University of Illinois System


A Historical Look at the University Professional Personnel Advisory Committee

The academic professional employment category has evolved over the years to the diverse group it is today, including over 6000 individuals on the three universities of the University of Illinois System (Chicago, Springfield, and Urbana-Champaign).  The campus Professional Advisory Committees have been in existence since 1974, each operating under its own bylaws.

The Beginning for UPPAC

May 1975

"We believe that it is time for the establishment of a permanent body to take over the advisory functions that have been performed by the SCPP during this transition period. On the basis of our experience, we recommend that this council or committee consist of the three PAC Chairmen, three designees of the Chancellors and a chairperson from the general University Staff. Its function would be to advise the President on matters relating to the academic professional staff. These might include the development of recommendations on specific University-wide policies and periodic reports on the operation of established policies, and should include consultation prior to any major policy changes that affect the academic professional staff."

Report of the Special Committee on Professional Personnel (Rothbaum Committee, May 28, 1975)

November 1977

joint letter dated November 4, 1977, from the three elected campus-level Professional Advisory Committees to the President recommended implementation of the section of the Rothbaum Report advising formation of a University-level University Professional Personnel Advisory Committee

"to work with the University to flesh out the various proposals and work out the necessary compromises to assure conformance to statutes and acceptability across all the campuses."

President Corbally accepted this recommendation via a letter dated November 11, 1977, and in a letter dated December 19, 1977, appointed the first committee with the Vice President for Administration or his designee named as chair.

January 30, 1978

The first meeting of the University Professional Personnel Advisory Committee was held in room 228 Roosevelt Road Building, Chicago Circle Campus.

Moving Forward

In the past 30 years, seven committees have been charged principally with examining various issues and concerns pertinent to the academic professional employment category. They are commonly known by the names of their chairpersons, except for the most recent ones:

  • The Fleming Committee (UIUC), appointed by Provost Lyle Lanier on February 14, 1963 "to consider the desirability of establishing a new category of employees with appropriate standards for appointment, promotion, and tenure"
  • The TenBoer Committee, appointed by the Joint Council on Higher Education on January 27, 1970 to suggest interpretations of the criteria for exemption of academic professional staff from the State Universities Service System
  • The McPherson Committee (UIUC), appointed by Chancellor Jack W. Peltason in September of 1970 to prepare a formal review procedure by which academic staff members who are not members of the faculty might express a grievance or a concern relating to their employment within the University (McPherson Report, October 1, 1971)
  • The Rothbaum Committee (UI), appointed by President John Corbally on September 30, 1971 to explore the problem of developing personnel policies for academic administrative and professional employees; (Rothbaum Report, March 26, 1973)
  • The Fortunato Report. Ray T. Fortunato Associates reviewed the personnel administration systems of the University of Illinois. The report summarized the findings "in the opinion of the consultant what is needed are some basic changes in the broad categories to which staff members are assigned, new or revised policies to meet the employee and management needs for those new categories of employees and a personnel administration delivery system that decentralizes as much as possible but, at the same time, handles centrally those issues that are of corporate concern." (Fortunato Report, September 8, 1988)
  • The Fortunato Task Force (UI). Vice-President of Business and Finance Craig S. Bazzani chaired the Task Force which reviewed the Fortunato Report, focusing on twenty-one specific recommendations. (Fortunato Task Force Report, October 31, 1989)
  • The Martin Committee (UIUC), appointed by Vice Chancellor Edwin L. Goldwasser on August 29, 1980 "to provide advice in an effort to establish a personnel policy for academic professional employees" and specifically to consider the feasibility and desirability of developing an overall formal categorization system for academic professional employees on the Urbana-Champaign campus;
  • The Academic Professional Personnel Advisory Committee (APPAC)(UI), appointed by Vice President Robert Resek in February, 1990 to "make recommendations regarding a personnel structure for academic professional staff on both campuses. " The APPAC was asked to assist "in identifying key elements of a personnel system which would meet the academic and administrative needs of the University, yet maintain the flexibility required to recruit, reward, and retain high quality administrative and professional staff." This committee's recommendations led to the appointment of a University advisory committee which advised the Vice President on the implementation of the APPAC's recommendations.
  • The UIUC Committee on Academic Professional Personnel was appointed by Provost Larry R. Faulkner in January, 1995, to examine the "steps that could be taken -- whether in policy or in operation -- that you believe would be helpful in strengthening the academic professional [personnel] system." He also asked the committee, chaired by Dean W. R. Gomes, to review data (including updated position descriptions) collected in a pilot project by the Office of Academic Human Resources to determine any areas of concern (e.g., titles used inconsistently across departments, etc.), as well as whether it would be useful to collect the same or similar information on a campus-wide basis. In fulfilling its mission, the committee examined the policies and procedures currently in place for academic professional employees including the academic professional titles used across the campus. Its recommendations were sent to the Provost in the Fall of 1995, and an implementation committee was appointed to carry out the recommendations. (Gomes Report, December 12, 1995)