Why take a test?
Civil Service positions in Illinois public higher education are filled by selecting
candidates based on merit. This means that each applicant is given an equal opportunity
to compete for each position. In practical terms, hiring employees on the basis
of merit and fitness means hiring people who have demonstrated knowledge, skills
and abilities consistent with the demands of an individual position.
All employers (public or private) want to select the best candidates for each position.
There are several ways to find good candidates. Often when private companies select
candidates, they ask about previous work experience, they look at resumes and school
records, but more and more often they rely on pre-employment examinations. The State
Universities Civil Service System mirrors many of these business processes. This
includes using past work experience and educational background to rate each candidate
and providing specific knowledge examinations that are tailored to the occupational
area and responsibilities of each position.
The State Universities Civil Service System was created in January, 1952. The Statute
states "The purpose of the University System is to establish a sound program of
personnel administration for the Illinois Community College Board, Southern Illinois
University, Chicago State University, Eastern Illinois University, Governors State
University, Illinois State University, Northeastern Illinois University, Northern
Illinois University, Western Illinois University, University of Illinois, State
Universities Civil Service System, State Universities Retirement System, the Illinois
Student Assistance Commission, and the Board of Higher Education. All certificates,
appointments and promotions to positions in these agencies and universities/institutions
shall be made solely on the basis of merit and fitness, to be ascertained by examination,
except as specified in Section 36e".
In addition, this Statute states that all examinations given under the University
System shall be open to all applicants who are citizens of or residents in the State
of Illinois and who can qualify by training and experience (Minimum Acceptable Qualifications
as listed in our class specifications) for employment.