Pursuant to the State Universities Civil Service Act (Act) (110 ILCS 70/36e) and Title 80; Part 250 of the Illinois Administrative Code (Code), the University Civil Service Merit Board (Merit Board) may delegate its authority to the Executive Director of the State Universities Civil Service System (University System) in whole or in part. Section 36d(1) of the Act (110 ILCS 70/36d(1)) authorizes the Merit Board to approve a classification plan and delegate to the Executive Director of the University System the responsibility of assigning civil service positions to the appropriate classification. The Executive Director of the University System is also charged with the responsibility to conduct audits of employers covered under the Act to ensure compliance with all provisions of the Act and Code and to contend with issues revealed through audit reports as directed by the Merit Board (see 80 Ill. Adm. Code §250.140(c)). Section 250.140(a) of the Code further provides that the Executive Director has all the authority required to implement the Act and Code and that the Merit Board may delegate any of its authority to the Executive Director by specific authorization of the Merit Board (see 80 Ill. Adm. Code §250.140(a)).
- General Overview of Exemption from 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 board 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.
As part of its statutory responsibility, the Merit Board has approved criteria that should be used as a guideline for determining appropriate civil service exemptions. This criteria was originally drafted in 1972 by members of the Human Resource Directors Advisory Committee and the State Universities Civil Service Advisory Committee and was circulated to all of the Designated Employer Representatives (DERs) and members of the State Universities Civil Service Advisory Committee for comment and input. At that time, the Merit Board also approved a resolution of the Administrative Advisory Committee recommending that the Merit Board’s authority to approve exemptions based on the criteria be delegated to the Executive Director of the University System. The employer would then be allowed to appeal the Executive Director’s decisions to the Merit Board. This criteria was expanded in 1975 and again in 1990.
In 1997 and in 1998, the Merit Board approved position standards that would allow the employer to exempt positions from civil service without prior approval from the Executive Director of the University System if the position description fit within the defined position standard. This exemption process was subject to audit by the University System.
- Effective October 1, 2018 – Section 2.1 of the Exemption Procedures Manual contains the guidelines and criteria to be used in properly validating and designating those positions, and employees in those positions, as exempt from State Universities Civil Service System coverage, as categorically defined section (a) above. It is important to note that a significant amount of attention and careful consideration has been taken to insure that these standards most accurately reflect and preserve the historical intentions of related statutory provisions and Merit Board actions.
When the standards for each exemption category were established, appropriate attention was given to insure that the examples and types of positions listed were consistent with statutory intention and Merit Board actions. At the same time, the examples and types of positions listed remain broad enough to hopefully encompass future positions that would be appropriate for designation under each category.
Within any complex classification plan there are instances of overlap in position specifications and assignment of duties and responsibilities. However, there was never any intention to permit or condone the conversion of traditional civil service positions to exempt status by virtue of the fact that the positions may appear to correspond to the general definitions of positions contained in these exemption categories. If a position description matches the specifications for any civil service classification, the position must be designated as civil service.