Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Supporters lobby for state funding during U of I Day at the Capitol



Hundreds of students, faculty and alumni members spent the day lobbying lawmakers for state funding during University of Illinois Day at the Capitol on Wednesday, April 21.

The annual event was organized by the U of I Alumni Association as a way for people to demonstrate their support for all three University of Illinois campuses.

“We are almost a half a billion dollars that the state is indebted to the university. Today is really about engaging the legislators and getting them to understand how bad the problems (are),” said Derek Felix, UIS student representative on the U of I Board of Trustees.

The day began with a lunch briefing and review of key messages. Throughout the afternoon, participants met with legislators and staff.

“What we’re trying to get them to understand is in dollars spent at the University of Illinois by the state returns back to the state usually 13 times every dollar that’s put in it,” said Edward McMillan, University of Illinois trustee.

The lobbying group from UIS was made up of both students and faculty. They met with local representatives like Senator Larry Bomke of Springfield to share their stories about how the financial problems are affecting them.

“We will get paid. It’s just a matter of when. I hope it’s a lot sooner than later,” said Felix.

McMillan says it’s important to have students meeting with their lawmakers directly. He’s especially glad to have a campus full of politically minded students right in the capital city.

“We’re very blessed to have this campus at Springfield to be part of the University of Illinois system,” said McMillan.

At the end of the day, alumni, students, legislators, UIAA leaders and University officials held a reception at the State Library.

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Friday, November 06, 2009

UIS Alumnus and Department of Defense Inspector General visits campus



The Honorable Gordon S. Heddell, Inspector General for the United States Department of Defense visited his alma mater on Thursday, November 5, 2009 to meet with students in the Capital Scholars Honors Program.

“I got absolutely a top notch graduate level education here,” said Heddell referring to his 1975 master’s degree in Legal Studies.

Heddell is visiting Springfield to accept the University of Illinois Alumni Achievement Award for outstanding success and national or international distinction in one’s business, profession or life’s work.

“I feel humbled that the University Alumni Association is honoring me with this achievement award. I’m not sure that I probably deserve it, but I’m humbled that they think enough of me and I’m honored to be back here,” said Heddell.

Heddell was sworn in as DoD Inspector General on July 14, 2009, one year after being appointed as Acting Inspector General. Heddell began his Government service in 1966 as an Army Chief Warrant Officer, Helicopter Pilot, serving in both Korea and Taiwan during the Vietnam-era conflict. Following his military tours of duty, Mr. Heddell served for 29 years in the U.S. Secret Service, where he directed investigations of threats made against the President, Vice President, and other high-ranking government officials in Washington, D.C.

It was Heddell’s career with the Secret Service that brought him to Springfield to work in the field office. He finished his master’s degree after hours and admits it wasn’t easy, but it paid off.

“I’m a better Inspector general and a better public servant because of the things I learned here,” said Heddell.

Heddell says he’s pleased with the growth of the UIS campus over the years and the physical improvements that have been made since his time.

“I’m very proud of what Chancellor Richard Ringeisen has done here. He’s an example of exceptional leadership. I’m proud of what he’s accomplished. I’m proud of the entire University of Illinois system,” said Heddell.

Heddell just returned from a trip to Iraq and Afghanistan where he meet with troops and top commanders in the region. Its Heddell’s role as Inspector General to make sure that taxpayer money is being spent wisely and to help troops get the equipment they need.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Prominent UIS alums to participate in Leadership Roundtable

The University of Illinois at Springfield will host 21 distinguished alumni from across the nation as the group gathers to participate in a Leadership Roundtable on Thursday and Friday, November 6 and 7, at the university.

The topic of the Roundtable, "UIS in the Global Marketplace," will focus on two main topics: What can UIS offer international markets? and What do students need to know to be prepared for today’s global environment?

The alumni will participate in meetings and panel discussions with UIS administrators, faculty, and student groups and will take part in a "speed networking" event with students. The Leadership Roundtable program is designed as a way to bring some of the best and brightest alumni together with educators to share their insights on the realities and challenges of the global marketplace.

"UIS is very fortunate to have among its alumni many extraordinary leaders," said UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen. "These individuals have graciously agreed to share their experiences and expertise with us through intensive discussions about how we can best prepare our graduates for the future."

Roundtable participants are: Linda Baker-Roby, professor, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute and president, GII of Illinois, Inc. (BA, 1985; MA, 1987, DPA, 2004); Guoxing Chai, senior vice president, Risk Management & Analytics, Global Cards/Consumer Assets, HSBC bank (MBA, 1993); James A. Downing, founding executive director of Illinois Venture Capital Association (MBA, 1999); W. Robert Felker, chief administrative officer, Chase Capital and chairman of JPMorgan Futures Inc. (BA, 1974); Kathleen D. Gowin, senior vice president of sales, Global Treasury Services at Bank of America (MBA, 1987); Karen A. Hasara, first woman to be elected mayor of Springfield and former member of the Illinois Legislature (BA,1972; MA, 1992); Gordon S. Heddell, acting Inspector General, U.S. Department of Defense (MA, 1975); Brenda J. Holmes, chair of the Governmental Relations Committee, Illinois State Broad of Education and member of the Finance & Audit Committee, commissioner for the Education Commission of the States (MA, 1972); Raju L. Indukuri, independent entrepreneur and founder of Valence Energy (MA, 1992); Cheryl Alters Jamison, author of more than a dozen cookbooks and travel guides (1977 MA); Donald Johnson, chairman and CEO of ATC Technology Corporation and lead director of Accuride Corporation (BA, 1982); Thomas E. Livingston, resident vice president, CSX Transportation for the State of Illinois (BS, 1990; MPA, 1997); Syma R. Mendelsohn, senior vice president of JZA Affinity, Inc. (MA, 1975); David W. Olien, senior vice president for administration in the University of Wisconsin System (retired) (MA, 1974); Fred Parsons, owner/operator of Westview Condos LLC and Troy Development, partner in Metro East Recycling Inc. (BA, 1981); Kevin Purcell, system managing director in organization and leadership development for Memorial Health Systems (MA, 1982); Michael S. Schwartz, chairman of the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board (MA, 1980); Thom M. Serafin, president and CEO of Serafin & Associates, Inc. (BA, 1973; MA, 1993); Donna Fitzgerald Sollenberger, chief executive officer of the Baylor Clinic and Hospital and executive vice president of Baylor College of Medicine (BA, 1971; MA, 1974); Stanley D. Tooley, president/CEO of Southwest Regional Rehabilitation Hospital (MA, 1976); and Phillip T. Zeni Sr., CEO and senior consultant of The NEXT LEVEL Management Consultants (BA, 1973).

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