Q&A with Chancellor Susan Koch

Chancellor Susan Koch

Chancellor Susan Koch explains what the message means for UIS’ future

What is a brand?

Chancellor Koch: A brand is not a slogan or a logo. It is a promise an organization makes and keeps to its constituents. It is a reputation, determined by an organization’s important audiences, not the other way around. A brand is always true and important, and, if you’re lucky, distinctive.

Why does a university need to articulate a brand?

Chancellor Koch: It needs a clear and accurate way to talk about itself.

Why did the university choose “Leadership lived” as its tagline?

Chancellor Koch: Our research shows that it describes UIS and, in fact, always has, long before we articulated it. Thousands of UIS graduates are making a difference through careers in government and in non-profit organizations. “Leadership lived” also describes the positions UIS graduates hold in the private sector and the roles they play in their own communities, local charities, their churches and their children’s schools. It also describes the leadership of our faculty in their various disciplines and the professors’ mentoring role with students.

So, for students, it starts long before graduation. Our faculty infuses the curriculum with lessons of leadership, and the university supports an abundance of opportunities for students to spearhead initiatives and lead organizations on campus.

What is the meaning behind “Leadership lived”?

Chancellor Koch: It is built upon four attributes or core strengths that define UIS, attributes we can demonstrate:

  • Teaching-focused academic experience;
  • An abundance of opportunities to collaborate;
  • A right-sized, supportive community; and
  • a tradition of educating public servants and leaders.

How do you hope people will respond to the four attributes and the new message?

Chancellor Koch: If they are students or alumni, I hope they will easily recognize the university that has helped them become who they are. We are a university where professors are passionate about teaching, student learning is the central focus, and leadership, whether on campus, in public service or in the private sector, is a key outcome of the educational experience. Among members of our community, my hope is they will hear “Leadership lived” and think of our commitment to students, and to the contributions our university makes to the betterment of society.