service employees at SIU Carbondale, including both union and non-union employees. The Council, as a recognized constituency, functions within the overall governance structure of the University and advises and consults with the Chancellor on a regular basis. Please do not hesitate to reach out to any elected Council member if you have a concern. The current membership list can be found here: Membership | Civil Service Council | SIU. Civil Service Council meetings are held on the first Wednesday of the month at 1:00 p.m. in the Student Services Room 307. Please feel free to join any of our meetings and/or volunteer to serve as committee openings become available.

As I have mentioned, we still have work to do, but I am confident with the current Civil Service Council leadership, we will continue to lay the foundation in the years ahead to reach the vision of Imagine 2030 while working together to improve salaries, processes, and procedures for staff. Every Civil Service Council member is excited to collaborate with you to address your concerns and improve your overall career experience.  Reach out and share any ideas or challenges you are facing. We are here to serve you. Go Dawgs!

Elizabeth Cheek, President
SIU Carbondale Civil Service Council