FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                  Date:  March 27, 2003

Contact:  Cheryl D. Peck



National Commission on the Future of UIS convenes


SPRINGFIELD – University of Illinois at Springfield Chancellor Richard Ringeisen has announced the kickoff of The National Commission on the Future of UIS designed to answer the questions: Where will UIS be in 10 years, and what does UIS aspire to be in 10 years?

About 200 people, who have been invited to serve on 13 task forces to explore those questions, are expected to attend the kickoff at 2 p.m. Friday, March 28, in Brookens Auditorium, located on the lower level of Brookens Library.

 “I hold fast to my vision of UIS as one of the best small public liberal arts universities in the nation,” said Ringeisen. “UIS is at the crossroads of many new opportunities. That’s why I asked for the creation of The National Commission on the Future of UIS. We have an idea of where we’re going. But we don’t yet know exactly how to get there. There is not yet a mutual vision that leads us all to a shared goal. Now is the time to create that vision,” he said.

Ringeisen emphasized that this is not a strategic planning process, but rather a “visioning” process. “In this process, we don’t have to develop detailed plans. We have to think, to dream, to envision what UIS will be in 10 years.”

Chair of the commission will be John D. Blackburn, chief executive officer of Country Insurance & Financial Services of Lincoln and a 1979 graduate of UIS/SSU with a master’s degree in educational leadership.

 Faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of UIS will serve on the task forces. Each


task force will consider a specific topic and answer the questions as they apply to that topic.  The 13 topics are: the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Center for Governmental Studies, Alumni, Athletics, Campus Relations, Development, Student Body, Brookens Library and Information Resources, Business and Administrative Support Services, College of Business and Management, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, College of Education and Human Services, College of Public Affairs and Administration, and Student Life.

Each task force will produce a concise, one-page visioning statement to be submitted to Chancellor Ringeisen by September 15.  The chancellor will then compile and publish one UIS visioning document by October 17.

“When I look ahead 10 years, I see high-caliber faculty interacting with highly motivated students, supported by an incredible staff on a campus energized by new kinds of student activities, and bubbling up everywhere will be pockets of excellence,” Chancellor Ringeisen said.

Members of the task forces have been asked to assume that in 10 years UIS will have 6,000 on-campus students, with 2,000 of them in residence. Other assumptions are that state resources will be adequate to meet needs, private giving will increase, and the campus will have a recreation/fitness center in full use.