Publish Date


Happy Monday, UIS!

Illinois officially entered Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois plan last week. I hope you saw my message on Friday asking our campus community to continue to follow our “Bridge Phase” Summer Operational Plan until we issue further guidance this week. I greatly appreciate your steadfast dedication to prioritizing health and safety as we navigate the ever-changing landscape created by the COVID-19 pandemic. We will do our best to address your questions at this week’s Zoom briefing, beginning at 1 p.m. Thursday.

New Information

Academic Reorganization

All employees received an email this morning detailing the Academic Affairs Reorganization effort. The email shared a unit-by-unit overview along with timeline information for university governance, with the expectation of submitting all information to the Board of Trustees by January 2022. Links to the detailed information can be found on the Academic Affairs website.

Interim Appointment
Provost Papini has announced that Kathy Novak, PhD, professor in the Department of Communication, will serve as the Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education, effective July 1 pending final approval by the Board of Trustees. Dr. Novak has been serving as Interim Associate Dean for the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. Please congratulate Dr. Novak on this new interim appointment.

Athletic Training Master’s Program Earns Accreditation

UIS’ Master of Athletic Training has earned accreditation from the Commission of the Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). The program, which started at UIS in 2019, was granted five years of initial accreditation as a professional program, which means UIS athletic training graduates will be eligible to sit for the Board of Certification examination. Congratulations to Celest Weuve, UIS associate professor and director of the Master of Athletic Training Program, and her team for this important accomplishment!

SHIELD Testing Hours Changing

Summer testing hours at the Student Union have changed to two days a week: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and Thursdays.

Travel Reimbursement

The UI System will soon roll out a new Travel Reimbursement process. After much research, the system has signed a contract with Chrome River for a new software solution to replace TEM. The software is in the development phase. You are encouraged to stay updated on the Source2Pay website.

Fall Welcome Planning

This year, Welcome Week and Fall Launch have been combined to form “Fall Welcome,” which is in the planning phases with a Student Affairs committee. A more detailed schedule will be coming soon, but you can find a basic schedule on the Fall Welcome website at

Juneteenth Remembrance

UIS’ Center for Lincoln Studies will host an online panel discussion on “Why Juneteenth: Remembrance and Reflection” at noon June 17. Tiffani Saunders, UIS instructor of sociology and African American studies, is one of the panelists. The program will livestream on the Center for Lincoln Studies’ Facebook page and YouTube Channel.

UIS & Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation (ILBCF) Speaker Series

UIS is partnering with the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation to create a focused speaker series with the goal of educating the citizens of Illinois on critical societal issues resulting from social determinant factors impacting historically marginalized populations. The first event will be at 5:30 p.m. June 17 via Zoom. The topic will be “Reform: Restoration, Revitalization, and Representation.” Registration is required in order to receive the Zoom link. Register at

News that Bears Repeating

Upload your Vaccination Cards!

Students and staff can opt out of mandatory COVID-19 saliva testing by uploading their vaccination card to their secure Medicat Patient Portal. If you have not taken this important step, you must continue to visit the testing site once per week. Instructions on how to upload your record can be found here.

New Website

Hopefully by now you’ve had some time to test drive the new UIS website. Did you notice the new and improved calendar, which pulls events from RSS feeds for Athletics, UIS Connection and more? If you would like to add an event to the calendar and have not yet gotten access to the website, sign-up for training.

Celebrating our Star Power

Congratulations to Jonathan GoldbergBelle, director of Study Away Programs, who received the NAFSA: Association of International Educators’ 2021 Hugh M. Jenkins Award for Excellence in Community Programming.

Congratulations to Sibel Oktay, PhD, associate professor and chair of the Department of Political Science, who was named a nonresident senior fellow of public opinion and foreign policy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Congratulations to Bethany Bilyeu who was named Employee of the Month for June. Besides being the executive director of Student Support Services, Bethany has led UIS’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please continue to watch your email for important updates — though summer is often a slower time for higher education, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to create the need for new or adapted strategies, and we will do our very best to keep everyone informed!

United in Safety,


Karen M. Whitney, PhD

Interim Chancellor

University of Illinois Springfield