UIS milestones, 2001-06


  • Capital Scholars Program is launched forhigh-achieving freshmen (UIS’ first four-year baccalaureate program). Fall 2001.
  • Dr. Phillip Shaw Paludan, nationally renowned Lincoln scholar, is invested as UIS’ first Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies. 2001.
  • UIS establishes Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award. 2000-01. Tracy DiMezzo (MA Biology), winner of the award in 2003-04, also wins Master’s Thesis Award from Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools. 2005.
  • First student awarded Doctorate of Public Administration. May 2002.
  • UIS experiences influx of bright, highly qualified faculty including 25 in 2001 and 40 more in 2005.
  • UIS becomes a national leader in online education after receiving $1.7 million from Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to develop more online degree programs (total of ten online degree programs now offered).
  • National survey ranks Online Computer Science Program one of the top “best buys” in the nation. 2005
  • Former Institute for Public Affairs becomes Center for State Policy and Leadership and creates a new mission. 2003-04.
  • UIS develops new general education curriculum in anticipation of expanding freshmen enrollment in fall 2006. 2004-06.
  • Existing campusbuilding is renamed Visual and Performing Arts Building with increasing emphasis on music, theatre, forensics, and fine and performing arts.


  • UIS campus becomes completely wireless. 2001-02.
  • I-Card (Multifunction Vending and Access Card System) is implemented. 2001-02.
  • Commencement is web-streamed for first time. May 2002.
  • Campus-wide network infrastructure is completely upgraded. 2004.
  • More than 95% of the campus’ classrooms and teaching labs become “smart” following opening of University Hall. 2004
  • Registration for classes becomes completely electronic. 2004.
  • New position is created– Associate Provost for Information Technology — to oversee all campus technology initiatives. 2005.

Physical campus

  • Lincoln Residence Hall opens. Fall 2001.
  • New Food Emporium opens. 2001-02.
  • Students approve fee for construction of recreation and fitness center. 2003. UIS receives $1 million gift for the center. 2005. Groundbreaking set: Spring 2006. Completion expected: Summer 2007.
  • University Hall, UIS’ most technologically-sophisticated building, opens. Fall 2004.
  • New townhouses open. August 2003 and2004.
  • A permanent front entrance to UIS is officiallyestablished at 11th Street and Ernest Hemingway Drive. Entrance marker completed. 2005.
  • Formation of quad continues. 2004. Colonnade is installed. Summer 2005.


  • Overall enrollment grows steadily to more than 4,500 students.
  • Percentage of UIS students taking courses online grows significantly (42% currently taking at least one online course).
  • Enrollment of freshmen in the Capital Scholars Honors Program reaches high of 138. Fall 2005.

Student Affairs

  • More students than ever (nearly 900) live on campus in apartments, townhouses, and Lincoln Residence Hall. Fall 2005.
  • Student organizations mushroom by 250%, from about 20 to 70, and student life activities/events grow significantly in number and variety.
  • UIS establishes Office of Student Volunteers and Service Learning. 2003.
  • Global Experience Program expands study abroad opportunities to the current total of eight international institutions with which UIS has formal affiliations.
  • Career Services Center expands and enhances services. 2005-06.


  • Prairie Stars Men’s Basketball team is established. 2003.
  • Prairie Stars Women’s Softball team is established. 2004.
  • Prairie Stars join American Midwest Conference, consisting of eight institutions from Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas. 2003.
  • Prairie Stars women’s tennis team advances to NAIA National Tournament. 2003.
  • Prairie Stars men’s soccer team advances to NAIA National Tournament. 2003
  • Prairie Stars Men’s Basketball team wins American Midwest Conference Tournament championship and advances to NAIA National Tournament. 2006.


  • National Commission on Future of UIS releases “A Vision for All Seasons” preceding strategic planning process. 2003.
  • UIS completes first comprehensive strategic plan since 1992, including new mission and vision statements. 2006.

Note: Items that don’t include specific years took place over a multi-year period from 2001 to 2006.