commission released its final report, A Vision for All
Seasons: Looking ahead 10 Years, on October 31, 2003.
It was the result of a yearlong visioning process.
Overview: The commission and its work
purpose of the commission
Richard D. Ringeisen charged the commission with answering two
questions: Where will we be in 10 years? What do we aspire to
be in 10 years? He posed those questions in March 2003.
the commission is and is not
commission engaged in a decentralized visioning process. It was
intended to be a broad-based collaborative effort at dreaming “boldly
yet realistically” about what UIS might become 10 years
from now. It was intended to be a visioning process that precedes
a more formal strategic planning process. This was not a process
designed to replace the UIS Vision Statement, approved in 1997.
Nor was it a strategic planning process.
is important to note that while the task forces were encouraged
to envision the future, their 13 vision statements were not compiled
into one overall vision statement for UIS at this time. That
can happen only during the more formal strategic planning process.
of the commission
commission’s primary effort consisted of 13 task forces,
organized late in 2002. They formally got started in March 2003.
Each task force was asked to apply the two general questions
to its own college, division, or specific area of interest. Serving
on the commissions were 192 people, including more than 40 faculty
(nearly 25 percent of all UIS faculty), more than 40 staff, and
more than 100 alumni, students and friends of UIS. The commission’s
national chairman was Mr. John Blackburn, CEO of COUNTRY Insurance & Financial
Services, based in Bloomington. Mr. Blackburn received his master’s
from UIS in 1979.
component of this visioning process occurred November 15, 2002,
when Chancellor Ringeisen talked to 19 distinguished alumni/ae
and asked them for their input on a vision of the future of UIS.
role of each task force – produce a one-page vision statement
task force was charged with producing a concise one-page statement
that describes where its college, function, department, or area
of interest will be in 10 years, and what it aspires to be. The
statement should be “realistic but should also include
an element of dreaming and stretching beyond where we are now.”
chancellor called for the commission in his convocation address
in August 2002, launched the commission on March 28, 2003, and
compiled the commission’s final report and released it
on October 31, 2003.
task forces were asked to make a few assumptions as they looked
ahead 10 years. One was that the enrollment of students taking
classes on the Springfield campus would increase to 6,000. The
current enrollment at UIS tops 4,500, about 400 of which are
degree-seeking students taking all of their courses online. The
6,000 Springfield-campus students that UIS projects in 10 years
do not include online degree-seeking students or students taking
courses exclusively at the Peoria Center. Of the 6,000 Springfield
students, the number of residential students is expected to increase
from the current count of 630 this fall to 2,000 in 10 years.
and products of the commission
The commission produced a document, A Vision for All Seasons:
Looking Ahead 10 Years, which was released October 31, 2003.
It includes the task force’s 13 vision statements as well
as summaries of those statements.
The chancellor formally announced the beginning of a strategic
planning process for UIS. He established a representative campus
committee that will recommend how best to get started with the
strategic planning process. He asked that they use the National
Commission’s vision as the starting point for their discussion.
The task forces assembled external friends and staff, thereby
strengthening relationships between current staff and students
and external friends and alumni.
points from commission’s Final Report and Chancellor
general themes gleaned by the chancellor from the report (all
direct quotes from his remarks at the closing ceremony on October
will be a regional and national leader: Many of you said in your
statements that UIS will be more widely known in this region
and in the United States, and UIS will be the “school of
choice” for many students and faculty. Using slightly different
words, I see that UIS will become a nationally recognized regional
leader in higher education. That sounds very good to me.”
second overarching vision involves diversity: Most of you said
we will have a more diverse faculty of teacher-scholars and a
more diverse student body with all the student life that goes
with supporting a vibrant campus. I could tell that diversity
was very much on your minds during your deliberations, and I
commend you for that.”
third big area is technology: I know some people were disappointed
we did not have a separate technology committee, and maybe we
should have. The good news is that all of you see a future in
which we’re on the leading edge of technology, as a university
should be. So we’ll keep going high-tech in teaching, communicating,
and providing safety and services.”
key word in this fourth issue is online. We are already a national
leader in providing online courses and online degrees. That trend
will continue as more faculty and students use the Internet to
teach and learn online, and as other critical areas like Admissions
and Campus Relations receive and deliver information the way
people want it: electronically. … [T]he ease of electronic
communication will continue to change our lives, and UIS will
be on the leading edge of those technological changes.”
fifth issue came directly from our Leadership Roundtable discussion
a year ago. These successful alumni, most of whom no longer live
in Springfield, talked about Abraham Lincoln and how important
he is to Springfield and how important he could be for UIS.” They
suggested “having every degree-seeking student at UIS taking
a class on Lincoln and Leadership. … I hope you believe,
as I do, that Lincoln will always be instructive for us as we
march boldly into the future with malice toward none and charity
see the full text of the 13 task forces' vision statements:
Brookens Library & Information
Business & Administrative Support
Center for State Policy and Leadership
College of Business & Management
College of Education & Human Services
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
College of Public Affairs & Administration
Student Body (e.g., enrollment, size, demographics)
Report: A Vision for
All Seasons: Looking ahead 10 Years