We made it! On Saturday, I shook the hands of approximately 700 new UIS graduates as they walked across the commencement stage, and now they are off to do great things with their new U of I degree. I am so proud of our students and so thankful for each of you for helping them reach this amazing milestone. As we move into summer, I hope you find time to reflect on the past academic year while preparing for the new one ahead. And, of course, please find time to rest and relax – you have earned it!
There is still plenty of work to be done, however, and soon we will be onboarding our new administrative team members. An update on each search is below.
I really enjoyed today’s End of Academic Year Party in the Student Union. It was wonderful to see so many staff and faculty celebrating the end of a successful year and enjoying each other’s company. Thank you to the Human Resources staff for making this celebratory event possible!
Committee on Belonging, Dignity and Justice
Dr. Lynn Fisher, professor of anthropology, has agreed to co-chair the Chancellor’s Committee on Belonging, Dignity and Justice with Shelby Bedford, assistant director of access and equity. The committee’s first meeting is this Wednesday. Thank you to Lynn and Shelby for serving the university in this important way!
Customer Service Taskforce Focus Groups
The Chancellor’s Cabinet has created a Customer Service Taskforce in response to feedback from students in regard to their customer-service experiences while attending UIS. The Cabinet is seeking the help of our campus experts in improving customer service for not only students, but also staff, faculty and the community. The taskforce has held a series of focus groups/listening sessions to solicit feedback and suggestions, and one more session is planned for 3 to 4 p.m. May 30 and open to anyone who is interested in participating. The following questions will be discussed:
- What does good customer service mean to us at UIS?
- What are the barriers for providing excellent customer service?
- What do we need to be successful in areas of customer service?
- What are your ideas?
If you are interested attending, please email Kelly Walraven at email@example.com no later than Tuesday, May 23. An Outlook meeting invitation with the location will be sent to those who respond. The meeting will occur in person.
Information that Bears Repeating
Executive Search Updates
- Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs/Provost: Interviews are complete, and an announcement should be made later this month.
- Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs: Dr. Jamarco Clark has been named VCSA Designate, pending BOT approval. He begins June 12.
- Vice Chancellor for Finance & Administration: Dr. Ken Kriz has been named interim VCFA Designate, pending BOT approval. He begins May 16 and will serve a two-year term.
- Dean of the College of Health, Science and Technology: An internal search is open for a two-year interim appointment for this position. Any UIS tenured faculty, regardless of their tenure home, may apply through our internal job board. Applications will be accepted through May 17.
- Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences: We expect to make an announcement soon.
Annual Evaluation Season
The Annual Evaluation Process for Academic Professional and Civil Service employees began April 1. Evaluations are due to Human Resources by June 2. An updated electronic version of the evaluation form is available. More information on the annual evaluation process can be found on the Human Resources website.
Summer at UIS
Registration is open for summer classes, which begin June 5. UIS offers two terms of affordable summer classes to help both current students and those from other colleges or universities meet their goals. Upper-level and general education courses are available to fit busy schedules. Reduced fees this year make it more affordable than ever, so please spread the news! Learn more: uis.edu/summer
Rave Guardian App
UIS offers the Rave Guardian safety app, which you can install on your cellphone. Guardian allows any user with a smartphone to activate a “panic button” that will immediately alert police to a problem and open communications between the user and Campus Police. This connection provides a GPS location (if active on your phone) for the Campus Police to aid in locating the user. Additionally, Guardian has a precautionary timer that acts as a digital alternative to a campus walking escort. Users can set the estimated time needed to walk to a destination; if that time expires and the user has not canceled the timer, Campus Police will call to ensure that the user is safe.
Cybersecurity Training due June 30.
You may now access new cybersecurity training. Note that this training is different from any previous training that you may have done and is due by June 30.
The Fiscal Year 2024 Benefit Choice enrollment period ends May 31. Read more on Orbit.
Celebrating our Star Power
- Jessie Misico, an online computer science major, has been selected as a recipient of the prestigious Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) offered by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. She will be studying Russian in Tbilisi, Georgia, this summer. Jessie was assisted in her application process by UIS Associate Professor of History Kristi Barnwell, who serves as a regional advisor for the CLS program, and Lan Dong, interim dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.
- Our student commencement speaker this year was LaNise Kirk, who shared some of the inspiring life lessons she’s experienced while battling angiosarcoma as a UIS student. You can watch a video about her story on the UIS Newsroom.
- Joan Sestak, director of community and governmental relations, has been named to a federal commission created to help plan national, state and local celebrations for the Route 66 centennial in 2026. Congratulations, Joan!
Have a great week,
Janet L. Gooch, PhD
University of Illinois Springfield