Publish Date


Dear Colleagues:  

We made it! Knowing the Class of 2022 has walked across the commencement stage should give us all a profound feeling of accomplishment. I am so thankful for this academic year and for each of you who made it a success. I hope you find a moment to take a deep breath and enjoy the employee party today from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. outside the Student Union.

New Information 

United in Safety Policy Updates 

Effective today, UIS has updated United in Safety expectations for summer and fall. See all updates on the United in Safety website.

Changes include: 

  • Removal of all indoor mask requirements unless required by local/state/federal law, such as at the SHIELD testing site 
  • Removal of social distancing requirements, regardless of vaccination status 
  • Continued requirement of initial vaccination series, unless granted a medical or religious exemption 
  • Required weekly testing for any UIS students/employees who are not vaccinated with approved exemptions 

Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education 

Dr. Shawn Boyne has been selected to serve as Associate Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate Education effective July 1, pending final UI System Board of Trustees approval. She currently serves as the Director of Academic Quality & Undergraduate Education at Iowa State University.  

Introducing Orbit 

The university is debuting Orbit, a new one-stop resource for UIS employees to find announcements, new hire information, upcoming employee events and more. Website editors can post events directly to Orbit by choosing “employee” under Event Type. More information will follow. 

Policy Website 

University-level policies and the procedures for creating new or amending an existing policy have been combined on one new Policy website for easier reference. This new website is easily accessible from the main navigation on Orbit. Formal guidance for policy curation will follow in a separate email. 

Take me out to the Ballgame 

Join UIS alumni and friends at Wrigley Field on Saturday, June 4, for the Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals game. Your registration includes a game ticket, indoor air-conditioned suite, outdoor bleacher access, buffet meal, snacks and bar service. Spaces are limited.

Information that Bears Repeating 

Open Enrollment 

Benefit Choice Open Enrollment is open now through May 31. This is your opportunity to make changes to your health-care coverage for the coming year. 

Online Security 

The most recent, required cybersecurity training, Multi-Factor Authentication,” is due June 30. To access your required training or optional additional training, visit For more training opportunities and cybersecurity tips, see the Work Secure at UIS newsletter, emailed to employees the second Tuesday of each month. 

UIS Website Migration 

The UIS website has officially migrated to the Drupal platform. If you find broken links or any other issues, please submit them to the Office of Web Services through this online form. Thank you to everyone for your patience through this process.

Celebrating our Star Power 

Congratulations to our faculty award winners for 2022: 

  • Associate Professor of History Kristi Barnwell received the Pearson Faculty Award. 
  • Professor of Legal Studies Deborah Anthony received the Spencer Faculty Service Award. 
  • Professor of Sociology/Anthropology Lynn Fisher received the Faculty Excellence Award. 
  • Assistant Professor of Human Services Youngjin Kang received the Burks Oakley II Distinguished Online Teaching Award. 

Lucky No. 7 for Innovate Springfield 

Congratulations to the seventh cohort of starters to complete the Innovate Springfield Co.Starters program. The latest class is made up of all female founders with a range of inspiring businesses from a late-night coffee shop to customized crafts and a stock-market-inspired night life experience. Since its inception in 2019, the Co.Starters program has graduated 54 starters, 12 of whom were UIS students/faculty/staff, resulting in two brick and mortar locations with a third currently in the works. Applications are now being accepted for the Fall cohort. 

Rising Stars  

The latest Rising Stars cohort wrapped up their year of getting to know campus and the Springfield community. Twenty-two UIS employees participated in the program, which focuses on knowledge and collaboration across all areas of campus. One highlight included learning how UIS fits into the UI System with Interim Executive Vice President Avijit Ghosh. The 2023 Rising Stars cohort will begin in September, and any UIS employee who began work after Sept. 1, 2021, is eligible to participate. 

As we enter the much anticipated summer season, I wish you days filled with sunshine and enjoyment, a time to rest and recharge your batteries. 


Karen M. Whitney, PhD 

Interim Chancellor  University of Illinois Springfield 

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