Appeal by defendants from the Superior Court of Cook county;
the Hon. JOSEPH A. GRABER, Judge, presiding. Heard in the second
division of this court for the first district at the December
term, 1949. Judgment reversed. Opinion filed March 13, 1951.
Rehearing denied April 4, 1951. Released for publication April 6,
MR. JUSTICE FRIEND DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.
Rehearing denied April 4, 1951
Virginia A. Kenny, a civil service employee of the University of Illinois, sought by mandamus to compel the defendants, the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois, to restore her to the position of Head of the Social Service Department of the Research and Educational Hospitals of the University in Chicago, a position which she claims to have occupied prior to December 1, 1947, and from which she claims to have been unlawfully demoted. Trial by the court without a jury resulted in a judgment directing the issuance of a writ of mandamus as prayed, from which defendants have taken an appeal.
The case was tried for eight days, and because of the length of the record we set forth the essential facts, as to which there is substantially no dispute, as related in the briefs. The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois is a public corporation created under the provisions of paragraph 22 [section 1] et seq., chapter 144, Illinois Revised Statutes 1949 [Jones Ill. Stats. Ann. 138.022 (1) et seq.]. The University maintains its professional colleges of medicine, dentistry and pharmacy in Chicago where approximately 1,600 students are enrolled. In connection with these colleges, particularly the College of Medicine, the University maintains and operates the Research and Educational Hospitals (R & E Hospital). This is a general hospital of 348 beds and approximately 23 separate out-patient clinics, all operated as an adjunct of the professional colleges for the primary purpose of providing a laboratory in which teaching and research programs may be carried out.
Paragraph 38b, [section 36a] chapter 24 1/2, Illinois Revised Statutes 1949 [Jones Ill. Stats. Ann. 23.038 (1)], provides in substance, with reference to the powers and duties of the Board of Trustees in relation to civil service matters, that the Board shall classify, by rules adopted for that purpose, all nonacademic positions and employments in the University, except those of the President, officers of the Board, administrative officers and professional and scientific positions. Such positions and employments constitute the classified civil service of the state in relation to the University, and all appointments are required to be made in accordance with the provisions of such rules. The statute also provides that no officer or employee in the classified civil service shall be demoted, removed or discharged unless for just cause, upon written charges, and after an opportunity to be heard in his own defense.
Among the civil service classifications for the R & E Hospital the Board established a position known as "Medical Social Worker." The duties and responsibilities of this position, as set forth in the job description approved by the Board, are as follows:
"Under supervision, to perform social service requiring a thorough knowledge of medical social work.
"To interview cases; secure medical histories of patients; confer with social agencies and investigate and report the economic and domestic conditions of cases; undertake the treatment of social difficulties of patients; interpret to children, parents, and agencies the social implications of medical diagnosis and recommendations; arrange for care of patients, make necessary contracts with relatives; cooperate with relief and social welfare agencies in effecting medical treatment; make reports; keep records; perform duties as assigned.
"University graduation in medical social work and at least two years of experience in medical social work, one year of which must have been in a hospital clinic or public medical care program under the supervision of a qualified medical social worker; or: graduation from a two-year course in an approved school of social work in a recognized social service department of a hospital or clinic, one year of which must have been in a public medical care program under the supervision of a qualified medical social worker; good physical health; pleasing personality; supervisory ability; tact; good judgment; minimum age 25."
It appears from the evidence that effective September 1, 1941, plaintiff received a provisional appointment in the job classification, Medical Social Worker. Subsequently, she took a civil service examination for the position, and effective May 18, 1944, was certified thereto. Since September 1, 1941, she has been continuously employed by the University as a medical social worker, and that is the only civil service position in which she has ever been classified or employed. From time to time she has received substantial salary increases, her present annual compensation being $3,288.
From September 1, 1941, to December 1, 1945, plaintiff was the sole medical social worker employed at the hospital. In December 1945, a second person was employed in the same classification, and in the spring of 1946, a third was added. Thereafter, until December 1, 1947, the medical social work staff at the hospital consisted ...