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Happy Tuesday!

I hope you enjoyed the holiday weekend and the official last “hurrah” of summer. The past two weeks have been filled with activities and excitement as we gear up for the year. Thanks so much for all of your participation in these events, including our official academic year Kickoff meeting. If you missed the event, you can catch the replay here. It was a such a fun opportunity to welcome our new employees, to mix and mingle, and to share our priorities for the year. 

New Information

Prairie Stars 5K

Join me! Register for the Prairie Stars 5K at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 9. New this year is “Challenge the Chancellor,” where you can push me to put my marathon training skills to the test. We have an amazing running community on campus, and you inspire me to continue to improve!

UIS Esports

Join us at 3:30 p.m. tomorrow, Sept. 6, in Founders Residence Hall as we unveil our new UIS Esports Arena. Let us know you’re coming.

Friday Night Star Parties

Friday Night Star Parties start Sept. 8. Parties are from 8 to 10 p.m., weather permitting, and are a wonderful, long-standing UIS tradition. Bring your friends or family, too. Pre-registration is encouraged.

Experience SSU in 2023

The Visual Arts Gallery’s “A Public Commons,” a project building on UIS’ history of being an institution focused on openness, innovation and adaptability, recreates “the pit,” a popular 1970s Sangamon State University classroom. In this neutral space, people can explore effective communication and problem-solving from different viewpoints. “A Public Commons” is open Aug. 28 through Oct. 5, and the space is available for public use noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Reserve the space.

I-card Center Move

ID Center services will be unavailable Sept. 6-7 as the office moves from East Campus to UHB 1004. Staff are available by email during this time to assist with meal plans and other inquiries. Full services will resume Sept. 8 in the new location. Learn more about facilities transitions.     

Parental Leave

Parental Leave changes, effective Aug. 16, have been updated on the System HR website. Eligible employees are now able to receive six weeks of parental leave upon hire and parental leave may be taken in full or intermittently with departmental approval. Parental Leave FAQs

SWOF Distribution

Each year, the U of I System provides UIS with financial support from the System-Wide Opportunity Fund. This year, our SWOF funds (approximately $46,770) will be set aside for initiatives that will help propel us toward achieving our mission and fulfilling our vision. The Office of the Provost will oversee distribution of these funds. Application information will be released later this month.

Faculty Expertise

The Office of Web Services has developed a new way to spotlight faculty expertise. In collaboration with ITS, Web Services has enriched our faculty directory, enabling members to showcase publications, research, teachings and more. Once a faculty member selects their area of expertise, they will be featured on the new, dedicated faculty experts page. All faculty are encouraged to update their directory profiles to highlight their accomplishments so we can better showcase the talent that makes UIS special. More information: How to update your directory profile.

AI Initiatives

UIS is intensifying its focus on Artificial Intelligence (AI) initiatives across campus to help reinforce our role in AI education and research.

  • To help focus our efforts, we are launching a new “AI at UIS” webpage. As AI advances, it’s crucial we showcase our involvement and leadership in this field. If you have AI expertise, please update your directory profile to check “AI” as your area of expertise, and you'll be listed on our upcoming AI Expert page. Additionally, the Office of Web Services worked with Orion Lab to add new functionality to the website to allow you to Submit Your Research Projects. Use this capability to submit your AI research projects to be included on the AI Research webpage. I encourage all AI-involved faculty, staff and students to submit projects. Let’s show how UIS is on the leading edge of AI innovation!
  • UIS is in the process of launching an AI Steering Committee, which will be tasked with organizing and managing subcommittees to mitigate AI’s impact, crafting long-term AI integration strategies, and overseeing their progress. These committees will be responsible for forming AI policies, guidelines and ethical frameworks, while also maintaining regular engagement with stakeholders. Their role further includes establishing methods to assess the effectiveness of the AI initiatives on campus. More information coming soon.

Information that Bears Repeating

Grad Week

Thank you to everyone participating in the upcoming fall Grad Week! Please encourage undergraduate students to sign up for Sept. 25-29 webinars to learn more about our graduate programs.

UIS Mobile App

Don’t forget to download the UIS Mobile app, available on both iOS and Android.

Professional Development Retreat

Thanks to the more than 200 employees who registered for the UIS Professional Development Retreat on Sept. 15. It’s going to be a great opportunity for us to spend time together with intentional focus on our personal wellness.

Celebrating our Star Power

Hyflex Classrooms

Thanks to ITS and Facilities for successfully converting 34 spaces into Hyflex classrooms to enhance the teaching/learning experience!

New Faculty Members

I hope you will join me in welcoming our 15 new faculty members! Please make them feel at home and show them what it means to be a Prairie Star.

The semester is off to a great start; let’s keep up the good work!


Janet L. Gooch, PhD


University of Illinois Springfield

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