The University of Illinois at Springfield’s community is characterized by students, faculty, staff, alumni, and outside partners and constituents as providing an atmosphere that is vibrant and actively engaged with comprehensive and integrated initiatives that contribute to the intellectual, cultural, social, and personal enrichment of all its participants.
Strategic Thrust #1: Providing an Intellectually Rich Campus Environment
Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and outside partners and constituents will be stimulated and engaged intellectually through their interactions with UIS and each other.
Action Step #1: Develop an incentive mechanism that rewards units that collaborate across disciplines when designing and implementing intellectual learning opportunities and/or events. Develop forums for the sharing of research and scholarship across programs and colleges.
Action Step #2: Provide incentives for students to participate in programs and events that support the learning objectives of their particular course.
Action Step #3: Each academic year, the Chancellor, in collaboration with the UIS community, will initiate an Annual Campus Dialogue. That theme can be used by faculty, staff, and program planners for curriculum or program/event planning. This would also include opportunities for community participation.
Action Step #4: Utilize the web-based electronic calendar by way of a user-friendly portal that would allow easy data entry of sponsored programs and events.
Action Step #5: Provide financial and administrative support to faculty and staff to engage and invite speakers, guests, and lecturers to campus to address diverse ideas and perspectives.
Action Step #6: Encourage students, faculty, and staff to contribute through greater community involvement, service learning, and civic engagement activities.
Action Step #7: Examine the steps necessary to develop a co-curricular component to students’ academic transcripts.
Performance Indicators for strategic thrust #1:
- Annual Campus Dialogue up and running
- Administrative support in place for faculty to give class credit for certain kinds of student participation
Strategic Thrust #2: Providing a Culturally Rich Campus Environment
UIS will create a comprehensive plan for the arts.
Action Step #8: Identify and acquire equipment, add storage space, and provide or build additional rooms for performance and practice (rehearsal) venues for the performing arts.
Action Step #9: Provide adequate museum/exhibit space as part of the Brookens Library renovation for traveling and professional exhibits.
Action Step #10: Strengthen the curriculum and co-curriculum in the visual and performing arts and provide scholarships to attract students to these programs.
Action Step #11: Assign the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the provost to further develop a master plan for the arts that would be implemented in the next five years.
Action Step #12: Create cultural programming that is aligned with community interests.
Performance Indicator for strategic thrust #2:
- Master plan for the arts created and implemented
Strategic Thrust #3: Providing a Culturally Diverse Campus Environment
Students, faculty, staff, outside partners, and other constituents will be exposed to a university community that is infused with an appreciation of diverse cultural perspectives. The UIS environment will be characterized as an inclusive and safe place for different perspectives to be explored.
Action Step #13: Utilize a standardized multicultural sensitivity survey to determine baseline data regarding the current cultural climate of UIS.
Action Step #14: Utilize the findings from the sensitivity survey to enhance the cultural climate at UIS; re-examine the climate periodically. Emphasize tolerance and respect for a diversity of opinions.
Action Step #15: Develop an institutional definition of diversity; more important, establish benchmarks that are appropriate for the institution. Determine how the institution will know when the benchmarks regarding diversity have been attained.
Action Step #16: Study the possibility of making the Access and Equal Opportunity Officer position full time instead of part time.
Action Step #17: Recognizing that intercultural awareness is an important institutional value, we will strengthen relevant programs and enhance diversity in the curriculum by increasing the number of courses that deal in whole or in part with multicultural issues and perspectives, including ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation.
Action Step #18: Provide faculty development funds to encourage the inclusion of multicultural perspectives throughout the curriculum, both specialized and mainstreamed.
Performance Indicators for strategic thrust #3:
- Multicultural sensitivity survey conducted.
- UIS definition of diversity established and disseminated.
- Program in place to establish benchmarks on diversity of the UIS community and to monitor progress in achieving acceptable levels.
- Ongoing curriculum review and curricular adjustments reflecting the UIS commitment to inclusiveness and diverse cultural perspectives.
- Increased co-curricular and extracurricular activities reflecting the UIS commitment to inclusiveness and diverse cultural perspectives.
Strategic Thrust #4: Providing Social/Personal Enrichment
Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and outside partners and constituents will have opportunities to enhance their personal growth, social capital, support network, networking opportunities, and extracurricular programming. UIS strives
to promote an enjoyable and supportive learning environment that produces engaged and informed citizens. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and outside partners and constituents will characterize UIS as a catalyst in their personal
Action Step #19: Enhance and expand service learning opportunities within the classroom, which will serve to bridge students and faculty to the greater Springfield area, and expand community involvement/civic engagement activities for faculty, staff, and students.
Action Step #20: Develop greater partnership relationships with the Office of Student Volunteers and Service-Learning (OSVSL) as a way to link faculty and students with not-for-profit and private-sector organizations in the Springfield community.
Action Step #21: Expand the UIS Study Abroad Program, which will allow students, faculty, staff, and outside partners to engage in global development with our sister cities and colleges.
Action Step #22: Expand the Career Development Center’s Employer Relationship Program, which actively develops relationships with current and potential new employers of UIS students while supporting the environment (virtual or face-to-face) that brings students and employers together.
Action Step #23: Design and develop a space for the Faculty Development Center that would provide faculty a specific location to gather and exchange best practices in teaching, scholarship, and service.
Action Step #24: Evaluate the effectiveness of New Faculty orientation and how it currently meets the needs of UIS’s new faculty. Utilize the feedback from new and established faculty to design the faculty orientation program.
Action Step #25: Foster greater interaction between faculty, staff, students, and alumni, such as learning communities that are developed and sponsored by individual colleges or specific degree programs.
Action Step #26: Design a First-Year program that will support the transitional needs of the expanded first-year student population, transfer students, and new graduate students. This would include but not be limited to the redesign of Preview Days, New Student Orientation, Bridge (transitional) Programs, and Academic Support Services.
Action Step #27: Research best practices utilized by other institutions that are recognized by their peers as models for engaging their alumni and the outside community in the development and advancement of university initiatives.
Performance Indicators for strategic thrust #4:
- More partnerships with external community involving service learning and volunteer opportunities
- Faculty Development Center up and running
- First-Year program in place to help with transition of freshmen and new transfer and graduate students
- Three to five “best practices” from other universities implemented at UIS
Strategic Thrust #5: Enhance Intercollegiate Athletics
UIS Athletics initiatives include the addition of new sports that will enhance revenue, visibility, and community support. UIS Athletics will build upon our current emphasis on academic success and comprehensive student development.
Action Step #28: Create a development plan to secure an adequate number of athletic scholarships.
Action Step #29: Explore methods to improve academic advising for athletes.
Action Step #30: Explore the costs and benefits of expanding intercollegiate athletics, including, but not limited to, a shift from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
Action Step #31: Promote the role of athletics in enhancing student life.
Action Step #32: Explore the possibility of joining the Drake Group, which deals with the relationship between athletics and academics.
Performance Indicators for strategic thrust #5:
- More scholarships for athletes
- Creation of an academic advising unit for student-athletes
- Increased public visibility for programs and greater attendance at athletic events