UIS Update February 9, 2021


Good afternoon, UIS!

The UIS campus is covered with snow, and we have lots to cover in this week’s update:

New Information

COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Information

Our new twice-weekly testing requirement takes effect this week. Please visit the UIS Testing website for details, including Testing Site hours, and our campus positivity rate.  A new Vaccine Information website also has been launched to keep the UIS community informed on vaccine availability and distribution.

Black History Month

February is Black History Month. I encourage you to check out the great events and engaging topics the UIS Diversity Center has planned. Most events are virtual this year, so you can log on and participate from home. See the Diversity Center website for specific events, dates and times.

Grand Opening of the Center for Lincoln Studies – Feb. 12

Join us for a virtual grand opening of the Center for Lincoln Studies at 10 a.m. on Lincoln’s birthday, Feb. 12. The public is invited to tune in to the webinar as we cut the virtual ribbon, which will be followed by a discussion among Lincoln scholars. Registration is required for the event by visiting go.uis.edu/LincolnCenter.  A Zoom link will be emailed to those who register.

Professional Development at Your Fingertips

UIS has partnered with Academic Impressions, an online professional development company devoted specifically to higher education. The membership allows all employees and students access to virtual trainings, courses, on-demand video courses, articles, live and recorded webcasts and more. Find out more at the UIS Academic Impressions website.

Accelerated Courses Begin in March

This semester, we are offering 28 accelerated courses that begin March 15. Classes are being offered in mathematics, communication, education, music, MIS, business, human development counseling, accounting, athletic training and educational leadership. Prospective students may register for these courses through March 10; current students may register through March 21.

FFCRA Paid Leave Update

The University of Illinois System will continue the paid leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act through March 31. These are provisions for time off that an employee may need because of qualifying reasons related to COVID-19. There are eligibility requirements. You can read the details and qualifications on the system’s Families First Coronavirus Response Act page.

Sign up for FASC

The Faculty and Staff Campaign annually encourages all UIS employees to make a gift to UIS during the current fiscal year. All units, programs, departments and colleges are encouraged to take part. This year’s FASC will include a crowdfunding element, which is an online campaign that allows donors to simply click a button to make a gift. The campaign kicks off Feb. 25 and runs through March. Tables will also be available throughout campus on Feb. 25 for those who want to make a donation in person or talk to someone from the Office of Advancement for more details. Please contact the Office of Advancement at 217-206-6058 or advancement@uis.edu for more information.

Let the Music Play

You can still enjoy beautiful UIS music this semester. Every Wednesday at 6 p.m., join Jose Gobbo for Jazz Guitar Hour@UIS, an interactive podcast, to learn more about guitar technique and style.

News Worth Repeating

Show Me the Money: A Zoom Series on Budgeting & Finance at UIS

To keep the UIS community well informed about our university’s fiscal condition and its impact on operational decisions, I am hosting a five-part series on how UIS approaches budgeting our money. These interactive sessions will include presentations from campus and system leaders as well as time for questions. Each session will be recorded if you cannot attend the live session.

Celebrating Our Star Power

  • We are proud to once again be recognized among the top 10 percent of best online bachelor’s degree programs in the country. U.S. News and World Report ranked UIS the 34th best out of 357 institutions. UIS’ online master’s degree programs were also ranked highly by U.S. News and World Report. The management information systems (MIS) online master’s degree was ranked 53rd out of 184 in the non-MBA business category, while the UIS online master’s degree in education was ranked 91st out of 317 degrees.
  • A huge congratulations to Information Technology Services Help Desk Manager Jason Noyes, who was named the 2020 Employee of the Year.  Jason was recognized during an online virtual ceremony Feb. 2. “Jason is always helpful and always professional,” said Kara McElwrath, his supervisor. “No matter the problem, no matter what else is on his plate, he has never said ‘that’s not my job’ or ‘let me ask someone else to do that.’ He treats faculty, staff, and students with respect and takes on each of their problems as his own.”
  • I continue to be so proud of the great work each of you contribute toward our United in Safety effort. If you’ve missed our video series highlighting our success with testing, academic delivery and student life, be sure to check out our YouTube site.

United in Safety,


Karen M. Whitney, PhD
Interim Chancellor
University of Illinois Springfield