Goal #4: Strengthen Campus Culture

UIS will be known for its high level of responsiveness to students and as an institution where respect and civility prevail in all interactions.


Strategic Thrust #1: Create Identity

Create an identity that is clear to all UIS faculty, staff, students, alumni, and to the external community. UIS will have comprehensive, ongoing orientation and internal communication procedures in place to keep everyone informed and involved in implementing the UIS brand and vision.

Action Step #1: UIS will complete its branding process and include its message continuously in the orientation and communications plans.

Action Step #2: A mandatory orientation program will be approved for all new UIS staff. The program will include information about the heritage, values, mission, vision, and strategic plan of UIS. It will also describe and promote the distinct contribution of UIS in the University of Illinois system. All new UIS staff will receive this orientation within their first month of employment.

Action Step #3: All current UIS staff will participate in unit-level orientation to the UIS Strategic Plan within three months of its approval. Then, there will be periodic and ongoing review of the strategic plan at the same unit level. The initial orientation will include information about the heritage, values, mission, vision, and strategic plan of UIS. It will also describe and promote the distinct contribution of UIS in the University of Illinois system. Vice chancellors will be responsible for implementation. All UIS staff and faculty have tasks and responsibilities connected to the UIS vision.

Action Step #4: UIS will create an internal communications plan and will notify the UIS community and alumni about this plan. The internal plan will include ways that all UIS staff and faculty can stay informed about what is happening at UIS (policies, activities, events, etc.). A major purpose of this plan should be to promote the identity and vision statement of UIS.

Action Step #5: Expand the Office of Web Services to align its staff and technical resources with the growing need of faculty, staff, and students to use web sites as a major source of information and communication.

Action Step #6: Create and sustain both short- and long-term marketing programs that promote a coherent identity for UIS.

Performance Indicators for strategic thrust #1:

  • Brand identified
  • Orientation programs in place for current and new staff
  • Internal communications plan implemented and well-known to all staff and faculty
  • Marketing program in alignment with curricular, co-curricular, brand, recruitment, and development efforts


Strategic Thrust #2: Responsiveness

UIS must be a place where there is an expectation of extraordinary customer service for students, faculty, staff, alumni, and visitors.

Action Step #7: UIS will launch a campuswide Customer Service Program. Special emphasis will be placed on the business services that benefit students, staff, faculty, and visitors.

Action Step #8: The commitment to good service will include specific ways to obtain continuous feedback – sometimes “instant feedback” – from staff, students, and visitors in response to programs, events, training, or service. Methods of feedback might include surveys, online surveys, and customer and staff satisfaction surveys.

Action Step #9: Create a one-stop shop for students to receive as many services as possible (see Goal #5).

Performance Indicators for strategic thrust #2:

  • Implementation of a customer service campaign
  • Processes in place for obtaining continuous feedback


Strategic Thrust #3: Build Community

UIS will pay special attention to building a community where all students, staff, faculty, alumni, and visitors feel welcome and treat each other with civility and respect; understand the
traditions, values, and vision of UIS; and work together to implement the strategic plan and achieve the university’s goals.

Action Step #10: Develop a list and description of “UIS Traditions.” Dissemination of this list will occur during the orientation process for all students, staff, and faculty. The objective is to make sure that all understand the history and traditions of UIS.

Action Step #11: Relationships with alumni will be strengthened by increased communication with them, by their involvement in more planning and activities and events, and by additional networking with the Alumni Association.

Action Step #12: UIS will create a Campus Welcome Committee process. Membership will consist of staff from all divisions and will change regularly. A welcome committee will meet at least once a month with all employees brought on board during the previous month. The purpose of the meetings will be to help provide all employees with an orientation to what is happening on every part of the campus.

Action Step #13: Re-establish community-oriented Continuing Education opportunities with a variety of short courses responding to community needs and interests, especially for nonprofit organizations and for lifelong and non-degree-seeking learners.

Action Step #14: UIS will launch a “Civility Campaign” that will include the preparation of a new document, “The UIS Commitment to Service and Respect.” All current UIS faculty, staff, and students will receive the statement.

Performance Indicators for strategic thrust #3:

  • List of UIS traditions developed formally
  • Campus Welcome Committee established to meet monthly with all new UIS staff
  • Re-establish Continuing Education program
  • Implement Civility Campaign


Strategic Thrust #4: Enhance the Physical Environment

To help create the kind of culture that we desire and to build community, UIS will take the necessary steps to alter its physical environment.

Action Step #15: UIS will designate responsibility for all campus signage.

Action Step #16: Develop a plan and process for continuously reviewing and improving all signage to make it more user friendly.

Action Step #17: Create a plan for more inside and outside gathering spaces, including such “third spaces” as coffee shops, lounges, and the bike paths and walkways that direct people to such places.

Action Step #18: Design and build “stow and go” spaces for commuter students who take coursework throughout the day and evening.

Action Step #19: Create a long-range plan for statues, monuments, and a sculpture garden. Involve members of the community and potential donors in the process.

Action Step #20: Promote and publicize the need for development of a Campus Town, possibly including a residential retirement center.

Performance Indicators for strategic thrust #4:

  • Implementation of process to improve all signage and keep it up to date
  • Long-range plans created for gathering spaces, walkways, monuments, statues, and a sculpture garden
  • Promotion and public discussion of a Campus Town and possibly a residential retirement center


Strategic Thrust #5: Promote Environmental Sustainability

UIS will be a role model in promoting campus environmental sustainability. UIS recognizes that we are part of a global community with limited resources and that our choices can positively affect that community and campus life.

Action Step #21: Expand, implement, and maintain an effective recycling program on all campus facilities.

Action Step #22: Design new university buildings complying with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards and consider LEED standards in remodeling of existing buildings.

Action Step #23: Raise campus awareness regarding our impact on the environment by developing environmental education programs and participating in public dialogue on environmental issues within and beyond the campus community.

Action Step #24: Consider landscaping, energy use, building maintenance, purchasing, food service, and transportation as specific areas in which environmentally friendly practices are possible and desirable; implement such practices to the extent possible.

Performance Indicators for strategic thrust #5:

  • Level of participation in Recycling Program
  • Achievement of LEEDS standards in new construction and renovations
  • Level of participation in public dialogue on environmental issues
  • Focus on environmental preservation and sustainability in campus planning