Dear UIS Colleagues:
What a beautiful time to be on campus! Not only are our grounds in bloom, the community garden has been planted, and student life continues to be abundant. It was incredibly fun to watch Springfest teams compete last month, including playing mud tug-of-war for the first time in two years. We will miss our students and the energy they bring to campus as the Spring 2022 semester nears completion. I hope to see many of you sharing in our new graduates’ happy day on May 14 — our return to a traditional in-person Commencement!
Here are some other events and reminders that you need to be aware of during this busy time of year.
Faculty Union Bargaining
I am very pleased that the University and UIS United Faculty reached a tentative agreement over the weekend on a four-year contract for our 134 tenure and tenure-track faculty. I appreciate the hard work of all involved to bring this important endeavor to a conclusion. In the coming days/weeks, the parties will go through their respective processes to approve the terms of the agreement. Specific contract terms will be available for public release at that time.
Benefits Enrollment Time
May 1-31 is Benefit Choice enrollment for the 2023 fiscal year. There are some changes to plans, including cost increases. CMS is offering several Virtual Benefit Choice Fairs to explain these changes.
Sangamo Country: 200 Years of Sangamon County
Sangamon Experience will host a film premier, “Sangamo Country: 200 Years of Sangamon County,” at noon May 5 in the UIS Studio Theatre in honor of the county’s bicentennial. The film features local historians and citizens who have researched and written accounts of historical events in the county. For more info, contact email@example.com.
The State of Statehouse Reporting
The Public Affairs Reporting program will present, “The State of Statehouse Reporting” program and panel at noon May 4 via Zoom. The virtual event includes the latest Pew Research Center report on the number of journalists covering statehouses. Register at go.uis.edu/Statehouse.
Relax with Campus Recreation
The end of the semester can be stressful for students and instructors as final papers, projects and exams loom. Campus Recreation is hosting several events this week to help reduce stress, from 15-minute massages to therapy dogs and horses. Check out the list of events and dates on the Campus Rec Facebook page.
Faculty and Staff Party
It’s time to celebrate an outstanding academic year. Join your colleagues from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 16 on the Student Union North Patio for the Faculty and Staff End of Year Party. There will be food, music and games, and fun together for the first time in two years!
New Approach to Policies
Effective June 1, UIS will have a new approach to the creation, maintenance and online curation of university-wide policies. The goal is to make these policies more readily accessible and to streamline the policy management process. More information, including a new policy website, will be shared soon.
Information that Bears Repeating
This is our final newsletter prior to the Class of 2022 taking the stage for their big day. Here is information you need to know before May 14.
- UIS Commencement will be held in two ceremonies
- 12:30 p.m. College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
- 5:30 p.m. all other colleges
- Graduates who sign up will receive a free alumni T-shirt.
- For a list of departmental celebrations, which begin this week, please see the UIS Commencement website.
- Volunteers are still needed for both ceremonies. Please complete the registration form if you are able to help.
- 12:30 p.m. Ceremony Volunteers – arrive by 10:30 a.m.
- 5:30 p.m. Ceremony Volunteers – arrive by 3 p.m.
Today the Office of Web Services officially retires the WordPress uis.edu website. All sites have been migrated to the new Drupal website. If you notice an error on any of the websites you manage, please notify Web Services through this form.
Annual Performance Evaluations
Human Resources will host one more training session to answer questions on the new annual performance evaluation process. Annual evaluation training for supervisors: May 4 | 2:30-4 p.m. | Zoom
Students may still register for summer courses, which begin June 6. UIS is also offering late-semester summer courses that begin July 5.
Celebrating our Star Power
Several UIS employees were recognized this past week at the 2022 Good as Gold Ceremony. What a great reflection of their hard work and presence in the community. Congrats!
- Timothy Bill, instructor of communication, was honored with the Star Staff Award for his volunteer work with the Coalition of Rainbow Alliances (CORAL).
- Pamela Hulton, director of development in the Office of Advancement, was a Star Staff finalist.
- Rexann Whorton Wright, director of the UIS Women’s Center, was honored with a Heart of Gold Community Award for her work with the Junior League of Springfield.
While we are congratulating people, I want to extend another heartfelt congratulations to our colleagues who are retiring from UIS this year and moving on to new adventures. If you missed our wonderful Retirement and Recognition Ceremony last week, a recording is available online. Thank you for your commitment to our students and campus. We are better because you were here.
Karen M. Whitney, PhD
Interim Chancellor University of Illinois Springfield