Welcoming Institution, December 2016
At UIS, we value engagement. We provide opportunities for students to learn and interact with the world outside of our campus through their studies as well as through student activities, internships and volunteerism. True success in this effort is only possible if everyone understands we are an open, welcoming institution.
In that spirit, this message is to reaffirm our commitment to the University of Illinois at Springfield as an educational institution for all — regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, citizenship, immigration status or national origin.
The UIS mission statement promises an intellectually rich and collaborative learning environment for students, faculty and staff. We strive to create a campus climate that values diversity and that eliminates intolerance and stereotyping. Unfair treatment, intimidation or threats of violence is always unacceptable and we will do everything necessary to support and protect members of our campus community.
If you or a fellow student or colleague is unfairly targeted in what may be a bias incident, you should contact UIS Police [Emergency: (217) 206-7777 Non-Emergency: (217) 206-6690] to report it. You can be assured UIS Police do not inquire about or detain community members based on immigration status.
It is also important to note the University is legally and ethically obligated to protect the confidentiality of student records and UIS will continue to protect confidential student and employee information to the fullest extent allowed by law.
Recent national discourse has raised concern and speculation about undocumented students and other international populations in our country. In late November, the three Chancellors of the University of Illinois joined more than 500 university leaders in signing a “Statement in Support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program and our Undocumented Immigrant Students,” calling on our country’s leaders to uphold, continue and expand the DACA program as both a moral imperative and a national necessity.
The American Council on Education (ACE) has prepared a useful “Immigration Q&A” (PDF) that you may also find informative.
UIS has many resources and services to assist students. For example, the Diversity Center, LGBTQ Resource Office, International Student Services and the Women’s Center provide individualized support and referrals for any student seeking information about academics, financial aid, community resources and other information.
The UIS Division of Student Affairs will sponsor “Donuts and Democracy Part II” on January 20, 2017. This year-long series explores current issues related to diversity that affect our UIS community. The January 20th program will focus on immigration, advocacy and policies affecting undocumented students.
Student Affairs is also creating a resource guide for undocumented students to be available online and in the Diversity Center at the beginning of the Spring semester. In the meantime, the University of Illinois will continue to closely monitor any developments at the local, state and federal level that may impact students.
Given our location in the state capital and our long tradition of preparing public servants and leaders, UIS can and should be a model for others in welcoming and supporting all members of the campus community. In this time of discussion and uncertainty, the real imperative for us is to ensure that all students who enroll at UIS can pursue their educational dreams and be part of a safe and supportive community. We are committed to those goals and, with your support, we will achieve them.
Chancellor Susan Koch
Interim Provost Jim Ermatinger