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Business and Financial Policies and Procedures

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  • Open Comment Period: June 24 - July 8, 2015

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pczarn2@uic.edu Aug 2, 2016 10:59 am

This proposed change in policy was brought to the Urbana Business Managers Group’s Business Affairs Committee, of which I am the chair. All 15 members were in agreement not to change the policy because of the administrative burden it would create to manage. Please reconsider not changing the policy.

pczarn2@uic.edu Aug 2, 2016 10:59 am

The changes in the policy broadens the scope of who may request a mobile communications stipend. I could see any faculty or staff member who has a mobile device, which of course is everyone, making a business case to receive a stipend. Then it will boil down to ability to pay. In the current budget climate, we cannot afford the additional expense. This puts the college in a position where we will have to deny requests. I'm worried about dissension in the ranks. FAQ #1 in particular is too open ended. The current policy is working great. Why change it? This is a giant step backwards in my opinion. I echo the previous comments to please not change this policy.

pczarn2@uic.edu Aug 2, 2016 10:59 am

Current policy is working well. Please do not change it. At our unit we are managing many grants for PIs around entire campus. At this point we have no tools to properly track and allocate stipend costs among different projects. It would lead to potentially serious problems with compliance. Thank you. Paul

pczarn2@uic.edu Aug 2, 2016 10:59 am

UIUC college and administrative unit budget officers were asked (by a Provost Office staff member) to confer with their Deans/Directors regarding a potential change in the Mobile Communication policy. At a Budget Officer Council meeting, the feedback was unequivocal and unanimous -- the colleges and administrative unit leaders are opposed to changes relaxing the restrictions surrounding mobile communications stipends and purchases. There was not a single dissenting view. I'm disappointed to see this proposed change in policy and wanted to note in these comments that the proposal runs counter to the views of the senior leaders of UIUC colleges and administrative units as expressed to the Provost Office in a meeting earlier this spring. I hope this change will be reconsidered.

pczarn2@uic.edu Aug 2, 2016 10:59 am

I disagree with changing this policy in any way.

Mobile devices are ubiquitous. There is no need to provide a stipend to employees to defray the costs of using them for university business.

Furthermore, changing this policy to leave the provision of stipends to the discretion of individual units will create greater inequities across campus.

pczarn2@uic.edu Aug 2, 2016 10:58 am

It seems to me at a time when the campus is going to have a serious budget reduction, units should not be spending more on expenses like these.

pczarn2@uic.edu Aug 2, 2016 10:58 am

It would be helpful to have some guidance on how to determine the amount of stipend. Employees will likely argue for the full amount allowed.

pczarn2@uic.edu Aug 2, 2016 10:58 am

If an employee has a stipend for their personal cell phone does that make their personal cell phone records discoverable under FOIA?
Why is there no correlation for cost of the plan and the stipend?
Is there a salary level over which would not be permitted?

pczarn2@uic.edu Aug 2, 2016 10:58 am

This policy needs additional clarity as to the exceptions under which a campus will require additional signatures. Currently Vanessa Peoples and I sign all exception requests. I cannot imagine either of us will have time to sign off all the requests as the use of mobile devices expands under this policy. The policy should be edited so that it is clear that all college/unit approvals end with the local Dean, Vice Provost or Vice Chancellor. Requests for exceptions from those three groups of individual only should be pushed further upstream for OBFS/Campus approval.

pczarn2@uic.edu Aug 2, 2016 10:58 am

If you change the rule to allow anyone to obtain phone technology equipment and internet access that would be going backwards.

It's difficult to keep track of these things and it is still difficult to split out personal use and business use of the equipment.