Thursday, April 22, 2010

Springfield Police donate bicycles to UIS Diversity Center checkout program



The Springfield Police Department donated six unclaimed bicycles to the University of Illinois Springfield’s Diversity Center Go-Green Bike Checkout Program during a ceremony on Thursday, April 22.

The concept of the program is to loan bikes, free of charge, to the University community. A user completes an agreement checkout form, agrees to the terms and conditions of use, and can borrow the bike for five days.

“Many of our students are international students, so they come to UIS and their not able to bring their own bikes,” said Jeannie Capranica, Diversity Center program manager.

Students, who often don’t have cars, use the bikes to travel off campus to shop at the grocery store and other locations. Diane Sahagun is a sophomore Communication major, who often uses a loaner bike to get around. She’s glad to see more bikes being added to the mix, because often there’s a long waiting list.

“I think it will help students a lot and it will make a difference,” said Sahagun.

The Diversity Center currently has seven bikes that it uses for the program, but maintenance has been an issue. The bikes being donated by the Springfield Police Department are safety tested and ready for use.

Springfield Police Chief Robert Williams is a UIS graduate himself. His department decided to donate to the Diversity Center because he knows the bikes will go to good use.

“It just gives us an opportunity to reach into the community and do a very worth wild service,” said Williams.

Williams says many of the bicycles that were donated are either stolen or have sat unclaimed in the evidence room for a long period of time.

The Diversity Center is currently looking to expand its bike fleet. If you have a bicycle you’d like to donate to the program or to make a donation to the fund contact Jeannie Capranica at 217/206-6333.

Visit the Diversity Center website for more information on the checkout program

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Supporters lobby for state funding during U of I Day at the Capitol



Hundreds of students, faculty and alumni members spent the day lobbying lawmakers for state funding during University of Illinois Day at the Capitol on Wednesday, April 21.

The annual event was organized by the U of I Alumni Association as a way for people to demonstrate their support for all three University of Illinois campuses.

“We are almost a half a billion dollars that the state is indebted to the university. Today is really about engaging the legislators and getting them to understand how bad the problems (are),” said Derek Felix, UIS student representative on the U of I Board of Trustees.

The day began with a lunch briefing and review of key messages. Throughout the afternoon, participants met with legislators and staff.

“What we’re trying to get them to understand is in dollars spent at the University of Illinois by the state returns back to the state usually 13 times every dollar that’s put in it,” said Edward McMillan, University of Illinois trustee.

The lobbying group from UIS was made up of both students and faculty. They met with local representatives like Senator Larry Bomke of Springfield to share their stories about how the financial problems are affecting them.

“We will get paid. It’s just a matter of when. I hope it’s a lot sooner than later,” said Felix.

McMillan says it’s important to have students meeting with their lawmakers directly. He’s especially glad to have a campus full of politically minded students right in the capital city.

“We’re very blessed to have this campus at Springfield to be part of the University of Illinois system,” said McMillan.

At the end of the day, alumni, students, legislators, UIAA leaders and University officials held a reception at the State Library.

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

"Under the Dome" gives high school students and teachers a look inside state government



More than two dozen high school students and teachers from central Illinois spent a day as statehouse insiders at the capitol on Wednesday, March 24.

The University of Illinois Springfield’s “Under the Dome” is the state’s premier immersion event for high school juniors interested in government, politics, and public service.

“Most students when they come here to the capitol only get to see what the public gets to see, but because UIS has so many alumni engaged in government we’re able to take these high school students behind the scenes,” said Ed Wojcicki, UIS associate chancellor for constituent relations.

Wojcicki estimates UIS has hundreds, if not thousands of alumni working in state government in Springfield. UIS has been preparing leaders in government and public service since its founding 40 years ago.

Students and teachers spent the day behind the scenes at the statehouse on one of the busiest days of the legislative session. They talked with lawmakers and lobbyists, analysts and journalists, and got to see up close how policy is made in Illinois.

“I’ve never been to the capitol. This is actually my first day and… I never realized it was so busy and all these people were here, but it’s actually pretty cool,” said Ellisa Marsh a junior at Springfield’s Southeast High School.

The “Under the Dome” experience has inspired Marsh to take a closer look at a career in state government and she's already decided she wants to do an internship. She gives credit to “Under the Dome” for sparking her interest in politics.

“It opens a lot of doors and gives you opportunities. I never really had an interest in government until actually today,” said Marsh.

Allison Weidhuner, a junior at Greenview High School agrees it was worth spending a day at the capitol. She says she never realized how many people work at the capitol and the type of work they do.

“It helps you understand the whole process and get to know your government,” she said.

Wojcicki hopes the students take the knowledge they’ve learned back to their schools and that it inspires them in whatever career they choose.

“I hope they go home excited about state government. I hope they go home saying you know what I saw something in downtown Springfield I’ve never seen before. That was really interesting. I didn’t know that’s what happens in government,” he said.

The university is planning a similar “Under the Dome” event for Chicago area high school juniors on April 21. For more information visit http://www.uis.edu/welcome/dome.html.

UIS government-related majors include Communication, Criminal Justice, Environmental Sciences, Environmental Studies, Global Studies, Legal Studies, Political Science, Public Administration, Public Affairs Reporting and Public Health.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

National dissertation award named after UIS political science professor Chris Mooney

The American Political Science Association (APSA) has just announced that it is honoring University of Illinois Springfield political science professor Christopher Z. Mooney by naming a national Ph.D. dissertation award after him. Doctoral candidates worldwide can be nominated for the prize in the category of Best Dissertation in State Politics and Policy.

Beginning in 2010, the award will be given annually for the best Ph.D. dissertation in the field that is written in the previous calendar year at any university. It is awarded by the State Politics and Policy organized section of the APSA. Winners of the award and their dissertation advisers each receive a plaque, and the winners receive a $1,000 honorarium. The first award, for dissertations filed in 2009, will be presented on June 4, 2010 in Springfield, at the 10th annual State Politics and Policy Conference, a national political science conference hosted this year by UIS.

This new award has been named in honor of Mooney in recognition of his founding of State Politics and Policy Quarterly (SPPQ), an academic journal that he edited from 2001 to 2007 and has served as business manager of since 2001. Mooney was also instrumental in founding the annual State Politics and Policy Conferences. SPPQ and these conferences have helped lead the recent renaissance in the study of comparative state politics in political science.

"Many, many people at UIS and all over the country gave me an enormous amount of help in establishing SPPQ and these conferences. It's very gratifying to be recognized by my peers in this way,” said Mooney.

Mooney is a professor of political science with a joint appointment in the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at UIS. He studies U.S. state politics and policy, with special focus on legislative decision making, morality policy, and legislative term limits. He has published dozens of articles and books, including the leading college textbook in the field, State and Local Politics: Institutions and Reform, and Lobbying Illinois - How You Can Make a Difference in Public Policy. Prior to arriving at UIS in 1999, he taught at West Virginia University and the University of Essex in the United Kingdom.

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Monday, March 08, 2010

Statement of Economic Interests

If you receive a Statement of Economic Interests form . . .

Some University employees are required to file a Statement of Economic Interests form under the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act. The Office of the Secretary of State will mail the forms to required filers on March 15. If you receive one of these forms in the mail:

Submit the completed form to the University of Illinois Ethics Office by April 23, 2010. The University Ethics Officer will review and forward all completed Statements to the Secretary of State by the May 3, 2010 deadline.

Send the form via campus or US mail to University Ethics Office, Human Resources Building Room 20, One University Plaza HRB 20, Springfield, IL 62704-5407.

If you have questions about:

Criteria for Filing
Call the Ethics Help Line at 866-758-2146 or visit the University Human Resources Web site at https://nessie.uihr.uillinois.edu/cf/info/index.cfm?Item_id=2234&rlink=1974 or the University Ethics Office Web site at www.ethics.uillinois.edu/statements/index.cfm.

Illinois Governmental Ethics Act
Call the Secretary of State’s Office at 217-782-7017.

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President Ikenberry discusses budget and chancellor search



University of Illinois President Stanley Ikenberry spoke to UIS employees and answered their questions during a March 5, 2010 presentation in Brookens Auditorium.

Watch portions of Ikenberry’s comments on state funding, furloughs and the search for the next UIS chancellor in the video above.

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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

UIS receives national recognition for community service, named to President's Honor Roll

The University of Illinois Springfield has been named to the 2009 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.

The Corporation for National and Community Service, which administers the annual Honor Roll award, recognized more than 700 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from poverty and homelessness to environmental justice.

“We are so pleased to be named for the second year in a row to the Presidential Honor Roll. Two of our top strategic goals at UIS are making a difference in the world and enriching individual lives. Our students, staff and faculty are committed to these goals, and it’s wonderful to see UIS be recognized for its efforts,” said Chancellor Richard D. Ringeisen.

According to the UIS Volunteer Center director, Kelly Thompson, UIS was named to the honor roll for recognition of its various volunteer programs throughout the past year. Specifically mentioned in the honor roll recognition were its many mentoring activities within Springfield School District 186, including programs through Big Brothers Big Sisters, as well as UIS’ recent collaboration with the Central Illinois Foodbank to complete a hunger study. For example, through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program at Harvard Park Elementary School, approximately 15 UIS students completed over 400 hours of community service.

“Congratulations to UIS and its students for their dedication to service and commitment to improving their local communities,” said Patrick Corvington, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “Our nation’s students are a critical part of the equation and vital to our efforts to tackle the most persistent challenges we face. They have achieved impactful results and demonstrated the value of putting knowledge into practice to help renew America through service.”

The Honor Roll includes six colleges and universities that are recognized as Presidential Awardees, with an additional 115 named to the Distinction List and 621 schools named as Honor Roll members. Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors including the scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of student participation in service activities, incentives for service, and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.

College students make a significant contribution to the volunteer sector; in 2009, 3.16 million students performed more than 300 million hours of service, according to the Volunteering in America study released by the Corporation. Each year, the Corporation invests more than $150 million in fostering a culture of service on college campuses through grants awarded by its programs; the education awards that AmeriCorps members receive at the conclusion of their term of service to pay for college; and through support of training, research, recognition, and other initiatives to spur college service.

The Corporation oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.

For more information contact Kelly Thompson, UIS Volunteer Center director at 217/206-8448 or volunteer@uis.edu.

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Monday, March 01, 2010

UIS Chancellor Ringeisen set to retire

Led decade of transformation at campus

SPRINGFIELD – University of Illinois Springfield Chancellor Richard D. Ringeisen, who led the campus through a decade of transformation to become ranked among the top universities of its size, announced today that he will retire as chancellor effective October 31.

Ringeisen, 65, described his tenure at UIS since April of 2001 as the pinnacle of a long career in public higher education despite the nearly constant challenges during that time posed by state financial crises and the loss of state support for public universities.

Since Ringeisen took the helm, UIS has transitioned from a two-year, upper division institution of mostly commuter students to a four-year university with a more traditional, residential campus atmosphere while continuing to serve those commuter students. Enrollment has increased by 16%; UIS achieved a high ranking in U.S. News & World Report in 2009 and 2010 as one of the best small public liberal arts universities in the Midwest; and the campus is a nationally recognized leader in online education.

“It will be difficult to leave a job I love, an institution I love, and the city that has become a wonderful home to Carolyn and me. But every time we travel east to visit our two children and five grandchildren – maybe three times a year – we literally see them growing up too quickly. We want to be more a part of their lives, and our children want us to be there, too,” Ringeisen said Monday in announcing his plans at the Public Affairs Center.

UIS has seen substantial growth since Ringeisen arrived in 2001. Not only has enrollment increased 16% (4,288 in fall of 2002 to 4,961 in fall of 2009), but also faculty has increased 24% (170 to 211). Several facilities have been established (The Recreation and Athletic Center, Founders Hall, University Hall, the Quad and its colonnade, Emiquon Field Station, and the new Peoria Center downtown location).

Also during his tenure, UIS has successfully transitioned to a four-year university and led the movement from NAIA to NCAA Division II.

UIS has received nearly $23 million dollars in pledges and gifts in the “Brilliant Futures” campaign. Many new scholarships have been established.

“I am sure that we’ll be doing more reminiscing in greater detail sometime this fall,” added Ringeisen. “Today, all I really want to say is that I am absolutely confident that UIS has a great future. We have great leadership in our colleges. We have recruited and retained outstanding faculty, and we have an increasingly diverse student body that expects and receives highly personalized attention from our faculty and staff. It is an honor for me to be the chancellor here.”

The University of Illinois Board of Trustees is expected to consider Ringeisen’s retirement at its next scheduled meeting March 10 in Urbana.

Ringeisen is the fifth chief executive in the nearly 40 year history of the university. It was known as Sangamon State University for 25 years, and has been part of the University of Illinois since 1995.

Ringeisen previously served at East Carolina University as Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer. He was also Dean of College of Sciences and Professor of Mathematics at Old Dominion University; and Mathematics Professor and Department Head at Clemson University. Ringeisen has been very active with various community organizations along with serving on many boards in Central Illinois. He will turn 66 years old on March 18.

Statement from University of Illinois President Stanley O. Ikenberry

“Chancellor Ringeisen and his team have moved UIS forward in many ways in the past nine years. I enjoy hearing people say how much they admire what’s happening at UIS, our youngest and smallest campus and certainly an outstanding one. UIS is well-positioned to advance and progress in every way, which is very good news for students and faculty.

Chancellor Ringeisen jokes that he has never had a good budget year since he arrived in 2001, and it’s true. He arrived at UIS just five months before 9/11. The fact that he has been able to lead so effectively in trying times is remarkable and impressive. At UIS, the academic programs are stronger than ever, and the quality of the faculty continues to get better and better.

Rich and his wife Carolyn, have been very good for the campus, the Springfield community, and the U of I family. On behalf of the U of I community, I commend Rich for his great leadership and wish him and his family all the best.”

Statement from Board of Trustees Chairman Christopher G. Kennedy:

“I am very proud of what UIS is doing. Be assured that I am among those spreading the word about the great, small public liberal arts university that the University of Illinois has in Springfield. I have enjoyed getting to know Chancellor Ringeisen and working with him. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I extend our gratitude for the great leadership he has provided at UIS.”

Read Chancellor Ringeisen’s remarks, bio and accomplishments


Watch Chancellor Ringeisen's retirement press conference online

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

UIS announces fall semester 2009 Deans' List

A total of 455 students have been named to the University of Illinois Springfield Deans’ List for the 2009 fall semester; 80 are students in the college of Business and Management, 68 are students in the College of Education and Human Services, 256 are enrolled in programs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 40 are enrolled in programs in the College of Public Affairs and Administration, and 11 are non-degree or undecided.

To qualify for the designation, a student must be an undergraduate who took at least eight graded semester hours and maintained a grade-point average of at least 3.75 for the semester.

The list is organized alphabetically by hometown.

Download a PDF of the Fall 2009 Deans' List:
Deans' List Release Fall09.pdf

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Technology Day draws crowds to learn about social technologies



Technology
within education has been growing by leaps and bounds, and now educators and institutions are even using social media tools within online learning and teaching.

The latest and greatest of this innovative technology was showcased during the 10th annual Technology Day at UIS on Wednesday, February 10 in the Public Affairs Center. The theme for this year’s event was “What Are You Learning Now? Teaching with Social Technologies.”

"It's appropriate that our campus would have Technology Day," said Provost Harry Berman. "Technology has become such a big part of our instruction. About half of our students take at least one online course and about half of our faculty teach online."

The keynote speaker for the event was Kyle Bowen, who is the director of informatics at Purdue University. Bowen spoke primarily about his role in the development of Hotseat, a new social networking-powered tool that enables students to collaborate via Twitter or Facebook both inside and outside of the classroom.

"Students use these during classroom time and are usually disruptive, but what they're doing at Purdue is trying to use these tools to get students engaged in classroom," explained Tulio Llosa, director of educational technology in the office of Information Technology Services at UIS. "They're changing the mode from a disruptive thing to an engagement thing so that students are asking questions, interacting with class and not falling asleep in the back row."

There were also more than 20 workshops and presentations throughout the afternoon with topics such as using social technology for marketing and recruitment at UIS, Lecture Capture (which is available for faculty to record their own lectures for student use), and training sessions for faculty on BlackBoard 9, which is an update from Blackboard 7 currently used at UIS.

A former UIS instructor also gave a presentation on free online tools that he is currently using to teach with. His presentation was done via Skype, a free online video service.

"We are a state-of-the-art facility in terms of having different technology available to our faculty," Llosa said. "During Technology Day, we try to show the world that we have these tools at UIS, what we're using these tools for and how we're making our classes more engaging for our students. We want to show people the exciting things we're doing here."

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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

UIS student receives award for leadership and academics

University of Illinois Springfield student Brett Walker has recently received the William N. Wasson Student Leadership & Academic Award, given by the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA).

The award recognizes top undergraduate and graduate students who are participants of and/or employed by the Department of Recreational Sports at their university and honors outstanding student leaders who are active participants, employees or volunteers at their institution.

Walker, a senior legal studies major from Greenville, Ill., has been employed by the Department of Recreational Sports at UIS since the fall of 2007, first as a front desk attendant and currently as a facility supervisor. He was nominated for the award by JT Timmons, director of Recreational Sports.

“I’ve had thousands of students work for me over the years and have come to recognize the character and abilities that would exemplify the most worthy to receive this distinguished award,” Timmons noted. “Brett models these things while working for Recreational Sports, and it is also clear to me that he has become part of the fabric that is critical to influencing, and caring for, the learning environment here at UIS. His dedication to Recreational Sports and the university, as well as current and future students, is appreciated by many.”

Walker’s award is a plaque designed by NIRSA, and it will be presented at the Student Business Meeting of the annual NIRSA conference held in Anaheim, California on April 22.

“I was extremely excited and surprised to receive the award,” Walker said. “Just being nominated was really impressive and honorable.”

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

UIS sets record for spring semester enrollment

Enrollment at the University of Illinois Springfield has set a record for a spring semester with 4,862 students enrolled, an increase of 327 over last spring. Spring 2010 enrollment tops a record set in spring 2007 when 4,613 students were enrolled.

The 7.2 percent increase is primarily due to a larger number of continuing students, according to both UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen and Dr. Tim Barnett, vice chancellor for student affairs.

“We are making significant strides in retaining students. UIS is a unique combination of a state liberal arts university with a public affairs mission,” said Barnett.

Student enrollment at UIS in fall 2009 was the largest ever in the institution’s 39-year history, with 4,961 students. Chancellor Ringeisen pointed to recent positive additions on campus, such as the Center for First Year Students, the Center for Teaching and Learning, the Diversity Center and more undergraduate advisors, as reasons for record enrollment in both the fall and spring.

“The larger-than-expected increase in spring enrollment is a sign that UIS is attracting and retaining students at a record pace,” Ringeisen noted. “It shows that new students are sensing the excitement and that our continuing students want to stay with us more than ever. We are extremely proud of our students, faculty and staff.”

Additionally, the number of students majoring in degree programs at UIS that are fully online is at an all-time high for a spring semester as well, according to Ray Schroeder, director of UIS’ Center for Online Learning, Research and Service. The total number of students with online majors is 1,290, which is an increase of 9.7 percent over last spring.

UIS offers 16 online degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. More than one-fourth of UIS students are online degree program students, and more than half of all students at UIS are taking at least one online class.

“It is exciting to know that we continue to grow through this difficult recession, and that UIS is able to offer students online opportunities that give them flexibility to seek new careers and employment opportunities while completing degrees and certificates online,” Schroeder said.

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Monday, February 01, 2010

Public invited to participate in UIS study abroad course in Japan

The University of Illinois Springfield’s Global Experience program will be offering a short course on Japanese language and culture in Ashikaga, Japan during the second and third weeks of June. Members of the public community, in addition to degree-seeking students, are invited and welcome to participate.

The daily schedule in Ashikaga will include instruction in Japanese language and culture on the campus of the Ashikaga Institute of Technology (AIT), UIS’ sister university in Japan. Participants will be able to experience a tea ceremony, Japanese cuisine, flower arranging, Buddhist meditation, calligraphy and Japanese martial arts.

Each day will include educational field trips including trips to the Mayor's Office and City Hall; the Civil Engineering Department and Environmental Studies Program at AIT; the Kurita Porcelain Museum; the Ashikaga Gakko, the oldest university in Japan; the Bannaji Buddhist Temple; a farm or factory and a public school. In addition, participants will attend field trips to the Nikko Nature Preserve and Shinto Temple complex and to Tokyo.

Lodging will be in a combination of hotels, guest houses and home stays. All expenses, lodging, meals (with the exception of a few lunches), local and international travel and entrance fees are included in the program fee. Tuition and university fees for degree-seeking students are not included in the program fee, however. It is anticipated that the program fee will be approximately $2,500, dependent upon international airfare.

The deadline for signing up for the course is March 26.

For more information and application materials, contact the UIS Office of International Programs at 217/206-8319 or email intprog@uis.edu.

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Bob Lael is named 2009 Employee of the Year at UIS



Bob Lael, assistant manager of Human Resources at the University of Illinois Springfield, was named 2009 Employee of the Year at the 27th annual Employee of the Year Recognition Ceremony, held January 28 on the UIS campus.

Lael was selected from among 11 UIS staff members who had been employees of the month during the past year. He was employee of the month for May.

Materials nominating him at that time noted that “Bob always has time for everyone. No matter what time or how busy he is, he takes time to meet with current and prospective employees and students to answer questions regarding all of the various employee benefits and student insurance. He is an excellent example of what we should all strive to be here at UIS.”

Serving as master of ceremonies, Wesley Weisenburn, director of Human Resources, cited all 11 employees of the month for their “exemplary characteristics and attitudes. They serve as role models,” he said.

UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen made the official announcement and presentation. All 11 employees of the month also stood up to be recognized for their achievements.

As he accepted the award, Lael said, “I’m standing up here today not because of what I did, but because of what you all have helped me to do; each and every day, I rely on many others around me to give me the tools that I need to succeed in my job. I’m humbled, honored and very thankful for this award.”

Lael has been employed at UIS since 2005.

Other employees of the month for 2009 were Emily Welch Boles, computer assisted instructional specialist in the Office of Technology-Enhanced Learning; Tom Micklus, electrician foreman for Facilities & Services; Patricia Stoutamyer, office support specialist for the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences; Kimberly Craig, assistant to the associate vice chancellor of undergraduate education for Academic Affairs; Pam Rodgers, microcomputer coordinator for Information Technology Services; Michelle Green, director of marketing; Laurie Koehne, building service worker for Facilities & Services; Terry Minder, assistant grounds gardener; Bobbie Fults, office support specialist for the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences; and Patty Sullivan, graphic designer for Service Enterprises.

The UIS Employee of the Year receives gifts that include a check for $500.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lincoln life mask donated to UIS by McGraw family



The Rick and Dona McGraw family of Springfield has donated one of only 15 bronze cast of an original Abraham Lincoln life mask to the University of Illinois Springfield.

The original plaster mold was taken of Lincoln’s face by sculptor Clark Mills on February 11, 1865, just two months before his assassination. The mask shows the great toll the Civil War had taken on Lincoln's health with his tired eyes and face full of wrinkles.

“It’s just an incredible piece of work. The first time I saw it I was really taken aback. It’s like seeing what Lincoln really looked like,” said UIS Chancellor Richard D. Ringeisen.

The McGraw family acquired the mask when they bought the McDonald’s restaurant in downtown Springfield. It was the only item the family saved from the restaurant when they decided to remodel the building.

“We kept him because my dad said he was the only thing worth keeping, so we kept him and he kind of moved around from one location to another,” said Dona McGraw.

The McGraw’s approached UIS Associate Chancellor for Development Vicki Megginson about donating the cast to the university. They saw UIS as a perfect fit, where the public could enjoy the mask.

“I think here, he will be special. We’re thrilled he now has a final home,” said McGraw.

McGraw jokes that the mask has been stored in the family’s home for years in locations such as the basement, a bedroom, and even looking out a window.

“He’s been around in our family for years,” said McGraw.

The family was encouraged that UIS was the right home for the Lincoln mask because of nationally recognized faculty experts, such as Dr. Michael Burlingame, Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies.

The university is making plans to display the mask at Brookens Library.

More information on the life mask can be found online at: http://www.npg.si.edu/exh/travpres/lincs.htm

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Professor Burks Oakley is named director of national learning consortium

Dr. Burks Oakley II, visiting research professor for the Center for Online Learning, Research and Service (COLRS) at the University of Illinois Springfield, has been named director of the New Century Learning Consortium (NCLC).

The consortium, which was established in 2007 and is funded by grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, includes UIS, University of Southern Maine, Southern Oregon University, Cal State University at Eastbay, Oakland University, Louisiana Tech University and Chicago State University.

“I am looking forward to working with the outstanding and talented individuals at NCLC universities who are dedicated to improving the quality of online education throughout the United States,” Oakley noted.

The consortium is focused on promoting collaborations and synergies among member institutions. Among the key programs of the consortium is the faculty development inter-institutional Certificate in Emerging Technologies and Practices in Online Teaching.

In October 2009, the consortium received a grant from the Sloan Foundation to expand NCLC membership to a total of 14 universities. The grant also supports the delivery of regional workshops at member universities to promote best practices in online learning across the country.

“In these times of decreasing state support for higher education, those of us in public universities need to work together to develop cost-effective practices, such as the collaborations we envision for NCLC – including online course sharing and collaborative faculty and staff development,” Oakley said.

“The grant from the Sloan Foundation will enable us to advance online and blended learning throughout the NCLC using the ‘UIS model’ of integrating these programs into the mainstream of each institution’s course and program offerings,” he added.

Oakley is a professor emeritus in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was the founding director of the University of Illinois Online initiative, a program designed to facilitate the development and delivery of University of Illinois courses, degrees and public service resources over the Internet. From 1997 until 2007, he served as an associate vice president for Academic Affairs at the University of Illinois. His areas of interest include distance education and educational technologies, and he has earned a national reputation as a practitioner and promoter of Internet-based asynchronous learning environments.

Oakley received his bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University and his master’s and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan.

For more information, contact Burks Oakley at oakley@uis.edu or the Center for Online Learning, Research and Service at 217/206-7317.

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Year in Video 2009



The University of Illinois Springfield is taking a look back at the Year in Video 2009.

DVD copies of this presentation are available free of charge, upon request by contacting Derek Schnapp, Director of Public Relations at 217/206-6716 or dschn3@uis.edu.

This video has been produced by the UIS Office of Campus Relations and Office of Web Services.

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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

UIS staff and faculty help to coordinate state-wide ILEAD U initiative

Staff and faculty members from the University of Illinois Springfield’s Brookens Library and the Center for Online Learning, Research and Service (COLRS) are teaming up with staff members from the Illinois State Library and other libraries throughout the state for a prestigious new institute that will be one of the most significant Illinois library initiatives of 2010. The institute, called ILEAD (Illinois Libraries Explore, Apply and Discover) U: the 21st Century Technology Tools Institute for Illinois Library Staff, will be comprised of three in-person sessions from February 23 to 25, June 15 to 17 and October 26 to 28 on the UIS campus. The sessions will be supplemented by online instruction between meeting dates.

ILEAD U, funded by a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program Grant awarded to the Illinois State Library by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, will encourage both the experimentation with and building of participatory Web services and programs. Library educator R. David Lankes of Syracuse University will lead the instructors for the project.

As part of the institute, the UIS participants and their colleagues from other Illinois libraries will implement web technologies that foster community participation and develop leadership, innovation and positive change.

The institute is the brainchild of Anne Craig, director of the Illinois State Library, who has “exceptional vision in seeing a need and conceiving of such an innovative way to meet it,” according to Dean Jane Treadwell, University Librarian at UIS. Treadwell is chairing the steering committee which selected the instructors, mentors and teams of participants and will guide the work of the project.

Other UIS participants include Natalie Tagge, visiting Instructional Services Librarian at Brookens Library, who will serve as a mentor in ILEAD U, and two other Brookens librarians, Pamela M. Salela and Amanda Binder, who will participate in cross-institutional teams that will learn to use participatory technology tools to understand and respond to patron needs.

“We hope to foster a philosophy that technology becomes powerful in libraries when people engage with it critically and thoughtfully,” said Tagge.

Additionally, Ray Schroeder and Shari Smith of the Center for Online Learning, Research and Service are acting as consultants to the instructors for the project, and David Racine of the Institute for Legal, Legislative and Policy Studies will direct the evaluation of the ILEAD U grant.

“We in the Brookens Library and COLRS are very excited to collaborate with the Illinois State Library on this project that has the potential to transform the way that libraries interact with their patrons,” noted Treadwell.

Smith, associate director of COLRS, added, “The ILEAD U grant is an excellent example of why libraries and librarians are uniquely qualified to lead their communities forward to a new knowledge society. The grant has been carefully crafted to include cutting-edge technology, careful assessment and evaluation, location-specific consideration and stakeholders from around the state.”

Participatory technology tools will include:
Blogging tools
Digital audio/podcasting, photography and video
RSS feeds
Social networking and photo-sharing sites
Videoconferencing and web conferencing
Virtual reference and virtual worlds (ie. Second Life)
Gaming
Instant messaging
And more

“The Illinois State Library is proud of its strong commitment to continuing education and providing librarians with the tools and resources necessary to address the ever-changing needs of their patrons,” said Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White. “Nowhere is the need for continuing education more important than in the area of technology. Librarians need to constantly enhance their skills to keep up to date with the latest technology, and ILEAD U represents an exciting, innovative new program to build technology and leadership skills among Illinois librarians.”

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Looking Back: A decade in review at UIS

The University of Illinois Springfield became a part of the University of Illinois system in 1995, and the small liberal arts college in Central Illinois has been gaining momentum ever since. UIS has experienced positive growth over the last 15 years like never before.

The new century was particularly exciting for the university with the construction of major campus buildings such as University Hall, Lincoln and Founders residence halls and The Recreation and Athletic Center (TRAC) as well the appointment of a new chancellor and other top administrators and the reception of numerous prestigious awards in areas like online learning.

Here is a look back at some of the major news and accomplishments on the UIS campus over the past decade:

2000

Educational leadership online program is first of its kind in the nation
February 28
UIS begins to offer an online master’s degree in education, the master of arts in educational leadership (EDL) with a master teacher leadership (MTL) concentration. It is the third online degree offered by UIS and is designed for full-time, place bound teachers seeking career advancement.

Construction begins on UIS entrance marker
April 17
Construction of the first and only permanent campus entrance marker for UIS begins. The marker, funded by faculty and staff, is to be located at the intersection of 11th Street and Ernest Hemingway Drive

UIS receives largest gift in its history to establish Lincoln chair
May 15
The Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies is established with a $1.25 million gift from Dr. Richard E. Vaden and his family. Philip Shaw Paladun, one of the nation’s leading scholars on Abraham Lincoln, becomes the first chair in 2001.

Chancellor Lynn will stay on temporarily
May 30
UIS Chancellor Naomi Lynn delays her retirement at the request of U of I President James Stukel as the search for a replacement continues.

Lincoln Residence Hall groundbreaking ceremony
July 10
A groundbreaking ceremony is held for UIS’ first residence hall - the future home of students enrolled in UIS’ new four-year baccalaureate honors program.

UIS, Japanese institute sign sister school pact
October 18
An academic exchange and cooperation agreement between the Ashikaga Institute of Technology (AIT), Japan, and the University of Illinois at Springfield is signed in a formal ceremony.

2001

New UIS Chancellor Chosen
February 1
Richard D. Ringeisen, the senior academic officer at East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C., is the choice of the U of I Board of Trustees to become chancellor of the University of Illinois Springfield. View State Journal-Register front page coverage

University of Illinois at Springfield to offer MBA program in Peoria
March 15
The University of Illinois Springfield’s College of Business and Management announces a new master’s in business administration program to be offered at its Peoria Center.

UIS announces appointment of new provost
May 7
Michael R. Cheney is named provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs.

Legislature approves funding for University Hall
June 1
The Illinois General Assembly includes money for the construction of University Hall in the FY 2002 state budget. University Hall will become the first major classroom building constructed at UIS in more than a decade.

UIS welcomes first freshman class in its history
August 20
UIS welcomes 119 freshman students in the new Capital Scholars program. Total campus enrollment climbs to 4,284, an increase of 342 undergraduate and graduate students.
View additional State Journal-Register coverage

2002

UIS Announces the addition of men’s basketball and hires Coach Kevin Gamble
March 27
Kevin Gamble, who led Springfield’s Lanphier Lions basketball team to a state championship in 1983 and went on to play for the Big Ten’s Iowa Hawkeyes and the NBA’s Boston Celtics, is named UIS’ first men’s basketball head coach.
View additional State Journal-Register coverage

UIS announces new dean of College of Business and Management
June 3
Ronald D. McNeil is appointed as dean of the College of Business and Management and professor of Business Administration.

Comedy is first production of new UIS theater program
October 16
The theater program at the University of Illinois at Springfield kicks off its first season with a production of It’s Only a Play, a comedy by Terrence McNally.

Groundbreaking ceremony for University Hall
October 28
The University of Illinois Springfield breaks ground on a new classroom/office building in a ceremony attended by Gov. George H. Ryan and several other dignitaries.
View additional State Journal-Register coverage

2003

UIS' Innocence Project achieves first major victory
January 15
Faculty and students in the the UIS Downstate Illinois Innocence Project commend former Gov. George Ryan for granting clemency to Keith Harris, a Belleville resident who spent more than 20 years in prison for armed robbery and attempted murder. The Project worked to overturn Harris’ wrongful conviction.

UIS to offer new degree in Environmental Science
June 19
UIS begins to offer a master of science degree in Environmental Science in the fall semester of 2003.

2004

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. gives presentation at UIS
March 3
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. speaks at the University of Illinois Springfield on the topic “Our Environmental Destiny.”

UIS announces new dean of College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
May 17
Margot I. Duley is named dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and professor of History

U of I Board of Trustees approves TRAC construction
June 17
Plans to build a recreation and fitness center at UIS move a step closer to reality when the U of I Board of Trustees approves the project to construct a $16 million 66,000-square-foot multipurpose facility. UIS students approve raising student fees to build TRAC, prompting a local businessman to pledge an additional $1 million.

UIS adds undergraduate degree in philosophy
July 27
UIS begins to offer a bachelor of arts degree in Philosophy in the fall semester of 2004.

UIS holds dedication ceremony for University Hall
August 18
UIS reaches another milestone in its history when university administrators, dignitaries, and members of the public gather to dedicate a $31.3 million University Hall building, featuring smart classrooms, computer labs and lecture halls.
View additional State Journal-Register coverage

U of I’s new president visits Springfield campus
November 2
B. Joseph White, the former interim president and dean of the business school at the University of Michigan, is selected as the 16th president of the U of I by the Board of Trustees.

2005

UIS unveils design of new recreation and fitness center
July 13
The state-of-the-art TRAC, designed primarily to provide recreation and fitness opportunities for UIS students, includes a 3,000-seat gymnasium capable of expanding to a 4,000-seat performance arena.
View additional State Journal-Register coverage

Statewide political magazine celebrates 30 years
September 8
Former Gov. Jim Edgar moderates a panel discussion on the state’s future at a special luncheon honoring Illinois Issues magazine’s 30th Anniversary.

Approval of new curriculum makes UIS full four-year university
September 8
The University of Illinois Springfield becomes a full four-year university for the first time in its 35-year history. For the first time, both honors and non-honors freshmen and sophomores can be admitted.
View additional State Journal-Register coverage

Harry Berman named permanent provost
September 9
After serving in the role of interim provost the U of I Board of Trustees names Harry Berman UIS provost and vice chancellor of academic affairs.

2006

UIS student trustee given voting rights for first time
July 18
For the first time, Governor Rod Blagojevich designates the UIS student trustee an official voting member of the U of I Board of Trustees. Sarah Doyle became the first student trustee from UIS ever to be given official voting rights.

UIS breaks ground for TRAC
July 27
UIS breaks ground for a $16.2 million recreation and athletic center on campus. The state-of-the-art center is part of the university’s strategic plan to create a more vibrant campus for a growing number of residential and commuter students.

IBHE approves construction on second residence hall and new townhouses

August 17
The Illinois Board of Higher Education approves two new building projects at UIS: an $15.8 million residence hall and six new townhouses.

UIS creates Experiential and Service-Learning Programs
October 16
UIS implements the Experiential and Service-Learning Programs, consisting of nontraditional, outside-the-classroom learning. The new entity encompasses existing programs in Applied Studies and Credit for Prior Learning, with the addition of the new Service-Learning program.

Judd is named National City Distinguished Professor
November 13
Richard Judd, longtime business professor at UIS, is named National City Distinguished Professor in Banking and Finance. Judd also serves as director of the Center for Entrepreneurship in the College of Business and Management.

2007

UIS becomes iTunes U campus
January 23
UIS becomes an iTunes U campus. As such, UIS will be able to provide lectures, presentations, or other programs as downloadable files for students and others to access anytime and anywhere.

College of Business and Management accredited by AACSB
April 17
The College of Business and Management at UIS is accepted for accreditation by AACSB International - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the world's premier accrediting agency for collegiate schools of business. Fewer than 15 percent of business programs worldwide and about 28 percent in the U.S. presently have this accreditation.

WUIS launches digital signal
August 7
WUIS-WIPA, the local NPR affiliate at UIS, launches its digital signal, becoming the first radio station in Springfield to offer clearer sound and the possibility of more than one program stream.

TRAC opens with ribbon-cutting ceremony
September 26
UIS holds a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the new, state-of-the-art recreation and athletic center (TRAC) in front of a packed crowd of campus and community members.

UIS receives award for online learning from Sloan Consortium
October 22
In recognition for the university’s leadership in the area of online learning, the Sloan Consortium announces that it has selected UIS as the recipient of the Excellence in Institution-Wide Online Teaching & Learning Programming award.

2008

McDermott named first Ameren Endowed Professor
April 2
Dr. Karl McDermott is named UIS' first Ameren Endowed Professor in Business and Government. The professorship was established through a $500,000 gift to UIS from the Ameren Corporation and is housed within UIS' College of Business and Management.

Emiquon Field Station holds dedication
April 26
A big crowd celebrates the dedication and ribbon-cutting of the new Emiquon Field Station at the Emiquon Preserve located near Havana, Illinois, along the Illinois River. The field station is the premier research facility associated with one of the largest river floodplain restorations in the country.

U.S. News and World Report's ranks UIS as fourth best in the Midwest
August 22
U.S. News & World Report’s 2009 Edition of America’s Best Colleges ranks the University of Illinois at Springfield as the best public university - Master’s category - in the state of Illinois and the fourth best public university in that category in the entire Midwest. The prestigious rankings placed UIS at 26 on a list of 71 top public and private colleges and universities in the 12-state Midwest region.

UIS adds Global Studies major
September 15
UIS begins to implement the Global Studies major in Fall 2009 within the College of Public Affairs and Administration.

UIS joins Great Lakes Valley Conference
October 8
UIS announces that its athletic programs will be joining the Great Lakes Valley Conference for the 2009-2010 academic year after receiving an invitation into the conference. The move is part of the university's transition to NCAA Division II.

UIS receives online education award from Sloan Consortium
October 14
UIS is the recipient of the 2008 Ralph E. Gomory Award for Quality Online Education from the Sloan Consortium. The award is given for innovative work in using quantitative data in a process of continuous quality improvement to assure excellence in online teaching and learning.

BOT approves new Campus Master Plan
November 14
The Board of Trustees approves updating the UIS Campus Master Plan to include land owned by the university outside the ring road. The update was needed as UIS anticipates the need for modest campus expansion, additional services, and potential development outside the ring road, such as a campustown.

2009

House of Reps sworn in at UIS
January 14
The Illinois House of Representatives gathers at UIS as each of the new members of the 96th General Assembly is sworn into the House. The House made history during the meeting as a new vote was made for the impeachment of the Illinois governor, Rod Blagojevich.

UIS placed on national Community Service Honor Roll

February 10
UIS is placed on the 2008 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts to the local community.

Swan named first James Stukel Professor of Educational Leadership

February 17
Dr. Karen Swan, professor in the College of Education and Human Services at UIS, is named the first James J. Stukel Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership.

New MIS degree approved
March 11
UIS establishes a new bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems at UIS within the College of Business and Management.

Holden is named Wepner Professor of Political Science
April 29
Dr. Matthew Holden, Jr., is designated as the first Wepner Distinguished Professor in Political Science at UIS.

Miller appointed as Schewe Professor
May 5
Keith W. Miller is appointed as the first Louise Hartman Schewe and Karl Schewe Professor in Liberal Arts and Sciences. The Schewe Professorship is the first named Professorship in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Ermatinger selected as College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean
May 8
Dr. Harry Berman, Provost at UIS, announces that Dr. James W. Ermatinger has been selected as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

Barnett hired as new Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
May 26
The University of Illinois at Springfield appoints Timothy L. Barnett to the position of Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

Burlingame becomes second Lincoln Chair
May 27
UIS announces that preeminent Lincoln Scholar Michael A. Burlingame has accepted the position of Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies. The appointment will be in UIS’ History Department in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

UIS approved for membership in COPLAC
June 24
UIS is unanimously approved for membership in the distinguished Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC). The vote places UIS among a select group of 25 public liberal arts institutions representing 23 states and one Canadian province.

UIS accepted by Apple for listing in iTunes store
August 18
The University of Illinois Springfield is accepted by Apple for listing in the iTunes Store. Content from UIS is now available without charge to more than 200 million iTunes users worldwide.

UIS alumna to serve on U of I Board
September 4
Governor Pat Quinn appoints former Mayor of Springfield and UIS alumna Karen Hasara to fill a vacant position on the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

UIS Peoria Center moves to new location
October 30
UIS’ Peoria Center moves to new downtown location in the Illinois Central College Perley Building, increasing its space and becoming more convenient to adult learners in downtown Peoria.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

UIS utilizes Google Wave for online learning and teaching

The University of Illinois Springfield is one of the first universities in the nation to use Google Wave for online learning and teaching.

Google Wave is an online tool for real-time communication and collaboration. According to Google, a wave can be both a conversation and a document where people can discuss and work together using richly-formatted text, photos, videos, maps and more. Google released a preview version of Google Wave on September 30, and a limited number of invitations were sent out to test Wave as both Wave and third-party add-ons are being developed.

UIS’ Center for Online Learning, Research and Service (COLRS) began to test Google Wave in October.

“We are doing a number of collaborations with other universities. We’re sharing ideas about online learning and identifying ways in which this new technology can be used for online teaching and learning,” noted Ray Schroeder, director of COLRS.

One of these efforts includes a collaboration outside of the classroom between students at UIS in the “Internet in American Life” course taught by Schroeder and Burks Oakley and students in energy studies at the Institute of Technology in Sligo, Ireland. The students are discussing the impact of the Internet on the perception of energy sustainability in Europe and the United States. This activity is voluntary for the students and not for credit in the course.

“This is an opportunity for faculty and students to experiment with the new technology to better understand how it might be used for more formal inter-institutional online exchanges in the spring,” Schroeder said.

Additionally, staff and faculty members from the Center for Online Learning, Research and Service at UIS have been conducting workshops for UIS faculty members as well as faculty and staff at Clemson University, the University of Missouri at St. Louis and other faculty and administrators across the country as part of a Sloan Consortium online Web 2.0 workshop. The Sloan Consortium is a national organization dedicated to quality online teaching and is comprised of more than 1,200 institutions and organizations of higher education engaged in online learning.

“This new technology will have an important impact on the future of collaboration in education,” Schroeder said. “It has the potential to enable sharing across campuses and across institutions.”

For more information, contact Schroeder at rschr1@uis.edu or 217/206-7531.

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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

U of I Presidential Search Committee listens to public feedback



Members of the University of Illinois Presidential Search Committee held a public forum on the UIS campus on Tuesday, December 8, 2009, to hear what qualities students, faculty and community members want in the next U of I president.

The forum held in Brookens Auditorium was lead by U of I trustee Karen Hasara, who filled in for committee chair and trustee Pamela Strobel, who couldn’t attend due to adverse weather conditions.

“Between now and our next meeting in February we’re hoping to get a lot of good candidates,” said Hasara.

On the UIS campus the search committee is made up of two faculty members James Patrick Hall and Tih-Fen Ting, along with student member Charles Olivier.

“One of my main priorities in the search committee is to find someone that really understands the differences between all three campuses, because we all are unique and offer different things,” said Olivier.

The committee has met twice so far and is working on a white paper, which will officially list the qualifications and values the University is seeking in the next president.

“I’m looking for a leader, someone that can manage all the different constituencies and focus on the educational side, but also on the research side that the University of Illinois represents,” said Hall.

The search committee will identify and screen potential presidential candidates. The goal is to have a new president in place by July 1, 2010, or at the latest when the fall 2010 academic year begins.

“I think that a lot of people definitely want a president who actually will be very creative, a strategic thinker in how to bring us forward,” said Ting.

The overall search committee is made up of three members of the board of trustees; eight faculty members and three students from the University’s three campuses; one representative from the alumni association and one from the foundation; one administrative officer, one academic professional and one civil service representative.

Committee members encourage anyone who couldn’t attend one of the three public forums held on each U of I campus to send them feedback by e-mail at presidentsearch@uillinois.edu.

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Thursday, December 03, 2009

UIS Holiday Stars Project collects 3 tons of food for central Illinois



The University of Illinois Springfield collected a record 6,209 pounds of food for the Central Illinois Foodbank as part of the 2009 Holiday Stars Project. That’s an over 40 percent increase in donations from last year.

“It’s fun to be able to say we raised a ton more than last year because in this case we really mean it, literally. It’s heartwarming,” said Richard D. Ringeisen, UIS chancellor.

On December 3, 2009, student volunteers from UIS helped fill a truck from the Central Illinois Foodbank with donations.

“We’re hearing at the volunteer center every week from food pantries where the donations are down this year, so it’s wonderful donations are up here at UIS to help people in our area,” said Kelly Thompson, director of the UIS Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center.

Students kicked off the month-long food drive through a “Trick or Eat” competition on Halloween night, which collected more than 4,000 pounds of food alone. The effort continued on-campus during November as students, faculty, and staff were encouraged to participate.

“It feels amazing. There are no words to describe it. It’s just giving back to the community,” said Esther Ellison, junior social work major.

The Holiday Stars Project was first started in 2008 as a way to benefit the Central Illinois Foodbank, which assists families in 21 counties.

“This food that’s being donated today really is so awesome because it’s a variety of food, and at the Foodbank variety is really nice to get in because our food is donated,” said Gloria Shanahan, communications director for the Central Illinois Foodbank.

UIS plans to continue its effort to give back to the community next year through the Holiday Stars Project.

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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

iTunes U boosts UIS' visibility on the web



The University of Illinois Springfield’s listing in the iTunes Store, a popular software-based online digital media store, is paying off in boosting the campus’ presence on the web.

UIS was selected by Apple, Inc. to join the iTunes Store on August 18, 2009. UIS had been using an internal iTunes U account on campus since January 2007, with limited public access. The switch has made UIS content available to more than 200 million iTunes users worldwide.

“We are able to get our story out in a very inexpensive manner. iTunes provides a way to really have great social outreach and it’s a great recruiting tool,” said Munindra Khaund, multimedia education coordinator in the Department of Information Technology Services.

In the first three months UIS has been part of the iTunes store new downloads have increase by more than 75,000. Before the store the campus averaged only 3,000 downloads every three months.

“I think it’s a great market research story. It’s given us a really, really wide reach,” said Khaund.

One of the podcasts attracting the most attention is Professor Michael Cheney’s “The Beatles: Popular Music and Society”. Listens of Cheney’s series alone shot up by 60,000 downloads two months after membership in the iTunes Store began.

The “Revealing Voices” series produced by Khaund and other campus partners was chosen by Apple as a noteworthy podcast helping to boost downloads by 7,000 in two weeks.

The podcasts are also paying off for students, who can log on and listen to them for free. Students have lectures, seminars, and student assignments right at their fingertips through the service.

“We’ve been able to capture faculty content knowledge and deliver it to students. The benefit of that being that the students are able to review, pause, rewind, and take better notes and help in their different learning styles,” said Khaund.

More information on podcasting at UIS is available at www.uis.edu/sightsandsounds/podcasts/. To access UIS on iTunes U, go to http://itunes.uis.edu/. All of the content is available free of charge.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

U of I presidential search committee to hold public forums

Faculty, students, public invited to make suggestions, ask questions, present ideas

URBANA, Ill. — The University of Illinois’ presidential search committee is holding public forums on each of the University’s three campuses to give faculty, students, staff and the general public an opportunity to discuss qualities needed for the new president.

U of I trustee and presidential search committee chair Pamela B. Strobel said the forums are intended to be “listening sessions,” using the ideas of campus constituencies to help assess the qualifications and experience the new University of Illinois president should possess.

“The forum discussions will help the search committee develop a set of criteria in choosing a new president,” Strobel said. “We will then use the criteria to measure the qualifications of our potential candidates.”

The president is the chief executive officer of the University of Illinois system and is responsible to the Board of Trustees. The chancellors of the University’s three campuses report to the president.

Strobel will moderate the public forums, and other members of the 19-member Search Committee to Assist in the Selection of a President for the University of Illinois also will attend.

The first forum will be held at the Chicago campus, 3-5 p.m., on Wednesday, Dec. 2, in Rooms A, B, C, on the first floor of the Student Services Building, 1200 W. Harrison St. (Racine Avenue and Harrison Street).

The second forum will be held at the Urbana campus, 3-5 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 3, 2009, in Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory St., Urbana.

The third forum is scheduled for the Springfield campus, 3-5 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 8, in the auditorium in Brookens Library.

The presidential search committee, announced at the Nov. 12 Board of Trustees meeting, includes three trustees; eight faculty members and three students from the University’s three campuses; one representative from the alumni association and one from the foundation; one administrative officer, one academic professional and one civil service representative.

While the search committee members represent all of the U of I’s major constituencies, the board in its charge said that the committee members should not consider themselves as a representative of any single interest group. Rather, the members were charged to exercise their judgment as to the best interests of the University as a whole.

The search committee will identify and screen potential presidential candidates. The goal is to have a new president in place by July 1, 2010, or at the latest when the fall 2010 academic year begins.

The search committee’s first assignment is to develop a white paper outlining the nature of the University, the role of the president, challenges and expectations the next president may face and personal qualifications necessary for the position. The Office of the Board of Trustees will create a presidential search Web site, including the white paper, a position announcement and description, call for nominations, search committee members, news releases, announcement of open candidate forums and search firm contact information.

The Board of Trustees’ key expectations of the successful candidate are leadership experience in leading and managing a large, complex academic organization; a commitment to academic excellence in teaching, research and service; the ability to communicate with the University’s external and internal constituencies; an understanding of the changing nature of higher education and its roles in local, state, regional and national economies; the ability to adapt to changing and challenging fiscal environments; and the experience to bring clarity and rationality to a complex administrative structure.

Individuals wishing to speak to the representatives of the search committee will be asked to sign in before the forum begins. Comments may also be sent to the search committee at: presidentsearch@uillinois.edu.

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The University of Illinois is a world leader in research and discovery, the largest educational institution in the state with more than 71,000 students, 24,000 faculty and staff, and campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield. The U of I awards more than 18,500 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees annually.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

UIS Lincoln scholar's book named top 5 pick for 2009

Dr. Michael Burlingame’s book “Abraham Lincoln: A Life” has been picked by The Atlantic Monthly magazine as one of the top five books of 2009. Burlingame is a professor of history at the University of Illinois Springfield and holds the Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies. Burlingame is considered a preeminent national Lincoln Scholar and has now written three books on the history of the 16th president.

“Needless to say, I am delighted to be ranked with such distinguished authors as A.S. Byatt, Richard J. Evans, James Lasdun, and Alison Light,” said Burlingame. “I am also a bit surprised, for the literary editor of the Atlantic Monthly, Benjamin Schwarz, believes that most books are too long and therefore tends to prefer short story collections to novels. In dealing with non-fiction, however, he seems willing to acknowledge that biographers (like myself) sometimes need a big canvas (two volumes) to portray heroes like Abraham Lincoln and that historians (like Richard J. Evans) need an even bigger canvas (three volumes) to describe villains like the leaders and followers of the Third Reich."

Schwarz calls Burlingame’s book “Measured, psychologically astute, authoritative when it can be.” The reviewer says “Michael Burlingame’s exhaustive narrative (2,024 pages!) is unafraid of ambiguity and indeterminacy. This is the life of Lincoln for our times.”

In the Atlantic’s original review of the book in July/August 2009 contributing editor Christopher Hitchens praised the way Burlingame describes the Lincoln-Douglas debates saying “I would say that the account given here of the famous debates surpasses all its predecessors.”

Dr. Burlingame has taught numerous courses on Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War era, and 19th century American history. He’s currently involved in research projects at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield and other Lincoln research venues.

The Atlantic Monthly picked Burlingame’s book from a crowded field of 25 other top candidates for the year. You can find the Atlantic Monthly Top 5 List at: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200912/books2009

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Friday, November 06, 2009

UIS Alumnus and Department of Defense Inspector General visits campus



The Honorable Gordon S. Heddell, Inspector General for the United States Department of Defense visited his alma mater on Thursday, November 5, 2009 to meet with students in the Capital Scholars Honors Program.

“I got absolutely a top notch graduate level education here,” said Heddell referring to his 1975 master’s degree in Legal Studies.

Heddell is visiting Springfield to accept the University of Illinois Alumni Achievement Award for outstanding success and national or international distinction in one’s business, profession or life’s work.

“I feel humbled that the University Alumni Association is honoring me with this achievement award. I’m not sure that I probably deserve it, but I’m humbled that they think enough of me and I’m honored to be back here,” said Heddell.

Heddell was sworn in as DoD Inspector General on July 14, 2009, one year after being appointed as Acting Inspector General. Heddell began his Government service in 1966 as an Army Chief Warrant Officer, Helicopter Pilot, serving in both Korea and Taiwan during the Vietnam-era conflict. Following his military tours of duty, Mr. Heddell served for 29 years in the U.S. Secret Service, where he directed investigations of threats made against the President, Vice President, and other high-ranking government officials in Washington, D.C.

It was Heddell’s career with the Secret Service that brought him to Springfield to work in the field office. He finished his master’s degree after hours and admits it wasn’t easy, but it paid off.

“I’m a better Inspector general and a better public servant because of the things I learned here,” said Heddell.

Heddell says he’s pleased with the growth of the UIS campus over the years and the physical improvements that have been made since his time.

“I’m very proud of what Chancellor Richard Ringeisen has done here. He’s an example of exceptional leadership. I’m proud of what he’s accomplished. I’m proud of the entire University of Illinois system,” said Heddell.

Heddell just returned from a trip to Iraq and Afghanistan where he meet with troops and top commanders in the region. Its Heddell’s role as Inspector General to make sure that taxpayer money is being spent wisely and to help troops get the equipment they need.

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Friday, October 30, 2009

UIS Peoria Center celebrates new location



The University of Illinois Springfield Peoria Center held an open house at its new downtown location in the Illinois Central College Perley Building, Room 120, 115 Southwest Adams Street on Thursday, October 29, 2009.

The UIS center has been a part of the Peoria community for 34 years and was previously located on the ICC campus in East Peoria.

“We were able in this location to bring our MBA courses together along with our undergraduate courses, so all programs are offered in this building now,” said Jana Wise, director of the UIS Peoria Center.

Most classes at the UIS Peoria Center are offered evenings and weekends, which accommodates working students and also the faculty.

“We needed a physical location with our name, our sign representing the University of Illinois Springfield. That was our goal we’re here now,” said Ronald D. McNeil, Dean of the UIS College of Business and Management.

The programs currently offered at the UIS Peoria Center are a bachelor of arts degree in Accountancy; a bachelor of arts degree in Management; a bachelor of arts in Criminal Justice; a master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA), and a minor in Management Information Systems. In addition, three business degree completion programs are offered entirely online, a bachelor’s degree in Economics, bachelor’s in Business Administration (BBA), and the Master of Science degree in Management Information Systems.

The same faculty who teach on the main campus in Springfield drive to Peoria to teach in the evenings.

“When people ask me about the UIS degree that I have I tell them it was one of the most wonderful things I was ever able to take part of. I really enjoyed it and still receive benefits from doing it today,” said Jim Mies, 2007 Peoria Center MBA graduate.

For more information on classes at the UIS Peoria Center call 309/999-4250.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Springfield family helps shine light on UIS flags

The three flags outside the Public Affairs Center at the University of Illinois Springfield are now visible at night thanks to the help of a Springfield family.

It’s been UIS Building Services Superintendent Tim Ritzo’s dream to find someone who would donate the spot lights for the American, Illinois and UIS flags. This year a daughter and son-in-law, Kathy and Randy Germeraad, called and asked for ideas regarding a gift they might do in honor of her parents, Bill and Mary Schnirring, longtime owners of Springfield Electric.

“I suggested lighting the flag pole, since it honored the family business and our state and national heritage. They loved the idea,” said UIS Associate Chancellor for Development Vicki Megginson.

The family saw the opportunity as a “perfect fit” since their more than 75-year-old locally owned business deals with both lighting and electricity.

On Monday, October 26, 2009 a ceremony was held near the flag poles where a U.S. flag that was flown over the United State’s capitol was raised. The flag was secured by Tim Ritzo, who is a veteran himself.

UIS Chancellor Richard D. Ringeisen spoke about the importance of the lighting and helped unveil a plaque honoring the Schnirring’s donation.

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