Termination of Employment
Notice of Non-Reappointment for Non-Tenured Faculty
There are two periods during the year when decisions regarding notice of non-reappointment must be made by the departments and colleges: before March 1 and before August 16. Assistant professors at more than 50% of full-time service in years two through six of the probationary period should be given notice of non-reappointment by the department before August 16, to be effective at the completion of the following appointment year. Assistant professors at more than 50% of full-time service in year one of the probationary period and full-time research associates, teaching associates, and faculty holding modified research titles (e.g., Research Associate Professor) on a non-tenured basis and paid from “hard” funds (i.e., state, auxiliary, and revolving accounts) must be given notice of non-reappointment by the department prior to March 1 to be effective at the completion of the current appointment year. Assistant professors at 50% or less of full-time service are not eligible for notice rights.
It is expected that the faculty listed above who require a six-month notice and are paid from hard funds will have appointment dates consistent with the academic/appointment year, i.e., August 16 through August 15 of the following year. Although the department and/or college must notify the faculty member of non-reappointment in writing, it is the Board of Trustees that gives the official notice. If notice is given later than six months before the end of the annual contract, or after March 1 in the case of an academic year appointment, it shall be accompanied by an offer of a terminal contract for one additional year of service.
Research faculty and research and teaching associates who are on “non-tenured” appointments and are less than full-time, or whose contracts indicate subject to the availability of funds do not require formal notice of non-reappointment by the Board of Trustees. Moreover, a notice of non-reappointment is not required in the case of any appointment at the rank of instructor or lecturer, or for any appointment that includes in the title the term “adjunct,” “clinical,” or “visiting.” Nevertheless, good personnel practice requires that such appointees be given as much notice as possible when a decision regarding non-reappointment has been made. Collective bargaining agreement provisions may also require notification. Refer to the UIC Office of Labor and Employee Relations for further information.
Although there is no statutory requirement, an associate or full professor in the final year of a “Q” appointment (who was not put forward for tenure review) and is not to be reappointed should be given adequate notice of non-reappointment by the unit.
Assistant, associate and full professors on a “W” contract must be given notice of non-reappointment by the Board of Trustees in accordance with the terms specified in the “Special Written Agreement to Accept Academic Appointment and Reappointment for Definite Terms.” The notice of non-reappointment period is indicated in the special written agreement as agreed upon by the faculty member and the department head, and generally ranges from six to twelve months.
Faculty resignations must be submitted in writing to the department head or other appropriate administrative officer. In accordance with state law, the health and life insurance coverage provided by the state and the benefits that are available to active employees under the State Universities Retirement System (SURS) cease as of the resignation date. Under federal legislation enacted in 1986, a continuation option via the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) exists that permits resigning employees to continue insurance coverage. Employees are responsible for the premiums if coverage is continued. For University employees, COBRA applies to the State health, dental, and vision coverage. Continuation for COBRA-qualified dependents shall be identical to the employee’s health, dental, and vision coverage under which they were covered at the time coverage was lost. For additional information, contact the Benefits Center.
Faculty members employed at UIC for the academic year (nine-month appointments) may continue their benefits through the summer only if they resign on and request continued payment through August 15.
Faculty retirements must be submitted in writing to the department head or other appropriate administrative officer. A retiring faculty member should notify SURS as soon as possible regarding their pending retirement date. Retirement dates for nine-month faculty should normally occur on the following dates only: December 31 (end of fall semester), May 15 (end of spring semester) or August 15 (end of academic year or summer contract). Retirement dates may occur over the summer at any point between May 16 and August 15 provided a corresponding summer appointment is effective through the proposed retirement date.
An employee’s retirement annuity is based on a number of factors. Visit the State Universities Retirement System for further information.
Pre-retirement planning conferences are held periodically to provide information and assistance on pre-retirement planning to all interested employees and their spouses. Refer to NESSIE for further information.
The State Universities Annuitants Association (SUAA) is an organization to promote the individual and collective interests and welfare of its members and retirees of state universities. Membership is open to all participants in SURS who have retired or who are eligible for a retirement annuity, their spouses, and survivors. See the UIC chapter of SUAA for additional information.
Method of Final Payment/Service
Faculty members on an academic-year contract (nine-month) or ten-month contract do not earn vacation. Nevertheless, they will be paid upon termination for the percentage of services completed in that contract year. That means a nine-month or academic-year appointee may receive the entire balance due for his/her appointment as of May 15 if all services have been provided during the preceding nine-month period (August 16-May 15). An academic-year appointee has the privilege of receiving his/her salary during the year prior to retirement over a nine-month period (rather than over a twelve-month period) so that the retirement annuity can begin June 1. This irrevocable election for period of payment must be made prior to the payroll calculation for the first monthly payment in the final year of service (Refer to Section V.A.). Resignation dates for nine-month faculty should normally occur on the following dates only: December 31 (end of fall semester), May 15 (end of spring semester) or August 15 (end of academic year or summer contract).
The method of final payment for unused vacation time is subject to the approval of the department head. Faculty on twelve-month contracts who retire, resign, or otherwise terminate their employment with the university may be paid for accumulated vacation earned, but not taken, as of the date of termination up to a maximum of 48 working days, or they may wish or be asked to take their vacation before the completion of their contracts. However, terminating faculty on a twelve-month contract cannot use accumulated vacation to extend their termination date beyond their last day of actual employment. Department heads are advised to provide reasonable notice when asking a faculty member to take vacation before the completion of the employee’s contract.
An employee who transfers from one position to another and remains on a twelve-month contract with continuing service may not be paid for accumulated vacation and sick leave. Any balance of vacation and/or sick leave will transfer to the new position.
Death and Survivors’ Benefits
When beginning participation in the retirement system, university employees are given a beneficiary designation form. This information should be kept current by notifying the State Universities Retirement System (SURS) of such events as the birth of a child or the death of a beneficiary. The law governing SURS provides that divorce disqualifies the former spouse from receiving survivors’ insurance benefits. A former spouse must be designated or re-designated as beneficiary after the date of the divorce to be eligible for any lump-sum death benefit that is not a survivors’ insurance benefit. The beneficiary designation is for lump-sum death benefits and does not have any bearing on survivor benefits.
The SURS provides retirement, disability, death, and survivor benefits to eligible SURS participants and annuitants. As of April 1998, SURS active members must choose from one of three retirement options (see below) within the first six months from the date SURS receives their certification of employment from the employer. Employees who fail to choose within six months, will be permanently enrolled in the Traditional Benefit Package:
- Traditional Benefit Package: The historical SURS Defined Benefit retirement plan which until 1998 was the only SURS plan available.
- Portable Benefit Package: A Defined Benefit retirement plan that has much in common with the Traditional Benefit Package. However, it provides a more generous separation refund for those who leave the system.
- Self-Managed Plan (SMP): A Defined Contribution plan that establishes an account in the employee’s name into which your contributions and the employer (State of Illinois) contributions are placed. You decide how your account balance will be invested, selecting from a variety of mutual funds, stable value funds, and variable annuities.
The granting of emeritus status to retiring faculty and senior administrative staff members is based on merit. At UIC, the emeritus designation is regarded as an extraordinary title that is given for extraordinary service. Accordingly, emeritus status is bestowed on only those individuals who have contributed measurably to the University of Illinois at Chicago. Faculty eligible for emeritus status include those in professorial ranks (professors and associate professors) and research and clinical faculty. Senior administrative staff are defined as chancellors and deans.
Ordinarily, emeritus status will not be granted to an individual who has served less than seven years. Exceptions to this policy may be considered for an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the university during a briefer period of service. Emeritus status may be granted prior to retirement for those who have served the university in an eligible administrative position for at least five years and who resign such positions to return to the faculty.
A retiree’s identification card verifies the retiree’s right to enjoy many of the privileges and services offered by the University. To obtain an i-card, a retiree must have proof of retirement from their department, as well as a valid driver’s license, passport or state ID card. There is currently no charge for the first ID as long as the retiree turns in the previous faculty/staff card; however, there is a replacement fee for lost or stolen cards.
Retiree benefits include the following:
- library privileges to all retirees without restriction,
- retirees may enroll in courses or attend classes without payment of tuition or fees, assuming that other conditions governing enrollment in such courses are satisfactorily met,
- retirees may purchase a recreational facilities membership for the same price as faculty by showing their retiree i-card,
- retirees may continue their personal listing in the staff directory by making arrangements with their home department, and
- other related services as outlined in the UIC Retiree’s Guide.