Monday, August 24, 2009

College of Business and Management signs 2+2 agreements

The College of Business and Management at the University of Illinois Springfield has announced that it has signed Articulation (2+2) Agreements with William Rainey Harper College and Illinois Central College for degrees in Business Administration, Economics and Management. A 2+2 agreement is a partnership that facilitates the transfer of students from a two-year college to a four-year university.

A four-year course plan has been mapped out for the students at Harper and Illinois Central colleges that will ensure that they take the necessary foundation courses to prepare them for any of the three undergraduate degree programs of Business Administration, Economics, and Management offered by the College of Business and Management at UIS.

“In this economy, it’s especially important that every course a student completes fulfills a degree requirement,” noted Dyanne Ferk, associate dean for the College. “These Transfer Agreements give students, advisors and parents a guarantee that courses completed at the community college will count toward degree completion at UIS.”

A 2+2 agreement creates synergy between the faculty of both colleges because they have ongoing communications concerning transferring students and maintenance of the degree plans, according to Ferk. Students also benefit from having academic advising from the senior university while still at the community college.

“Transfer agreements such as 2+2 agreements greatly benefit students,” said Eric Rosenthal, director of Academic Advising and Counseling and transfer coordinator for Harper College. “They make it very clear to the student which classes he or she must take at the community college to transfer most efficiently to the 4-year institution.”

Steven Carlisle, academic advisor of Business & Information Systems at Illinois Central College added: “One of the most important benefits for Illinois Central College students who choose the 2+2 agreement is knowing what classes they will be taking at both schools. It gives them a checklist of items to work through as they are on the academic journey; it allows the student to be comfortable with the classes they take at ICC, which will then transfer to UIS.”

UIS currently has 2+2 agreements with two other colleges, Lincoln Land Community College and Heartland Community College, in the areas of Business Administration, Economics and Management.

The College of Business and Management at UIS is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International and offers programs that prepare students for challenging careers and positions in private and public sector organizations. Graduate degrees are also offered in Accountancy, Business Administration, and Management Information Systems.

Founded in 1967, Illinois Central College is a two-year, fully accredited institution of higher education located in Peoria, Illinois.

William Rainey Harper College was founded in 1967 and is a two-year, fully accredited institution of higher education with campuses located in Palantine, Prospect Heights, and Schaumburg.

For more information, contact UIS’ College of Business and Management at 217/206-6533.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

Hall selected as new director of UIS MBA program

The University of Illinois at Springfield’s College of Business and Management has announced that Dr. James Hall has been selected as the new director of the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program.

Hall, an associate professor in the department of Management Information Systems, succeeds Dr. Paul McDevitt, who is retiring this month.

“James will continue to build on the careful foundation laid by Paul McDevitt,” noted Dr. Ron McNeil, dean of the College of Business and Management at UIS. “Our vision is to increase the quality of the program even more, with both academic rigor and relevance that attracts more qualified students in our region and beyond.”

Hall earned his MBA from UIS in 1983 and his doctoral degree in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He joined the MIS department at UIS in 2000. Hall has extensive private and public sector experience in business, transportation management and information systems applications.

The MBA degree at UIS is an AACSB accredited professional graduate program for individuals who aspire to hold positions of significant managerial and leadership responsibilities in organizations. In addition to core business subjects, the curriculum emphasizes strong conceptual thinking, disciplined decision-making and essential management and leadership skills.
The UIS MBA program is offered in Springfield and at the UIS Peoria Center.

“I am honored to be selected as the MBA Program Director, especially given this stage in UIS MBA program development,” Hall said. “I plan to work with our faculty to build on our international AACSB accreditation to achieve an even higher quality MBA program to meet the needs of students and organizations in the Springfield and Peoria regions and beyond.”

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Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Springfield Area Economy expects below normal levels of activity through 2009

The University of Illinois at Springfield announces that the greater Springfield Enterprise Index (SEI) for April 2009 is 58 which means below normal economic activity, and much slower than one year ago (April 2008). A SEI value of 100 indicates that the area economy is on its long-term growth trend. A SEI value less than 100 indicates “below average” activity.

The Springfield area economy is projected to be below normal growth throughout the year. The SEI increases to 69 for April 2010. While this may not indicate a rebound in the economy it does project no further slowing by the end of the year.

“Compared to previous SEI forecasts, this is the first time we have seen a major slowing of the area economy,” said Patty Byrnes, professor of economics at the University of Illinois at Springfield. “This is related to recent declines in local area employment and expected little improvement in the state and national economies.”

The indexes for all other areas of Illinois also are predicted to be below normal growth for that area. The Springfield SEI shows a similar pattern of activity to all other metropolitan areas with no foreseen further worsening of the each area’s economy. The Chicago area SEI shows expected below normal activity throughout 2009.

What is the SEI?
The SEI is a leading indicator of the local area status of the business cycle. This means that it helps predict the trend in the local economy. It can be used by business leaders and government workers to understand profits, job prospects and tax revenues. The SEI is interpreted by first remembering that overtime the Springfield area economy has grown, despite ups and downs of the level of economic activity. The index measures how far away the economy is from this and growth trend. A value of 100 implies that the Springfield area economy is on its long-term growth trend. An SEI value greater than 100 indicates “above average” and values below 100 indicate “below average” growth.

How is the SEI Constructed?
The SEI measures the economy based on national and local factors. The national component is from the national business cycle using the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank National Activity Index (CFNAI), which is a composite of many indicator including output and income, employment and unemployment, consumption, housing starts and sales, manufacturing and trade sales, and inventories and orders. The local business cycle component is represented by non-farm employment in four sectors, manufacturing, construction, retail, and other sectors (including government). The sectors are based on the local employment activities and Midwest manufacturing activities estimated from the Chicago Fed Midwest Manufacturing Index (CFMMI).

How Can I Learn More?
The index was developed and created by the Regional Economic Applications Laboratory, Institute of Government and Public Affairs, University of Illinois. Information on the Springfield area index can be obtained from Patty Byrnes, Center for State Policy and Leadership at UIS, 217-206-7783 or pbyrn1@uis.edu. The Greater Springfield Enterprise Index is due to collaboration between The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, the Institute of Government and Public Affairs – University of Illinois, and the Center for State Policy and Leadership – University of Illinois at Springfield.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Survey: Lower Taxes Needed to Attract More Businesses, Create Jobs in Illinois

Illinois’ commercial and industrial real estate professionals know exactly why Illinois is losing business to neighboring states and beyond – too many state and local taxes, a perception that Illinois is anti-business and the lack of available incentives.

These and other results come from a survey sponsored by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and conducted by the Survey Research Office at the University of Illinois-Springfield. Illinois commercial and industrial real estate professionals were asked about the state’s strengths and weaknesses in terms of keeping, growing and attracting new development.

The results in this report provide a good roadmap for Illinois’ new governor and legislators on ways to keep and attract more business, create more jobs and stimulate greater development.

“No one knows our state’s economic strengths and weaknesses better than commercial and industrial real estate developers,” said Tom Wolf, director of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Development Council. “Whether it’s keeping companies here in our state, convincing them to grow here or attracting new ventures to move here, industrial and commercial real estate professionals are in the trenches every day and hear why companies choose Illinois – and why they go someplace else.”

Respondents assessed a range of criteria including infrastructure, workforce issues, location, site availability and supply factors, economic development opportunities, and costs of doing business, including state and local taxes and fees. They were ranked by survey participants in two ways -- based on how importance they were to client decision-making, and how Illinois is perceived by clients in providing these criteria. The gaps between the important criteria and Illinois’ ability to deliver serve as guide to where attention is needed.

According to the survey, the biggest areas where Illinois can improve are:

-state and local tax burdens
-state reputation/image regarding business
-availability and amount of incentives
-flexibility of incentives to meet needs
-ease of process to qualify/receive incentives
-ease/timeliness of permit/regulatory procedures.

Among those who indicated that clients had recently inquired about sites in Illinois and then chose another location, nearly two-thirds identified cost of doing business factors as reasons those clients chose to locate elsewhere. Forty percent mentioned clients received better incentives in other places – with most of those firms going to neighboring Midwestern states.

The good news is that Illinois does offer value in several categories that developers do care about, including skilled workers and transportation infrastructure.

“We knew going in that we’d find out where our state is strong and where we would have more work to do,” said Wolf. “Using these results, our Governor and legislative leaders can focus on efforts to shore up the perception and reality of our weaknesses in order to attract more private-sector growth and more jobs throughout the state. We hope they are listening.”

About the survey: The survey was conducted in the third and fourth quarters of 2008 with 160 commercial and industrial real estate professionals (agents and brokers) in Illinois from 88 different real estate firms across the state. Two-thirds of the respondents completed the survey through a telephone interview while the remaining one-third did so through a web-based survey. The response rate was 35%. There were some differences based on geography in responses to importance of various location factors as well as in identifying strengths and weaknesses of their area; however the greatest gaps and recommended changes had few geographic differences.

Co-sponsors of the survey were the Illinois Development Council; Metro Economic Growth Alliance of Chicago; Illinois Association of Realtors; and the Illinois Chamber’s Economic Development Council. To read the full survey, visit the Illinois Chamber’s web page:
http://www.ilchamber.org/.

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Springfield economy is predicted to rebound in spring

The University of Illinois at Springfield announces that the greater Springfield Enterprise Index (SEI) for September 2008 is 126, which means expected above normal economic activity and an increase over one year ago.

While still above normal, there was a projected downturn in activity during November and December 2008. However, the economy is projected to return to current levels in the first part of 2009. By May of 2009, the level of activity is expected to have returned to levels like fall 2008.

The forecast for the economy in late summer and one year from now is stronger growth. The index for next September is forecasted to be at 131. The Springfield area economy has not seen this level of activity since early 2001.

“The SEI forecast of the Springfield economy for this quarter is consistent with last quarter’s forecast that also indicated the economy rebounding in early 2009,” said Dr. Patty Byrnes, professor of economics at the University of Illinois at Springfield. “This is also a similar pattern for the other metropolitan areas in the state.”

An index value of 100 indicates that the area economy is on its long-term growth trend. An SEI value greater than 100 indicates “above average” activity while values below 100 indicate “below average” activity.

September 2008 SEI = 126
History (Ago) = 1 Month-129, 3 Months-120, 1 Year-107
Forecast (Ahead) = 1 Month-121, 3 Months-108, 1 Year-131

What is the SEI?
The SEI is a leading indicator of the local area status of the business cycle. This means that it helps predict the trend in the local economy. It can be used by business, workers government to understand profits, job prospects and tax revenues.

The SEI is interpreted by first remembering that overtime the Springfield area economy has grown, despite ups and downs of the level of economic activity. The index measures how far away the economy is from this and growth trend. The SEI is a leading indicator which means it measures changes in economic activity before the economy starts to follow a particular pattern or trend. The SEI, like other leading indicators, can be used to predict changes in the economy but are not always accurate. As the SEI is used over longer periods of time, we can evaluate how well it predicts changes in the economy.

The SEI measures the economy based on national and local factors. The national component is from the national business cycle using the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank National Activity Index (CFNAI), which is a composite of many indicator including output and income, employment and unemployment, consumption, housing starts and sales, manufacturing and trade sales, and inventories and orders.

The local business cycle component is represented by non-farm employment in four sectors, manufacturing, construction, retail, and other sectors (including government). The sectors are based on the local employment activities and Midwest manufacturing activities estimated from the Chicago Fed Midwest Manufacturing Index (CFMMI).

The index was developed and created by the Regional Economic Applications Laboratory, Institute of Government and Public Affairs, University of Illinois. The local interpretation and results are prepared by Patty Byrnes, Center for State Policy and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Springfield. Support is provided by The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce in arranging local focus groups for the SEI. Information on the Springfield area index can be obtained from Patty Byrnes at 217-206-7783 or pbyrn1@uis.edu.

The index is a partnership between the University of Illinois at Springfield, The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce and the University of Illinois, Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

For more information about the news release, contact Sarah Wolin, Director of Communications for the Chamber of Commerce at 525-1173.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Board approves updating UIS Campus Master Plan

The University of Illinois Board of Trustees approved updating the University of Illinois at Springfield Campus Master Plan Thursday to include land owned by the university outside the ring road. The update builds on the current plan, which includes only land within the ring road. UIS own 745 acres of land, about 230 acres of which are inside the ring road.

The Campus Master Plan is a "blueprint" for long-term growth and development of the physical campus. According to UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen, the update was needed as UIS anticipates the need for modest campus expansion, additional services, and potential development outside the ring road. "We are talking about such things as a campustown-type mall, which would be located across from the townhouses on the west side of 11th Street," he said. "It could perhaps include a café, coffee shop, grocery store, pharmacy, pizza parlor, ice cream store, and more."

Ringeisen emphasized, however, that campustown won't become a reality until there is a private developer who feels there is enough traffic, enough students, and enough potential for businesses to survive, and is willing to partner with UIS. He noted that there are several reasons why campustown would be a viable investment. "The number of students living on campus has grown. This fall we have more than 1,000 residential students. Wal-Mart is now only two miles away, and more development such as apartments and a small mall has taken place on Toronto Road. That means traffic has increased on the 11th Street corridor even though the extension to Stevenson Drive is not yet complete."

He said other possible uses of land outside the ring road include additional athletic fields, active senior housing, and a golf driving range.

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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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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Local economic indexes predict above normal activity

Results of two economic indicators released on October 7, 2008, show that Springfield, as well as some sectors of the Sangamon County economy, can expect above normal activity in the coming year.

The biannual Springfield Enterprise Index was developed by the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the U of I.

The Sangamon County Business Economic Outlook Survey is a joint project of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Center for State Policy and Leadership at UIS and the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce.

Download a pdf file of the news release issued by the Chamber of Commerce.
SEIandSurveyOct08.pdf

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Expected Near Normal Growth for Springfield Area

Springfield Enterprise Index released for Quarter One, 2008

The University of Illinois at Springfield announces that the Greater Springfield Enterprise Index (SEI) for March 2008 was 94.4, indicating a slight slowing of the economy relative to a long-term trend. "The good news is that for the rest of the year, the forecast is for an up-turn in the level of economic activity. The one-month, three-month, and one-year forecast all suggest near normal growth," said Dr. Patty Byrnes, professor of economics at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Download a pdf file of the news release by Sarah Wolin of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce

Near Normal Growth Expected.pdf

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