Notice of Election: State Universities Civil Service Advisory Committee

To Employees Served by the State Universities Civil Service System:

An election to select one representative to the State Universities Civil Service Advisory Committee to the Merit Board of the State Universities Civil Service System will be held on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 to fill a term of office beginning January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2023.

The election will be held via electronic ballot on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 from 12:01am until 11:59pm. More detailed voting information will be sent via email to all Civil Service employees eligible to vote prior to the date of the election.

Article II, Sec. IV, #9 By‐laws, State Universities Civil Service Advisory Committee. “Any Civil Service Employee, excluding temporary, provisional, student and extra help, at a place of employment, who is currently employed as of the date of the election, shall be granted the time to vote without loss of time or pay.”

Absentee ballots will be available in the Human Resources Building (HRB), 715 S. Wood Street, Suite 109 from November 20, 2019 through December 2, 2019. In order to pick up an absentee ballot, you must show proof you are unable to vote electronically during the election on December 3, 2019.

Election questions can be directed to Susan Balmes in UIC Human Resources at 312.355.5230 or

There are four candidates running for election. Qualification and candidacy statements (written and submitted by the candidates) are below:

Rodney Chambers, Business Manager
Rodney Chambers joined UIC in 2012 and currently serves as the Business Manager for the University Library. His knowledge of the University’s business and financial operations is a crucial benefit to the Library. Many outside of the Library benefit from his knowledge and seek his guidance to navigate through the complex system of administrative and financial procedures. His professional, calm, and reassuring demeanor are a few of the many reasons he has become a respected member of the UIC community.

Rodney has extended his service to several campus committees focused on quality improvement and efficiency. In support of the Library’s mission to incorporate more diverse and equitable practices, he pursues strategic vendor partnerships with numerous minority suppliers. He is generous with his time and talent by mentoring student employees and supporting the professional development of his colleagues. He would be a logical and sensible UIC representative on the State Universities Civil Service Advisory committee.

Rodney received his bachelor’s degrees in Journalism and English from the University of Iowa and holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration. In his free time, he travels with his wife Faye and his Black Labrador, Salem.

Lori Christopher, Staff Nurse I
Lori Christopher has worked at the University since July 1998, first as a Flex Registered nurse, then in May 2010 accepting a full time Staff Nurse I position. She currently works outpatient in the OCC Neurosciences Center. Prior to becoming a staff nurse, Lori worked both inpatient and outpatient at UIC, working with many departments, which has given her a greater understanding and insight into our University’s mission and their role in the community.

Lori graduated from Purdue University with Phi Theta Kappa honors for her Bachelors in Nursing, and serves on the UI Health’s Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC), Nursing Shared Governance Operations Council and the UICare Team. She is also on the Board of Directors for the Illinois Nurses Association. Lori is also a member of the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing, having her Certification in Ambulatory Nursing and was recently recognized with the Daisy Award for extraordinary nurses.

Lori has also served the past three years on the Staff Advisory Council, which she feels has prepared her to represent employees on this Civil Service Advisory Committee. Lori hopes to bring her extensive experience to the Civil Service Advisory Committee, if elected, representing the Civil Service employees, making sure their concerns are addressed and voices are heard, valuing the civil service employees and their essential role to the campus and hospital operations.

Lori is also active in her community, living with her husband and adult daughters on UIC’s campus, working closely with the Alderman’s office for neighborhood services and improvements. She recently lead a successful campaign with neighbors and Alderman Ervin, working with the City of Chicago’s Historical Division and Landmarks Illinois to get historical distinction for the Claremont Cottages, located in Tri-Taylor on UIC’s campus. These workmen’s cottages were built 10 years after the Chicago Fire and will now be protected for future generations to enjoy.

Jennifer Santillan, Pharmacy Technician III
Jennifer Santillan is a Pharmacy Technician III at UI Health. Jennifer began her career in April of 1997 and has worked in most areas of the inpatient pharmacy in her 23-year tenure, but currently serves as a pharmacy technician for Peri Operative Services. Along with being a Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT), Jennifer has recently obtained certification as a PRS, Pharmacy Regulatory Specialist.

Jennifer currently serves on the Pharmacy Operations Council, ensuring the needs and concerns of her peers are communicated as the department strives to grow and improve while striving for excellence with regard to patient care. The fast pace needs in the OR setting and her ability to think on her feet make her the perfect match for that job. Many process improvements and intradepartmental collaboration have been led by her innate drive for growth both personal and professional.

Jennifer comes from a family with a strong history of public service with Jennifer herself serving as a Girl Scout Leader managing the needs of girls ranging from 5 years old to 16 years from varied backgrounds. Jennifer has also served as a “Band mother,” organizing fund raising events and has chaperoned several band trips. She also serves as an election judge and a Census translator who assisted in ensuring our Spanish-speaking respondents understood the need for enumeration. Jennifer has recently taken on the quest to serve as a precinct committee member and will appear on the ballot in March of next year.

The very diverse leadership roles along with the advocacy involved in each have led Jennifer to be the strong representative candidate able to move forward with the concerns of her civil service peers.

Jennifer resides in Kankakee with her husband of 26 years, their two American Eskimos, Sam and Sophie, and is a recent “empty nester” as their daughter Jessica, a UIC alum, married her high school sweetheart. In her spare time, music is the main interest for Jennifer, whether it is playing the flute or watching old Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals.

Jerome Sides, Environmental Safety Compliance Associate
Jerome Sides is an employee at UIC with 14 years of service. He is an Environmental Safety Compliance Associate at UIC for the Environmental Health and Safety Department. Prior to Joining the University of Illinois, Mr. Sides worked for the Chicago Police Department, retiring as a task Force Property Crimes Detective.

Jerome has received the UIC Janis Watkins Award for distinguished Civil Service and the UIC award of Merit for outstanding Civil Service. Jerome is currently an active member of the Staff Advisory Council at UIC, which serves as a bridge between Campus Administration and the staff providing a channel of communication between Human Resources and the Officers of the University Administration and the Civil Service Employees on Campus.

Jerome is also a Local 73 Union Steward and is on the Negotiations Committee advocating for beneficial contracts for local 73 members. Jerome is an Assistant Pastor at Light House Church of all Nations and strongly believes that ethical values have the most important role in our lives. Jerome continues, as a total life approach, to seek justice, fairness, and compassion for those that may need it most. Jerome is a fighter who will fight for you too.


Susan Balmes
UIC Human Resources

Mariola Arriola
Staff Advisory Council

For more information, please contact:
Susan Balmes
Mariola Arriola

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