Publish Date


Hello, UIS—

Let’s kick off the week with some good news! We have seen a marked increase in enrollment in second eight-week courses, or accelerated courses, with a 26% increase over last spring. These courses provide additional options for many part-time or non-traditional learners and students who may need additional flexibility to retake a course, remain eligible for financial aid, or maintain athletic eligibility. Each of us plays a role in enrollment, and collectively our work is paying off. Thank you for all you do to accommodate students and provide opportunities to help them achieve their goals.

New Information

Summer Courses – Priority Registration Now Open

Summer priority registration is now open for current students. Please encourage students who would benefit from summer classes to register at Courses begin June 3. Thank you to everyone who worked behind the scenes to successfully launch our summer offerings.

Retirement & Recognition Breakfast

Our annual Retirement and Recognition ceremony is 9-10:30 a.m. April 11 in the Student Union Ballroom. I look forward to celebrating with our honorees

Sexual Misconduct Campus Climate Survey 

Preventing and remedying sexual misconduct is essential to a safe environment for our students. In partnership with the UI System, tomorrow we will launch a student Sexual Misconduct Campus Climate Survey that will remain open through May 1. It is important to hear from as many students as possible so that what we learn is representative of our students’ experiences. Please consider encouraging students to participate by following instructions and a link which will be sent to their UIS email tomorrow.   

The survey is administered to all students who have been enrolled in at least one course during the 2023-24 academic year. They are prompted to complete a questionnaire concerning: relationships, sexual experiences, experiences with dating violence, and perceptions about safety at UIS during the last 12 months. Illinois law (110 ILCS 155/35) requires UIS to conduct the Sexual Misconduct Campus Climate Survey annually; however, participation is voluntary and may be withdrawn at any time without penalty or prejudice. An aggregate summary of the results will be submitted to the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) for publication. In addition, campus-level results will be published on the university website. 

If you would like to speak to someone about the Sexual Misconduct Campus Climate Survey, please email

Best of UIS and Beyond

The UIS Observer accepted nominations during the past several weeks for “Best Of” categories to celebrate what we all love about UIS and our surrounding community. The final round of voting begins today and runs through April 12. Anyone with a UIS email may vote, which will include you in a drawing for some wonderful prizes. Learn more and vote on the Observer website!

Facilities Updates

UIS Facilities and Services has been hard at work keeping our campus running smoothly and looking gorgeous. Thanks to our electricians, we have a new scoreboard at the softball field. Colonnade lighting was updated with modern, energy-efficient LEDs, funded by the UIS Green Fee Committee, and the Colonnade was washed ahead of Commencement. The VPA roof has been replaced with a more durable and long-lasting metal roof. For more information, read the Facilities and Services March Announcements.

April is National Volunteer Month

We encourage you to carve out time for civic engagement this month to build meaningful relationships that enable us to both learn from and contribute to our local and global communities. Visit UISConnection for a variety of fun and impactful opportunities.

Equity Planning Taskforce Update

The Equity Planning Taskforce is working toward creating a plan to close equity gaps in student enrollment, retention and graduation rates. Thank you to everyone who has already provided feedback/discussion about programming, data, climate studies, and DEIA plans, processes and statements. The entire campus is invited to attend one or both of the open forums listed below to discuss the plan and provide your feedback. Taskforce members will be present to answer questions.

  • Wednesday, April 17 | 11 a.m. to noon | UHB 2021
  • Thursday, April 18 | 2-3 p.m. | UHB 2021

Spring Theatre Production

The UIS Theatre program will present six performances of “John Proctor is the Villain” by Kimberly Belflower. The show will run for two weekends: Friday, April 12, through Sunday, April 14, and Thursday, April 18, through Saturday, April 20, in the Studio Theatre on the lower level of the Public Affairs Center at UIS. Learn more.

Information that Bears Repeating

FAFSA Update 

The Office of Financial Aid continues to communicate with students during this challenging time, including encouraging them to submit their FAFSAs. While UIS is beginning to receive FAFSA data files, much testing and work remains before accurate aid offers will be delivered to students later this spring. Stay up to date with the latest info on the UIS FAFSA Simplification page.

Commencement Volunteers Still Needed

If you’re interested in volunteering for Commencement on campus this year, please sign up. We’ll need help with setup, assisting graduates and guiding guests. 

Eclipse Watch Party

Join us for an eclipse watch party from 1 to 3 p.m. April 8 on the UIS Student Union North Patio.

Celebrating Our Star Power

I’m so proud to work in a place that has such amazing employees. I’m glad we were able to recognize their work at the Annual Awards Ceremony. In case you couldn’t make it, I would like to highlight these star employees again.

  • Joan Sestak, director of community and government relations, was awarded the CAPE award to recognize her unwavering dedication, exceptional service and profound impact on the UIS community.
  • Aaron Stewart, Facilities business manager, was awarded the CARE award. This award honors his exceptional performance, exemplary leadership and significant contributions to the university community.
  • Nicole Hager, CLASS academic advisor/online coordinator, was the recipient of the Orion Award for demonstrating a strong focus on student success, enriching the student experience, providing excellent customer service and embodying a student-first mentality.
  • Craig McFarland, CPAE online coordinator, was honored with the Polaris Award for excellence in leadership and mentorship, active involvement on campus, mentoring individuals and serving as a role model for others.
  • Angela Dyer, Facilities administrative aid, was recognized with the Nova Award, acknowledging rapid growth in their position, advanced contributions to the University mission, outstanding performance and innovative ideas to improve their unit/department.
  • Kristin Nisbet-White, Career Development Center employer development/informatics liaison, received the Sirius Award, which highlights positive attitudes, inclusivity, fostering diverse discussions, behind-the-scenes contributions and consistent actions that enhance the university community.

Let’s keep up our momentum as we near the end of the semester!


Janet L. Gooch, PhD
University of Illinois Springfield

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