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State Universities Civil Service System

Agency Profile

The State Universities Civil Service System (University System) is provided authority through legislative Statute and is empowered through the University Civil Service Merit Board to develop, maintain, and administer a comprehensive and efficient program of human resource administration for the higher education community, specifically related to the employment and employment relationship with their auxiliary and support staff positions. In accomplishing this task, the University System has developed a comprehensive set of Administrative Rules and Procedures which effectively facilitate the administration of many aspects of the employment relationship.

The University System was created as a separate entity of the State of Illinois by the 67th General Assembly and became operative on January 1, 1952. The State Universities Civil Service Act (Act) is presently codified in the Illinois Complied Statutes at 110 ILCS 70/36b et seq. and the University System Administrative Rules (Administrative Rules) are presently codified in the Illinois Administrative Code (Administrative Code) at 80 Ill. Adm. Code 250. Headquartered at 1717 Philo Road, Suite 24, Urbana, Illinois, the University System serves the following public universities and agencies with respect to the employment relationship with their professional (non-academic), technical, and support staff:

University of Illinois at Chicago
Morton Arboretum
Drug and Horticultural Experiment Station
College of Medicine at Rockford
College of Medicine at Peoria
Hospital and Clinics
Division of Specialized Care for Children (Springfield)
Division of Specialized Care for Children (Chicago)

University of Illinois at Springfield

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Robert Allerton House and Hott Memorial Center
Robert Allerton Park
Bondville Road Station-Monticello Road Station
County Agriculture and/or Home Economics Extension Office
Department of Agronomy, College of Agriculture
Dixon Springs Agricultural Center
Vermilion River Observatory
Northeastern Agronomy Research Center
Prairie Observatory—Oakland
Department of Horticulture, River Valley Sand Field Plot, Mason County
Department of Horticulture's St. Charles Horticulture Research Center
Illinois Natural Resources Sustainability (INRS)

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Southern Illinois University School of Medicine Springfield

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Madison County
East St. Louis

Chicago State University

Eastern Illinois University

Governors State University

Illinois State University

Northeastern Illinois University

Northern Illinois University
Lorado Taft Field Campus
Glenn Ellyn
Cook County
St. Clair County
Kankakee County
Woodstock Conference Center
Hoffman Estates
Naperville Center

Western Illinois University
Quad-Cities Center for Continuing Education

Illinois Board of Higher Education

Illinois Community College Board

Illinois Student Assistance Commission

State Universities Retirement System

State Universities Civil Service System

Section 36e of the Act (110 ILCS 70/36e states that all employees shall be covered by the University System, except the following persons:

  • the members and officers of the Merit Board and the boards of trustees, and the commissioners of the institutions and agencies covered hereunder;
  • the presidents and vice-presidents of each educational institution;
  • other principal administrative employees of each institution and agency as determined by the Merit Board;
  • the teaching, research, and extension faculties of each institution and agency; and
  • students employed under rules prescribed by the Merit Board, without examination or certification.

Direct oversight authority spans approximately 22,000 civil service employees, which include approximately 18,000 status employees and 4,200 non-status employees throughout the state. To a lesser degree, the University System monitors and authorizes over 18,000 student employees and over 10,000 exempt administrative and faculty appointments. The University System administers a classification/examination program consisting of approximately 1,000 classes and corresponding examinations, resulting in the testing of approximately 23,500 applicants or promotional candidates each year. The University System also has oversight authority over the thousands of other basic employment transactions performed through the many human resource offices throughout the system, including transfers, promotions, layoffs, and separations.

The University System office provides support services to universities and agencies in most aspects of the personnel administration program and encourages the concept of participative management by involving a variety of levels of the employer's staff, as well as employee representatives, in decisions affecting the implementation of the Act, the Administrative Code and the Procedures.

Incorporated into the Act establishing the University System were many innovative principles that remain viable operating guidelines even today, including efficiency and economy of operation, equal opportunity for all applicants, selection of highly qualified personnel, equal pay for equal work, and career opportunities comparable to those in business and industry. Additionally, the Act further delegated authority to Designated Employer Representatives to conduct examinations, designate and refer applicants for positions, and otherwise administer human resource programs consistent with the meaning, interpretations, and intent contained therein.

Therefore, certain functions required by the Act have been defined and delegated to the university and agencies under the University System. Through this delegated authority, the universities and agencies are responsible for the recruitment, examination, and appointment to various employment positions, as well as the assignment of specific duties to be performed by each employee. The employer is also responsible for all employee relations, including disciplinary actions. Individuals employed into positions under the guidelines of the University System are employed directly by the university or agency and are not employees of the University System.

Personnel transactions are to be conducted within the framework of the Act and the Administrative Code, with all transactions subject to audit by the University System staff to ensure continued compliance with University System policies and procedures. Additionally, such transactions and audit reviews may become the basis for appeal procedures and corrective action.

The Merit Board is charged with making and publishing Administrative Rules to carry out provisions of the Act establishing the merit program. These rules provide detailed procedures along a broad spectrum of human resource activities, including examinations, eligible registers resulting from examinations, appointments (both status and nonstatus), probationary periods, reassignments and transfers, separations and demotions, and seniority. The University System staff is involved in the development, implementation, and maintenance of rules and procedures, providing a review and appeal process for applicants, employees and employers, as well as hearing procedures in matters related to discharge and demotion.

The Executive Director and the University System staff are responsible for coordinating and implementing all Statutes, Rules, and Procedures associated with the merit program which includes preparing all examinations, conducting ongoing validation studies, continuous monitoring and reporting of wage and salary programs of the institutions served, conducting a continuous and ongoing audit program of both records and operational procedures at each institution, and developing and maintaining a responsible classification and human resource program. The staff is also responsible for the technical functions essential to the effective administration of a merit program, including the development and presentation of training and workshop sessions for the Designated Employer Representatives, university/agency human resource staff, and members of the various State Universities Civil Service Advisory Committees.

The University System is unique in that it empowers the individual university and agency employment locations, through a Designated Employer Representative, to deliver our classification plan, examination instruments, and generally administer many of our rules and procedures. It is important in this type of organizational structure that we maintain close contact with both the employers and employees in the administration of these rules and procedures. We have done so through various committees, special focus groups, and other collaborative relationships with individual universities, affiliated agencies, other state agencies, and employee groups. This collaborative business approach has proven to be very economically efficient and customer service oriented.