Monday, April 07, 2008
We were fortunate to have Dr. David Ward, president of the American Council on Education, at UIS last week to talk about major changes in higher education during the past several decades. He stressed that public higher education is now in a global setting where competition is very rigorous. At the same time, tuition has risen dramatically due to declines in state funding. "It is hard to find a university president in the public sector who isn't concerned with providing the capital to find a way to keep the excellence flourishing," he said. In his presentation of the 26th David Dodds Henry Lecture in UIS' Brookens Auditorium, Dr. Ward emphasized that affordability and accountability in the global knowledge economy will need to be redefined.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Distinguished graduation speaker
UIS is honored to have Justice Anne M. Burke of the Illinois Supreme Court's First District as our graduation speaker this year. Throughout her many years in public service, Dr. Burke has provided a voice for society's most fragile citizens -- especially children. She was appointed to the Illinois Supreme Court on July 6, 2006 after serving 11 years as a justice of the Illinois Appellate Court. Her judicial career began in 1987 when she was appointed the first woman justice of the Illinois Court of Claims. Among her many accomplishments are that she founded the Chicago Special Olympics in 1968 and later served as a director of that organization as it grew to become the International Special Olympics. We look forward to her address at our 37th commencement to be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 10, at the Prairie Capital Convention Center.
First Ameren Professor named
Dr. Karl McDermott, a vice president at National Economic Research Associates, has been named the first Ameren Endowed Professor in Business and Government at UIS. The professorship was established through a $500,000 gift to UIS from the Ameren Corporation and will be located within UIS' College of Business and Management. Dr. McDermott, who began his duties here on April 1, will teach, conduct research, and facilitate lectures and seminars for corporate, political, and civic leaders. We are very grateful to Ameren for this gift and for sharing this university's focus on the future. Professorships like this one help strengthen the academic fiber of the university. A formal investiture ceremony, honoring both Dr. McDermott and Ameren, will be held this fall.
Showcasing the arts
Here's a great combination: an art exhibit, music recital, theater, and good food. That's what Arts Night has in store on Friday, April 11. It's a wonderful opportunity for UIS to show off its talent in a variety of ways. The evening will begin with the opening of a juried alumni art show at 5 p.m. in the Visual Arts Gallery, followed by a wine and hors d'oeuvres reception in the gallery. That event is sponsored by the Office of UIS Alumni Relations and the Visual and Performing Arts at UIS. A recital by the UIS Chamber Orchestra will be at 7:30 p.m. in the Office of Electronic Media's TV Studio. And at 8 pm. in the Studio Theatre, UIS Theatre will present Period of Adjustment by Tennessee Williams. That's a lot of enjoyment packed into one evening, so do yourself a favor and plan to join us for Arts Night at UIS.
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Cause for celebration
UIS' new Emiquon Field Station is now complete and ready for a grand opening on Friday, April 25. That's the day when the station, located at The Nature Conservancy's Emiquon Preserve near Lewistown, will be dedicated and open for tours. Under the direction of UIS Biology Professor Mike Lemke, the station will study, research and document the restoration of the Illinois River floodplain, one of the world's largest reclamation projects of its kind. I invite all of you to an open house and picnic at the station on Saturday, April 26, when tours of the Emiquon Preserve will be given. There will also be a slide presentation about the Illinois River and a talk about native peoples by Mike Wiant, director of Dickson Mounds, which is located near the station. Plan to bring the whole family for what promises to be a very fun and informative day. The Emiquon Preserve is located about 45 miles northwest of Springfield near Lewistown and Havana.