Reports on Policies that Create Unnecessary Barriers (Sep. 2017-Jan. 2018)

Dear Faculty and Staff,

This is an email about the reports of policies and procedures that are perceived to create unnecessary barriers to faculty and staff. The initiative was described in this email, sent in Fall of 2016. I encourage faculty and staff to continue to use this website to report policies and procedures that create barriers.

The reports addressed here were submitted from September through January 2018. Not every report received is addressed here, as some of them related to very specific department or unit-level issues that my office does not control and with which we would not interfere. In those circumstances, an email was sent about the issue (but without attribution) to the relevant unit.

The first category of reports is about issues that have resulted, or will soon result, in a change in policy or practice at UIC.

  1. There was a submission requesting improvements to the website and process for submitting requirements for academic program review and assessment. The Office of Programs and Academic Assessment is working to improve this process. The improvements include: 1) reducing the frequency of assessment data collection from program directors from every year to every two years and 2) providing more one-to-one support with a focus on quality rather than quantity of assessment data. These changes will be piloted in fall 2018.
  2. We received several submissions expressing concern with cleanliness of UIC facilities. I am working with the Committee of Assistant and Associate Deans and the Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services to address this concern. Additionally, this was discussed during interviews for Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services. With these efforts underway, we expect it to improve.

The second category of reports is about issues that do not require a change in policy and/or can be resolved at the unit or department level.

  1. There was a submission requesting that data used for faculty annual reporting have the ability to move seamlessly through other systems for things like P&T and teaching awards. Currently, reporting systems are handled at the college level. However, there is currently an RFP out for new software that will standardize these forms and lessen the burden for all faculty. We hope to select a vendor by the end of the semester.

The next category of submissions involve regulatory and other requirements and cannot be changed.

  1. There were a few submissions requesting airline upgrades, access to early check-in and a recalculation of how meals are counted while traveling on official University business. The guidelines for travel are set by the state. Our adherence is required.
  2. There were a couple of submissions expressing frustration with the time it takes to process non-revenue generating agreements, like student placement contracts, between University Counsel and OBFS. Several factors contribute to the timeline of contract completion. For example, some contracts have terms that we cannot accept under state and university policy. These then take time to negotiate. While OBFS and University Counsel cannot guarantee a quicker turn around, they ask you to inform them if a contract is on a tight timeline that may impact students ability to progress toward degree.
  3. There was a request to have the stairwell door on the first floor outside of University Hall unlocked for more building accessibility. Providing open access to the stairway from the ground level is a security concern. While UH operates with minimal access control, requiring building guests to enter through the front door provides the appropriate level of security.

The last category consists of issues that are under further investigation.

  1. There was a submission requesting a pre-tax MasterCard for parking. This MasterCard option is currently offered to commuters using public transportation. The working group studying parking this semester will investigate this, along with the suggestion of having the MasterCard reloaded to eliminate the need to pick-up a new card monthly.
  2. There is still confusion around the form for reciprocal parking, the level of signatures it requires and the absence of it in electronic form. Parking Services is working on revising and digitizing the form, with these concerns in mind.


Susan Poser
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs