Email to the campus community from Interim Chancellor Berman
November 1, 2010
Faculty, Staff and Students:
Today I officially become the interim chancellor of UIS after serving as the acting chancellor since October 19. As you know, I will continue to be the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs until the end of this year, when Lynn Pardie will become interim vice chancellor for academic affairs.
I welcome this opportunity to be of service as I await the outcome of the search process for former Chancellor Ringeisen’s successor. I am grateful to President Hogan, to the deans, to the UIS Campus Senate leadership, to former Chancellor Ringeisen, and to the campus community for your confidence in me and for your support of me in this endeavor.
I am excited about all that UIS has become and what we will do in this academic year. With the momentum we have, I don’t believe we can afford just to mind the store in the next six to eight months. We must continue to implement our strategic plan and pursue the goals that we have set in our divisions, colleges, and units. We must continue to build on our record of success in recruiting, teaching, and retaining our residential students, our non-traditional students, and our online students, undergraduates and graduates alike.
I have identified what will be four major points of focus for me in my time as interim chancellor.
International programming: We will continue to develop partnerships leading to increasing the numbers and diversity of our international students. We will also strive to increase opportunities for our students to study abroad. On October 1, I convened a group of faculty and staff to discuss strategic directions for international programming. It was a very productive afternoon, resulting in the report distributed last week. Now Interim VCAA Pardie and VCSA Barnett will co-chair a task group that will follow up on recommendations in the report.
Community college outreach: UIS has always been a place that welcomed community college transfer students. During the coming months, we will work to strengthen our longstanding relationships with community colleges. This will be a combined effort of Academic Affairs and Student Affairs, with the support of my office.
Solidify our special role in community engagement: I want the Chancellor’s Office to have an active role in increasing our focus on community relations and public affairs, working collaboratively with Academic Affairs and Students Affairs for the betterment of the Springfield community.
Instructional resource management: During the last academic year, the Instructional Resource Management Task Force produced a series of principles to guide this effort. Its report identified metrics to measure how effectively instructional resources are used across departments and colleges and made recommendations for maximizing effective use of instructional resources. Under the leadership of Associate Provost Aaron Shures, this year the metrics are being refined, and under the leadership of the deans, the guiding principles are being implemented.
We continue to operate under the shadow of substantial budget uncertainty and the prospect of an additional reduction in our state appropriation next year. In my judgment, the best preparation for this future is to make headway in the coming months on the four focus areas outlined above and to continue to align our resources with our core mission and strategic goals.
Before closing, I do want to add one very practical matter. Many of you are accustomed to reaching me through Debbie Gill, my very capable executive assistant in the provost’s office. I have moved to the chancellor’s office, where I have the benefit of another widely respected staff member: Charlene Lambert, executive assistant to the chancellor. Charlene becomes my executive assistant as interim chancellor, and Debbie will continue to orchestrate the Academic Affairs office for me, and later, for Lynn Pardie.
Open forum with the interim chancellor: There is much for us to do and think about. So in what has become a UIS tradition at times like this, I will host an open forum for the campus community from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Thursday, November 4, in Brookens Auditorium. My remarks will be brief, and there will be plenty of time for questions and discussion. All are welcome, and general release time applies if your supervisor gives you permission to attend.
Thanks again for all your support of me and our students. I look forward to working with you to advance UIS in the months to come.
Harry J. Berman
University of Illinois at Springfield
One University Plaza, MS PAC 563
Springfield, IL 62703-5407