Publish Date


Dear UIS Colleagues:

Spring is off to a great start at UIS. We signed a new transfer admission agreement with Illinois Central College to facilitate seamless transfers of students from its East Peoria campus to UIS. The GPSI program held its first webinar for nonprofit organizations with 37 organizations in attendance, and we had an incredible turnout for our first Career Connections Expo since 2019. Thank you to everyone involved in those events.

New Information 

Lincoln College and Lincoln Christian University 

You may have heard that Lincoln College is closing its doors at the end of this semester, and Lincoln Christian University is drastically downsizing offered programs. We have contacted their administrations to offer support for students and employees. The Enrollment Management team plans to attend an April 14 college fair at LC, and likely, there will be opportunities for us to attend additional transition events.  

Our hearts go out to the faculty and staff at both institutions who are affected. Let’s keep the students at both institutions in our thoughts as we try to move forward with finding them pathways that make sense for their educational journeys. 

New Chancellor  

Transition plans are in the works to welcome incoming Chancellor Designate Janet Gooch, who officially begins at UIS on July 1. Dr. Gooch will be on campus later this month for a chance to meet with students and employees. Watch your email and Campus Announcements for those opportunities. 

STARS Shine This Week 

The annual UIS Student Technology, Arts and Research Symposium (STARS) is back April 7-8, celebrating research, innovation and creativity in our student community. The 2022 STARS program will have a virtual and live component, during which you can admire creative works, listen to thought-provoking speakers, hear readings from the Violet Margin Literary Journal, and learn about research findings from many disciplines, all while interacting with the participants on Zoom. See the STARS website for the full schedule. 

Springfest Judges 

It’s almost time for Springfest! Student Life needs your help. They are looking for judges for many of their activities. Please check your schedule and see if you can lend a hand

Summer/Fall Registration 

Registration for Summer 2022 and Fall 2022 began today. If you interact with students, please remind them to register as soon as they are able through Student Self Service. 

Minimum Wage Compression Plan 

Hopefully you had the chance to attend the UIS Human Resources’ informational Zoom session last Thursday explaining the compression plan that will go into effect in April for staff making less than $24.99 an hour. This multi-year plan will bring UIS into compliance with the raise in the state’s minimum wage. This is a first step in considering salary issues across campus for all employees. 

Retirement & Recognition Ceremony 

Mark your calendars for 9-10 a.m. April 28 for the 2022 Retirement and Recognition Ceremony. More info will follow. 

Annual Performance Evaluations 

Per an email from HR on Friday, a new evaluation tool is available this year on the Human Resources website to further streamline the review process. The review window is April 1 - June 3. Learn more at the following events: 

  • Open Forum for all employees: April 20 | 10:30 a.m. to noon | via Zoom 
  • Supervisor Training: May 4 | 2:30-4 p.m. | via Zoom 

NSSE Survey 

The National Survey of Student Engagement is seeking feedback from UIS freshmen and seniors through April 18. Students have received a unique link to the survey in their email. 

Information that Bears Repeating 

Commencement Update 

Commencement is quickly approaching. We need volunteers to help us make this year’s celebration memorable for our students. Commencement moved back to the BOS Center this year with two ceremonies at 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. 

  • 12:30 Ceremony: Volunteers are asked to report to the BOS Center by 10:30 a.m. 
  • 5:30 Ceremony: Volunteers are asked to report to the BOS Center by 3 p.m. 

If you are able to help with one or both ceremonies, please fill out the Commencement Volunteer Registration Form. If your department or program will be hosting a special celebration for 2022 graduates, please notify the commencement committee at

Facilities Update 

The PAC is sporting new lobby lighting and suspended signage as it continues its transformation as a Performing Arts Center. You can read more about the PAC lobby, the re-opening of the teardrop entrance and more in the March Facilities Newsletter. 

Help is Here 

I fully recognize that the past two years have been challenging. We each have suffered losses of some kind and experienced significant stress and change. If you feel the need for extra support or notice the need in students, please remember we have assistance available in many areas.  

UIS Theatre 

If you didn’t catch opening weekend, UIS Theatre will present A Doll’s House, Part 2 again this weekend. Don’t miss out. 

TRAC Special Rate 

The Recreation and Athletic Center is running a $29/month special rate for UIS employees during the month of April. You can also join your colleagues each Wednesday for a noon fitness class. $5 per class or 12 classes for $50.

Celebrating our Star Power 

$720,000 to CAST  

UIS’ Child Protection Training Academy has been awarded $720,000 in federal appropriations to increase the number of trained frontline child protection and law enforcement professionals. 

CAPE and CARE Recipients 

Congratulations to Kelsea Gurski, associate chancellor for Public Affairs, the 2022 Chancellor’s Academic Professional Excellence award winner, and Jill Ralph, Facilities and Services administrator, recipient of the 2022 Chancellor’s Award for Recognizing Excellence in Civil Service. A big shout out to all of this year’s nominees. CAPE nominees were: Bethany Bilyeu, Craig McFarland, Bryan Rives, Shannon Smith, Teresa Szabo and Jorge Villegas. CARE nominees were Gary Anderson, David Hecht, Laura Hecht, Carlene Hindert, Kaylee Hubbard, Taylor McCarthy, Jason Noyes, Samantha Riss, Denise Rothenbach, Anna Schoenherr and Blake Wood. Read the full story here.  

March EOM 

Congratulations to Allison Thornley for being named the UIS March Employee of the Month. Allison serves as the associate athletic director for strategic planning and finance and the senior women’s administrator. 

There is a lot going on this spring. I know our plates are full, and these last six weeks of the academic year will fly by packed with work, activities, traditions and memories. I appreciate all you do to make UIS a wonderful place to learn, work and grow. 


Karen M. Whitney, PhD 

Interim Chancellor  University of Illinois Springfield 

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