Information from the GSC

Below is a message from “Office of the Vice Chancellor for Development” University of Illinois at Chicago, which is an opportunity to thank the alumni and friends who donate money to UIC:

Every year the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Development hosts a donor-recognition reception and dinner to take place at the end of April. It is a Chancellor-level event attended by all University leadership and UIC’s most engaged and passionate alumni and friends.

As part of this event, we want to display these photos of students sharing messages of thanks with the audience. Our hope is to represent with these photos as closely as possible the diversity of UIC’s community.

Here’s how you can help… please share this message with your network and ask anyone who’s willing to participate to fill out the form at this link: We’ll serve FREE PIZZA at both shoots! Everyone who registers will get a confirmation of specific locations once all the input is tallied.

Please pass it on to all your fellow students….!!


Attention UIC Graduate Students,

The news just came in
From University Hall
That UIC Grad Students
Are the most A-MAZING of all

March is the Month
The 9th is the week
A celebration we are having
Try not to shriek

We want to toast your accomplishments
And all that you do
You are the BEST of the BEST

Mark your calendars for an exciting series of events, workshops and
programs *all for you*. The UIC Graduate College is excited to present the
first annual:

*March 9th – 13th 2015*

Make sure to RSVP for all sessions you would like to attend.

Please forward on to your colleagues and if you are so inclined please put
a flyer up in communal grad student spaces.

We hope to see you the week of March 9th!

Graduate College Website: <>
[image: Twitter icon] Follow us on Twitter @UICGradCollege
[image: Facebook icon] Follow us on Facebook UIC Graduate College

  • Discussed fellowship issue within the Humanities department
  • Advanced graduate students (6/7/8 years) are starting to hear they are getting their funding cut in some departments – be on alert if this applies to you!
  • Discussed ongoing CUPPA troubles
  • Went over steering committee election
    • Voted for a new secretary
    • New secretary will also be a part of GEO’s “Institutional Memory Committee,” which will be making note of how GEO runs to help future steering committees of GEO run smoothly


  1. Rauner and Budget Issues
    1. Overall, there is a problem with the way UIC handles is money as the outgoing Chancellor and President are getting a six figure bonus while the incoming Chancellor and President are getting up to a $100,000 salary increase
    2. TA/GA contract negotiations are crucial because the university DOES have money to give to its workers, the administration is simply refusing to do so
    3. The Board of Trustees are continuing to flourish their business model
    4. There is the possibility Rauner will put an end to Fair Share, which will highly impact union organizing
      1. Read more about this impending issues through a piece written by Amy Livingston, GEO Staff, on GEO’s blog at:
    5. Rauner is in the process of creating “Empowerment Zones” – localities where people can vote on their right to work and wants to create Public Sector Union rules
      1. Workers will be able to vote on and negotiate working assignments, rules, etc.
      2. Workers will not be able to vote on and negotiate wages, benefits, retirement benefits, and cannot go on strike


  1. Bargaining Committee Updates
    1. Continuing to go over Bargaining Survey data, drafting contracts, and researching other schools’ contracts to better our contract negotiation
    2. If you have not taken the survey, please do so with the link given! The goal is to get 750 completed surveys and so far, over 250 have been completed. More surveys need to be collected!

  1. On track to file intent to bargain on March 15th
    1. Current contract expires August 15th
    2. Can bargain as early as next day after filing intent, but probably will not happen until May
  2. Important for members to show up to bargaining meetings because you will be able to actively participate in the caucus and vote
    1. Important to have that outside perspective when creating a new contract
    2. The contract gets written in that room during bargaining, so active member participation is crucial
  • With more member present, it puts pressure on administration to negotiate in our favor
  1. Important to push back against administration and let them know we will not give up anything
  2. United Faculty will be negotiating their contracts at the same time as well, so it will be a good solidarity boost


  • Stewards/Organizing Update
    1. Basic Goals: Get more answers to surveys, get more card signers, more stewards, and increase general member meeting attendance
    2. Actions: Increase office visits and get involved in GEO caucuses as well
      1. Can always volunteer to be a steward for another department
    3. Remember: General member meetings are not just for department reps, but for all TA’s and GA’s!
    4. Next Stewards/Organizing Committee meeting will be next Wednesday, February 11th at 4pm, GEO Office (on Van Buren, next to Giordano’s)
  1. Vice Chancellor of Health Affairs update
    1. All deans will report to this person and this new position will hire all of the deans
    2. 28 people are on the committee
    3. Search firm meeting with committee on February 12th and plan to post ad shortly after


  1. Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs and Provost Update
    1. Committee is still being put together
      1. Will not be as large as the one for the Vice Chancellor of Health Affairs
    2. Dean Tantillo from LAS is the chair of this committee


  • Campus Budget
    1. Governor will be releasing budget around mid-February (around the 19th)
    2. Expecting about a 20% state budget cut, which equates to about a 9.1% budget cut for each department at UIC and about a loss of $40 million dollors
    3. There is very little the provost can do, really up to deans and staff to deal with budget cuts
    4. However, the overall cut may not be 20% and could be from 5-10%, but everyone should prepare for the worst
    5. Beth Richie asked if minority and diversity initiatives will be affected by budget cuts and how the minority impact statement and policy will be affected
      1. Not sure at the moment, will really just have to wait and see


  1. Governor’s Executive Order
    1. A set of 8 orders in Executive Order 1508, which is not in writing yet, still being drafted
    2. Applies to the expenditures from state revenue, not other funds
    3. Health, safety, and overall well-being for all is a worry as whether or not these will be affected by this Executive Order
    4. There is also a worry travel funds for faculty will be affected
      1. The order states there will be funds for faculty to travel for teaching, but not for research, which makes no sense as UIC is a Research-I university
    5. Cluster hiring process will continue
      1. Those who have ever been in Quinn’s camp, however, will not be hired (as stated by Rauner)
    6. As of last week, there have been no hints in a hiring freeze


  1. Enrollment Update (Undergraduate – Fall 2014)
    1. 99% of first year students are full-time
      1. African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asians are all up in numbers while Whites are down (a trend at UIC for the past 5-6 years for incoming students)
    2. UIC has always brought in many transfer students (which are usually students coming from community colleges in the suburbs)
      1. UIC brings in as many White transfer students as new students
    3. New Student Survey – very consistent data
      1. This is the first year of doing a New Transfer Student Survey
        1. The data is consistent with the New Student Survey
      2. There is an increase in recruitment and campus visits are continuing  to increase as well
      3. There is a 10% decrease of applications to LAS as well as a 10% decrease of White students, overall
      4. UIC is interestingly positioned within the Chicagoland market
        1. Many communities have not recovered from the bad economy and many students are choosing to go to community college first as that is what they can afford and because they are not even eligible for financial aid at a university
      5. One of the biggest questions is: Do particular ethnicities/races populate majors and colleges differently?
        1. For example, there are no changes in the ethnicities/races that are business, engineering, healthcare, and bio science majors
      6. Therefore, the question becomes: How do certain colleges affected by this reposition itself within the market it’s in and recruit students to come here? Especially with the new initiative by Mayor Emmanuel of having first two years of community college free (depending on good grades)
        1. Hispanics and Asians – two main populations in Illinois, which is reflected in the population at UIC
        2. These questions of repositioning may be easier for colleges like LAS, to get more transfer students
  • What about students admitted who end up not coming to UIC, but not going anywhere either? – There has been an extra effort made to recruit those students again
  1. Sometimes it’s easier to sell the program or the department than the whole university – Need to remember other schools may have better and the competition, just in the Chicagoland area, is uniquely high
  2. Also important to note that students with low ACT scores (21-23) are not being recruited just as heavily as those with high scores (26-28)
  3. There is a need for a more long-term response – How does LAS reinvent itself so that LAS has more resources to graduate its students?
  4. The university needs to gather better “multicultural” data about its students
  5. OIR will be launching its Graduation Survey soon to see what students do after leaving UIC


  1. Cluster hires
    1. In the final stages of writing policy for the cluster hires
    2. Since the beginning of this initiative, 13-23 positions have been authorized
      1. 8 have been filled (5 men/3 women, 1 African-American/4 Asian/2 Hispanics/1 White, 6 LAS/1 Medicine/1 Neuroscience, 1 full professor/4 assistant professor/3 visiting professors)
      2. 6 have declines (1 man/5 women, all full professors and from underrepresented groups)
    3. There are currently 2 searches underway


  • Procurement Diversity
    1. A department a part of the University of Illinois system which works to create awareness to use minority/disability/all-women vendors for procurement of resources
    2. Professional Service Diversity Symposium at UIC Forum on April 1st
    3. Diverse forms present to key stakeholders at UIC
    4. 3rd year of this symposium


  • Hispanic Serving Institution Task Force
    1. Have generated an FAQ of what it means to be an Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) – will be online soon
    2. Application for Hispanic Serving Institution status has been approved, so UIC is eligible for this recognition


  1. Undocumented Student Task Force
    1. An amendment is being made and in the process of looking for support and a sponsor this bill
      1. Then will need to lobby for support
      2. Advocacy will be intense this month and next due to discussions before final state budget appropriations



(Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, Dean Pagano, and a Project Manager were present)

  • SE quadrant of building declared unsafe, temporary work to be done in the next 2 weeks that will make the whole building safe – the 5th Floor will still remain unused as that is a part of the SE quadrant
    • All windows need to be replaced (this work will be expedited and hopes to be done by middle of summer)
    • Rest of building would be done by fall, but there is no accurate report of just what needs to be done to the building, only know ¾ of the building needs to be fixed
    • The building still may not be completely habitable, even though it was declared safe
  • Decision to move is up to faculty and deans and the final decision is ultimately up to Dean Pagano on deciding where to move
    • Dean Pagano made it clear all academic programs want to stay as close together as possible
  • Three Options for Moving:
    • Stay in CUPPA
    • SSR on West Campus: Dorms will be converted in offices
      • Semester Express shuttle hours would be extended to help transport people back and forth
    • SSB on East Campus: Only has space for about 40 people, which is a problem since about 140 people need to be relocated
    • A combination of these options would have to be used
  • 54 offices are affected, 14 deans offices, all of IRRPP and GCI and all staff for CUPPA
    • IRRPP and GCI (Great Cities Initiative) are moving to South Campus
  • If any further moving happens, it would not happen until March 1st
  • Classes would and could still be offered in CUPPA
  • There is space on West Campus for classes as well
    • Administration, faculty, and deans on West Campus would need to know the needs of CUPPPA students, staff, and faculty in order to better accommodate them
    • From the students, there is the question of will labs on the West Campus be shared with other West Campus students or be strictly for CUPPA? Will they be accessible 24/7?
  • As long as AAH stays open, labs and classrooms can be converted
  • Administration is encouraging students to talk to faculty who will then speak to Dean Pagano
  • GEO pointed out it is a clear contract violation for TA’s and GA’s to move them away from CUPPA because it is a violation of working conditions
  • 2009: Vice-Chancellor’s report on masonry of perimeter of building was completed to start work on the building
    • A full engineering report has not been done yet, but has been approved
    • This full engineering report may be done within the next 30 days (which includes looking at beams, cracks, etc.)
  • There is no timeline on a structural report and when that will be completed
  • IDOT is installing machines in the building to help assess any further damage
    • However, these machines are disruptive as well (one class last week had to be stopped due to noise and vibrations)
    • IDOT is trying to claim the problem is not their fault and the building was already faulty before they started construction
  • Gislason – Renting space at 310 S. Peoria is NOT AN OPTION (there is no insurance reimbursement, school has no money, etc.) and any other details have been chosen not to be shared
    • Some in the audience mentioned trying to FOIA any e-mails and paperwork to see if there is information not being shared
    • If the departments decide to use their own money to lease space off-campus, then that is ok
    • The Board of Trustees do have the ultimate power to allow the University to lease off-campus space, but it is highly unlikely that will happen
  • Issues with CUPPA building have been escalating for years and students have stressed a long-term plan is needed, no more temporary quick-fixes
  • CUPPA alumni in the audience shared they are worried about the situation of the CUPPA building for current and future students
  • Return of student differentials is still being discussed
    • Dean Pagano: 1/3 of the tuition differentials are used towards 85% of staff and faculty salaries, along with other funds needed for the college so they cannot really be refunded
  • Accreditation of the programs in CUPPA will not be affected, they have already been reaccredited and still have 3-6 years left until having to reapply
  • Dean Pagano – “It’s on the campus to be supportive.”
  • A national event sponsored by the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, which is not a real government department, but has been thought of being created
  • The event was comprised of people engaging in “Story Circles,” where facilitators would allow people to share a story based on three prompted questions:
    • Tell a story about a moment you felt true belonging—or the opposite—in this country or in your community
    • Describe an experience that showed you something new or important about the state of our union
    • Share about a time you stood together with people in your community
  • Everyone’s stories were recorded and transcribed so they could be sent to the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture so this group could find themes to compare and contrast to the President’s State of the Union address
    • These themes will then be performed through an art-based poetic event in New York City and will be streamed live online on Sunday, February 1st
  • Another meeting with doctors of health care system has yet to be planned, may not be until March
  • There may be impending changes in CampusCare and issues with recertification of CampusCare
  • New hires (a psychologist and a few doctors) actually have little experience with trans* and queer patients, which adds to the problem
  • A collaboration with the Gender and Sexuality Center is still in the works as we are unsure of what their agenda really is in working with us
    • The Gender and Sexuality Center is gathering data on sexual identity and sexual orientation in admissions applications in order to “gain more funding” for LGBTQ programs at UIC – The implications of this data could be more negative than positive
  • Black and Pink meet-up is being planned for Saturday, February 28th
    • Around 2pm, Gallery 400 is a potential location
    • Specific information will be given out soon

General GEO TA/GA Bargaining Issues

  • Preparing for impending budget cuts next school year
  • Trying to get a GEO member on the Student Advisory Fee Committee as there has never been a GEO member on that board before
  • There is a recent issue about new university hires (including TA’s and GA’s) being subjected to “volunteer” criminal background checks – the bargaining committee will look into this further


  • Next Meeting: Tuesday, February 10th at 3pm, GEO Office

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