The Council of Academic Professionals is urging campus leaders to speak against new rules being considered by the State Universities Civil Service System that would limit the U. of I.'s ability to classify its employees.
As it stands, the university can exempt some positions from civil service classification if specialty skills or circumstances are required for a specific job.
If the new rules are passed, the exemption power would fall under SUCSS auspices.
SUCSS is hosting a public hearing on the proposed changes 1-4 p.m. Jan. 3 at its headquarters at 1717 Philo Road, Suite 24, Urbana. A final decision could be rendered by Jan. 30.
CAP Chairman Yfantis Konstantinos told members of the Senate Executive Committee Dec. 10 that U. of I. administrators, as well as administrators from universities from around the state, are being urged to argue against the rule changes.
"I think there's going to be a long line of people wanting to speak," he said.
The Urbana Academic Senate recently approved an SEC-written statement that says exemption authority should remain at the campus level.
"We believe that such a development would harm the institution by requiring that a third party assume responsibility for determining which positions are exempt," said the statement. "Making these determinations within the university's decision-making process is essential to the mission-critical functions of the university."
The discussion of taking away universities' exemption authority began in earnest following the most recent SUCSS audit of the process, which officials said uncovered instances of abuse within the system statewide and the incorrect categorization of too many positions as academic professional.
CAP officials said they were "disappointed" with the audit process conducted at the Urbana campus after SUCSS reported 122 of 200 investigated positions should be reclassified.