Discovery Sessions

Discovery Sessions provide attendees with the opportunity to learn about best practices in specific subject areas. These sessions are led by recognized experts who are directly responsible for shaping best practices, policies, and procedures, from within UIC and external organizations. Each session is highly interactive, encouraging thought-provoking discussion.

Customize your experience by registering for the discovery sessions that will most affect your development as a human resource professional.

Discovery Session Tracks include:
Human Resources Operations: Are you responsible for the effective and efficient delivery of human resource services at UIC? Sessions in the operations track explore best practices and valuable functional insights for human resource practitioners.
Human Capital Strategy: Are you interested in shaping and advancing the strategic role of human resources in public higher education? Sessions in the strategic track explore the themes, trends, and impact of human capital management initiatives in public higher education.

Mid-Morning Sessions (9:30am)

Civil Service 101: The Basics

The State Universities Civil Service System administers the personnel plan for the Illinois higher education community. What does this mean? Why do we have it? The System history, purpose, mission and relationship with the Illinois higher education community will be outlined and discussed in this session.


Tom Morelock Executive Director, State Universities Civil Service System
Cindy Neitzel Assistant Director, Operations and Audit Division, State Universities Civil Service System

Onboarding Foreign Nationals

This session will provide a brief overview on recruiting, interviewing, hiring, orienting and successfully integrating new international employees into UIC's culture and organizational structure. Attendees will learn about UIC campus resources available to engage with the international community.


Jim Hammerschmidt Executive Director, UIC Office of International Services
Ron Puskarits Director, Compensation, UIC Human Resources

Family Medical Leave Act: Complying with the Law at UIC

This interactive, practical course, facilitated by Tracy Billows, Esq. helps HR managers and representatives appreciate the latest best strategies related to identifying and effectively responding to UIC employee leave requests under the FMLA (and , as appropriate, the ADA/ADAAA) as well as UIC's policies. Participants will learn to identify leave requests and triggers. Interactive tools and techniques will be provided so that anyone of authority can safely engage university employees. Understanding the need for baseline consistency in UIC Leave administration processes through HR actions is a central theme of the presentation, as well as specific strategies and action steps that can be undertaken.

Tracy Billows, Esq. Seyfarth Shaw at Work

Why Diversity Matters in Higher Education

Participants will receive information about critical aspects of diversity aligned with UIC successful operations. The discussion will focus on “holistic” diversity to raise awareness and share perspective on necessary inclusion and equity practices for the growth of UIC.


Tyrone Forman Vice Provost for Diversity, UIC

Late-Morning Sessions (11:00am)

Expectations of Human Resources: What are Deans Saying?

During this session, UIC Deans will discuss their Human Resources service delivery experiences. Each Dean will raise awareness about Human Resources operations in their respective areas. The session will be moderated allowing panelists to share thoughts on Human Resources expectations and alignment of service across colleges.

Mary Case Dean, UIC College of Library Science
Steve Everett Dean, UIC College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts
Pete Nelson Dean, UIC College of Engineering

What HR Professionals Need to Know About Budgets and Campus Strategic Planning

To become full business partners, Human Resource Professionals need a basic understanding of budgets and Campus Strategic Planning. This session shares information about how campus budgets are created, how funds are allocated and the relationship to the Campus Strategic Plan.


Janet Parker Associate Chancellor and Vice President for Budget and Resource Planning, UIC

Workplace Abrasive Conduct: What is it? How should it be addressed?

Barbara Butterfield, PhD. answers the question, "Why is dealing with abrasive conduct so difficult?" The discussion includes barriers, types of abusive or disruptive conduct, how to engage leadership in the solution, and the various roles and approaches to handling abusive conduct. Tools and techniques will be shared to provide a positive, unbiased, collaborative approach to handling these situations.


Barbara Butterfield, PhD Executive Consultant to the University of Michigan; Consultant, Sibson Consulting

Talent Recruitment and Selection: Academic Professionals, Civil Service and Faculty

Recruiting and selecting Academic Professional, Civil Service and Faculty talent each have their own set of required actions and best practices. This panel will discuss how they differ, what is similar in each process, and what resources are available to support recruitment and selection of UIC talent.


Kathy Irving Assistant Equal Opportunity Officer, UIC Office of Access and Equity
Kim Hooker HR Manager, UIC Human Resources
Angela Yudt Director, UIC Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

Afternoon Sessions (2:15pm)

Managing a Career as a Human Resource Professional

During difficult economic times HR professionals are increasingly called upon to formulate innovative strategies and work closely with a variety of business functions to increase organizational effectiveness, performance and reduce costs. Paul Schneider and Matt Kerr will lead an interactive panel discussing the skills and competencies needed to effectively support the business as well as actions employees can take to manage their career and progress as valued HR professionals.


Paul Schneider Partner, Strategic Talent Solutions
Matt Kerr Director, Grant Alexander

Resilient Partnerships, Effective Teams and Healthy Organizations

In this discovery session, facilitated by Steve Ritter, CEO and Founder, Team Clock, you will learn about the nature of healthy teams. Grounded in the Team Clock® methodology and published in the 2009 book Team Clock: A Guide to Breakthrough Teams and the 2014 release Useful Pain: Why Your Relationships Need Struggle, you will be encouraged to assess the strengths and vulnerabilities of the most important connections in your life. You will be challenged to elevate the effectiveness of your teams and evolve in the health and wellness of your partnerships. You will leave the discovery session with specific, targeted actions designed to empower meaningful results personally and professionally.


Steve Ritter Founder and CEO, Team Clock Institute

Does Your Intent Match Your Impact: Are You Self-Aware?

Being self-aware is critical to success, especially when it comes to communication. If we don’t know who we are and how to communicate, we will not get what we want. This course states the elements of communication and the responsibilities of each. The four major communication styles are identified allowing participants to determine their own style; how to identify the styles of others; and how to flex their style for the most productive conversations. We often use “communication hedges,” “I” statements, and “emotional rather than action” verbs. This course will outline how these elements influence our impact.


Ann Rosser CEO, Finding Resolution, LLC

The Civil Service Hiring Process - Management Do's and Don'ts

This workshop will provide practical tips and advice on various actions a department can do to speed up the civil service hiring process and obtain a more diverse and qualified applicant pool, especially for higher level standard titles and custom titles. The use of targeted sourcing, specialty factors, and internships are among the recruitment and selection tools that will be discussed.


Email Interview Tool (PDF)

Joanne Tolbert-Wells Director, Recruitment and Staffing, UIC Human Resources
Ron Puskarits Director, Compensation, UIC Human Resources
Heather Ross Human Resources Associate, UIC

Federal Laws Impacting HR Operations: Avoiding the Latest Legal Land Mines

Tracy Billows, Esq. engages the audience in this interactive, high energy presentation to help human resources managers and representatives understand their responsibilities under the latest federal employment laws, challenges, and landmines and learn best practices for handling related employee situations.

Tracy Billows, Esq. Seyfarth Shaw at Work