FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                    Date: February 8, 2001

                                                                                                            Contact: Lezli Austen

Online guru named Employee of the Year at UIS

SPRINGFIELD – Ray Schroeder, director of the Office of Technology Enhanced Learning (OTEL) and professor of communication, was named Employee of the Year for 2000 at the 18th annual Employee of the Year Recognition Ceremony held recently at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Schroeder was selected from among 11 UIS employees who were designated employees of the month during the past year. Schroeder was employee of the month for February.

Chancellor Naomi Lynn made the official announcement and presentation, hailing Schroeder as “an excellent choice,” citing especially his creativity, enthusiasm, and service as one of the campus’ pioneers in Internet learning and his guidance in developing online classes.

Accepting the award, Schroeder said, “I would not have been my choice. There are some outstanding people here,” indicating his fellow EOMs, “but thanks! This campus is so important to me. It’s a wonderful, wonderful place to work, study, and learn.”

Then referring to the official gifts that included a $500 check and prepaid parking for two cars, he commented, “Anything I’ve achieved has been due to my family and my staff, and I’d like to say that they share this...at least in spirit.

Schroeder began his career at UIS in 1977 as an assistant professor of communication. He established the TV Office in 1984 and was director until 1997, also serving as the interim executive director of the Institute for Public Affairs from 1992-93. Schroeder developed the Office of Technology Enhanced Learning and has served as its director since its inception in 1997. OTEL’s primary mission is developing online classes for UIS. Under Schroeder’s leadership, online enrollment at UIS has increased from 30 to over 800 in three years. UIS now offers three degree programs entirely online – a liberal studies baccalaureate completion degree and, at the master’s level, management information systems and master teaching and leadership. In May 2000, he was appointed a Faculty Fellow for the University of Illinois’ vice president for academic affairs. The appointment includes developing a strategic plan for the support of online learning through U of I Online.                                                   

Other Employees of the Month for 2000 were: Lezli Austen, publicity/promotions specialist, campus relations; Joe Beaghan, press technician, campus services; Janice Hurley, secretary, psychology program; Barbara Larcher, secretary, human services and social work programs; Tammy McCormick, computer training coordinator, business affairs; Diana Nelson, publications production expediter, Illinois Issues; Nancy Simpson, secretary, business administration program; Jeanette Skaar, accountant, accounting office; Carolyn Thomas, secretary, academic affairs; and Patricia Wood, accounting clerk, library dean’s office.

- 30 -