The Administrative/Professional (A/P) Council is the vehicle through which A/P employees participate in shared governance at Illinois State University.
The Council's purpose is to serve in an advisory capacity to the administration regarding the general welfare of all Administrative/Professional employees. The Council helps ensure effective communication between the Administrative/Professional staff, Academic Senate, Board of Trustees, Student Government Association, Civil Service Council, and other appropriate campus constituencies.
The Administrative/Professional (A/P) Council was created in 1976 under the name Professional and Technical Staff Council. At that time, there was a small but growing group of employees who were neither faculty nor civil service, and therefore not represented in the University governance system. The original concerns with which the Council was charged to find solutions were job security, performance evaluations and grievance procedures. Soon, a constitution was established and the Council began to function as part of the governance structure, meeting with the President on a monthly basis.
In the early years of the Council, progress continued to be made on the original charge; an evaluation process became a part of the University Policy Handbook and a grievance procedure was approved and used. Additional benefits were gained over time for A/P employees including the availability of educational leaves, a potential for greater accumulation of vacation time, access to a sick leave bank, benefits for domestic partners and the establishment of a definite timeline for notification of retention in employment.
Through the efforts of the Council, A/P employees have become better recognized on campus and involved in an increasingly wide range of activities related to the shared governance process. It is now routine for A/P employees to be represented on significant committees and governance groups such as: the Academic Senate, the Presidential Search Committee, the Campus Communications Committee to the Board of Trustees, among others.
The leadership of the Council has come from individuals in many different units including Admissions and Records, Academic Advisement, Continuing Education, Student Counseling, Financial Aid, Student Life, University Union (Bone Student Center) and Recreation Services. The membership of the Council has come from an even wider circle of units including most units in Student Affairs and a variety of other administrative offices across the campus.
As time has passed, the number of A/P employees has grown considerably. The Council has created recognition and service awards for A/P employees. The Council worked cooperatively with the Civil Service Council to present a large, well attended awards ceremony annually. Among the awards given at this ceremony are the Distinguished Service Awards, the Esprit de Corps award, and service awards to employees every five years after ten years of service. Besides the recognition of their peers, award winners can receive monetary awards or other prizes.
Based on the diligent work of many dedicated individual A/P employees, the Council is viewed as an integral part of the internal shared governance of the University. The Council is represented on the President's Campus Communication Committee and as of the 2000 -2001 academic year holds a seat on the Academic Senate of the University. Beyond these specific points of influence, the advice of the Council is sought in major decision-making by the President and Provost, as well as other Vice -Presidents. The Council has presented A/P employees' concerns to the rest of the University community and has gained respect as well as tangible benefits for A/P employees.