Publish Date

Provost’s welcome

Welcome to the new academic year. For those new to UIS, like me, welcome! For those who are returning after what I hope was a restful and rejuvenating break, welcome back! We will be offering this update from the Office of the Provost roughly monthly throughout the academic year to help keep you informed about what is happening within Academic Affairs, highlight resources to support your work, and to feature some of the great work of faculty, staff, and students. It will also be a mechanism to keep you informed of policies, procedures, and events we think you should know about. We hope it is informative and useful. There is so much going on, all the time, that we cannot include everything; but we will do our best to provide meaningful, targeted information. If you have ideas on how to make the updates more useful, please let us know.      

It was great to see so many of you at the Faculty-Staff Academic Year Kickoff event last week. I think it set the stage for what will be a great year ahead. One of the things I shared at the Kickoff was my goal to spend quality time listening, asking questions, and getting to know the people, programs, and priorities of the UIS community. I see my role as provost to help facilitate and support the good work that takes place across the institution and to make Academic Affairs and the university the best it can possibly be as a place to learn, work, and engage. I want UIS to be a place where all faculty, staff, and students, no matter their background, feel like they belong, are supported, and are given the opportunity to thrive. 

I fundamentally believe we are in the business of changing lives, and everyone here has the opportunity to do that every day in big and small ways. As the Chancellor says, we are one team with one goal and that is student success. Thank you for all you do for UIS and this community. Have a great year!


Provost’s open office hours 

Faculty & Staff: Friday, Sept. 29, 1-3 p.m. – location pending

Students: Monday, Oct. 2, 3-5 p.m. – Student Union 

Opportunities to make a difference

Campus Learning Communities — The Center for Faculty Excellence (CFE) is excited to support three campus learning communities this year that will all be starting soon. These will be a great opportunity for faculty and staff to develop new perspectives and refine their skills within a supportive community of colleagues: Building Inclusive Community – Led by Livia Arndal Woods; Artificial Intelligence and Liberal Arts – Led by Neetu Singh and Hei-Chi Chan; and Problem-Based Learning in the Classroom – Led by Betsy Goulet. Look for more information about these groups and other events on the CFE Canvas site and/or the CFE Events page.

IAI Faculty Panels — Need service? Consider serving on an Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI) panel. Panels review courses twice a year – once in the fall and once in the spring. There often is a Zoom meeting option, so travel is not usually required. Serving on an IAI panel is a great opportunity to meet colleagues at the other Illinois public institutions and to review and guide the development of courses and learning objectives for courses offered in your field. We need faculty representatives on the for AY 23-24 on the General Education Life Sciences panel and the following IAI major panels:  Business, Criminal Justice, Elementary/Secondary Education, Math, and TheatreLearn more about IAI panel membership. If you are interested in serving on one of these IAI panels this academic year or if you have questions, please contact Dr. Tena Helton, Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education.

New resources

Enhanced Streaming Media Services — Brookens Library supports curricular needs by providing streaming video collections where rights have already been obtained. Our Kanopy subscription includes 13,000 documentaries, films and more. Read more about Streaming Media at Brookens Library

News worth celebrating

Huang-Kong grant award — Assistant Professor of Computer Science Xiang Huang and Associate Professor of Mathematical Sciences Liang Kong have been awarded a highly competitive Department of Energy (DOE) grant totaling $400,000. Read the full Newsroom article

New faculty appointments  Faculty new to UIS and with new appointments were welcomed to UIS during New Faculty Welcome Week and introduced at the recent Faculty-Staff Kickoff Event: Timothy Bill, Brandon Bolte, Leah Bueso, Maria Duenas, Claire Gordon, Pamela Hoff, Patricia Johnson, Dana Kinion, Abigail Kroke, Zihan Liu, Shannon Pivoney, Neeraj Rajasekar, Keyria Rodgers, Tammy Schlosky, and Suyang Yu. Link to the Newsroom article to learn more about our new faculty.

Newly tenured and promoted colleagues — Congratulations to five faculty who were promoted to professor effective Aug. 16 and five colleagues who were awarded tenure. We wish them the best as they continue serving UIS students. Robert Blankenberger, Ahmad Juma’h, William Kline, Amy McEuen, and Michael Murphy were promoted to professor; Youngjin Kang, Hasan Kartal, Mohammed Mohi Uddin, and Livia Savit-Woods were awarded tenure and promoted to associate professor; and Salem Boumediene was awarded tenure.

Patty Byrnes selected for U of I Public Voices Fellowship  Patty Byrnes, Associate Professor, Accounting, Economics and Finance, has been selected for the 2023-24 cohort of the University of Illinois System Public Voices Fellowship. The fellowship is a unique opportunity to help faculty amplify their expertise in ways that can contribute to public conversations about pressing issues. Each of the 20 U of I faculty will be paired with a journalism mentor who provides one-on-one editing and coaching, with the goal of publishing two or more op-ed pieces during the program.

Faculty Research and Grant Awards  Jennifer Martin, Associate Professor, School of Education, was selected as the 2023 award recipient of the Berman Sabbatical Award for her sabbatical project, “Stitches of Survival: Writing for a Reckoning.” Dr. Martin will receive $3,000 to support her sabbatical plans. Three Faculty Mentor Award recipients are being recognized for demonstrated excellence in mentoring student researchers over a sustained period of time: Yuan WenNoah Reynolds, and Tom Rothfus. The Research Board selected six Competitive Scholarly Research Grant applicants to receive up to $5,000 each to support their scholarly/creative work: Kyle Blount, Youngjin Kang, Liang Kong, Sibel Oktay, Noah Reynolds, and Matthew Sprong. Four faculty have been matched with a mentor with grant writing experience to support them while they develop their proposal and submit to an external granting agency through the Grant Writing Mentoring Program: Michael Chuang, Yifei Li, Matthew Sprong, and Natalya Zinkevich.

Important dates

Monday, Sept. 4: Labor Day holiday (no class)   

Tuesday, Sept. 5: Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) resubmission notifications due to Monica Kroft by 5 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 15: UIS Professional Development Retreat. Register by Aug. 31

Sept 25-29: Graduate School Week. If you would like to host a webinar, please complete this form by Tuesday, Sept. 5.

Thursday, Sept. 28Faculty Scholarship Recognition Luncheon. Faculty who plan to attend should register by Sept. 21 to reserve a seat. Scholarly achievements may be uploaded now for the 2022 calendar year list and for the 2023 calendar year list.

Newsletter contact: Monica Kroft

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