Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Looking Back: A decade in review at UIS

The University of Illinois Springfield became a part of the University of Illinois system in 1995, and the small liberal arts college in Central Illinois has been gaining momentum ever since. UIS has experienced positive growth over the last 15 years like never before.

The new century was particularly exciting for the university with the construction of major campus buildings such as University Hall, Lincoln and Founders residence halls and The Recreation and Athletic Center (TRAC) as well the appointment of a new chancellor and other top administrators and the reception of numerous prestigious awards in areas like online learning.

Here is a look back at some of the major news and accomplishments on the UIS campus over the past decade:


Educational leadership online program is first of its kind in the nation
February 28
UIS begins to offer an online master’s degree in education, the master of arts in educational leadership (EDL) with a master teacher leadership (MTL) concentration. It is the third online degree offered by UIS and is designed for full-time, place bound teachers seeking career advancement.

Construction begins on UIS entrance marker
April 17
Construction of the first and only permanent campus entrance marker for UIS begins. The marker, funded by faculty and staff, is to be located at the intersection of 11th Street and Ernest Hemingway Drive

UIS receives largest gift in its history to establish Lincoln chair
May 15
The Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies is established with a $1.25 million gift from Dr. Richard E. Vaden and his family. Philip Shaw Paladun, one of the nation’s leading scholars on Abraham Lincoln, becomes the first chair in 2001.

Chancellor Lynn will stay on temporarily
May 30
UIS Chancellor Naomi Lynn delays her retirement at the request of U of I President James Stukel as the search for a replacement continues.

Lincoln Residence Hall groundbreaking ceremony
July 10
A groundbreaking ceremony is held for UIS’ first residence hall - the future home of students enrolled in UIS’ new four-year baccalaureate honors program.

UIS, Japanese institute sign sister school pact
October 18
An academic exchange and cooperation agreement between the Ashikaga Institute of Technology (AIT), Japan, and the University of Illinois at Springfield is signed in a formal ceremony.


New UIS Chancellor Chosen
February 1
Richard D. Ringeisen, the senior academic officer at East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C., is the choice of the U of I Board of Trustees to become chancellor of the University of Illinois Springfield. View State Journal-Register front page coverage

University of Illinois at Springfield to offer MBA program in Peoria
March 15
The University of Illinois Springfield’s College of Business and Management announces a new master’s in business administration program to be offered at its Peoria Center.

UIS announces appointment of new provost
May 7
Michael R. Cheney is named provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs.

Legislature approves funding for University Hall
June 1
The Illinois General Assembly includes money for the construction of University Hall in the FY 2002 state budget. University Hall will become the first major classroom building constructed at UIS in more than a decade.

UIS welcomes first freshman class in its history
August 20
UIS welcomes 119 freshman students in the new Capital Scholars program. Total campus enrollment climbs to 4,284, an increase of 342 undergraduate and graduate students.
View additional State Journal-Register coverage


UIS Announces the addition of men’s basketball and hires Coach Kevin Gamble
March 27
Kevin Gamble, who led Springfield’s Lanphier Lions basketball team to a state championship in 1983 and went on to play for the Big Ten’s Iowa Hawkeyes and the NBA’s Boston Celtics, is named UIS’ first men’s basketball head coach.
View additional State Journal-Register coverage

UIS announces new dean of College of Business and Management
June 3
Ronald D. McNeil is appointed as dean of the College of Business and Management and professor of Business Administration.

Comedy is first production of new UIS theater program
October 16
The theater program at the University of Illinois at Springfield kicks off its first season with a production of It’s Only a Play, a comedy by Terrence McNally.

Groundbreaking ceremony for University Hall
October 28
The University of Illinois Springfield breaks ground on a new classroom/office building in a ceremony attended by Gov. George H. Ryan and several other dignitaries.
View additional State Journal-Register coverage


UIS' Innocence Project achieves first major victory
January 15
Faculty and students in the the UIS Downstate Illinois Innocence Project commend former Gov. George Ryan for granting clemency to Keith Harris, a Belleville resident who spent more than 20 years in prison for armed robbery and attempted murder. The Project worked to overturn Harris’ wrongful conviction.

UIS to offer new degree in Environmental Science
June 19
UIS begins to offer a master of science degree in Environmental Science in the fall semester of 2003.


Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. gives presentation at UIS
March 3
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. speaks at the University of Illinois Springfield on the topic “Our Environmental Destiny.”

UIS announces new dean of College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
May 17
Margot I. Duley is named dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and professor of History

U of I Board of Trustees approves TRAC construction
June 17
Plans to build a recreation and fitness center at UIS move a step closer to reality when the U of I Board of Trustees approves the project to construct a $16 million 66,000-square-foot multipurpose facility. UIS students approve raising student fees to build TRAC, prompting a local businessman to pledge an additional $1 million.

UIS adds undergraduate degree in philosophy
July 27
UIS begins to offer a bachelor of arts degree in Philosophy in the fall semester of 2004.

UIS holds dedication ceremony for University Hall
August 18
UIS reaches another milestone in its history when university administrators, dignitaries, and members of the public gather to dedicate a $31.3 million University Hall building, featuring smart classrooms, computer labs and lecture halls.
View additional State Journal-Register coverage

U of I’s new president visits Springfield campus
November 2
B. Joseph White, the former interim president and dean of the business school at the University of Michigan, is selected as the 16th president of the U of I by the Board of Trustees.


UIS unveils design of new recreation and fitness center
July 13
The state-of-the-art TRAC, designed primarily to provide recreation and fitness opportunities for UIS students, includes a 3,000-seat gymnasium capable of expanding to a 4,000-seat performance arena.
View additional State Journal-Register coverage

Statewide political magazine celebrates 30 years
September 8
Former Gov. Jim Edgar moderates a panel discussion on the state’s future at a special luncheon honoring Illinois Issues magazine’s 30th Anniversary.

Approval of new curriculum makes UIS full four-year university
September 8
The University of Illinois Springfield becomes a full four-year university for the first time in its 35-year history. For the first time, both honors and non-honors freshmen and sophomores can be admitted.
View additional State Journal-Register coverage

Harry Berman named permanent provost
September 9
After serving in the role of interim provost the U of I Board of Trustees names Harry Berman UIS provost and vice chancellor of academic affairs.


UIS student trustee given voting rights for first time
July 18
For the first time, Governor Rod Blagojevich designates the UIS student trustee an official voting member of the U of I Board of Trustees. Sarah Doyle became the first student trustee from UIS ever to be given official voting rights.

UIS breaks ground for TRAC
July 27
UIS breaks ground for a $16.2 million recreation and athletic center on campus. The state-of-the-art center is part of the university’s strategic plan to create a more vibrant campus for a growing number of residential and commuter students.

IBHE approves construction on second residence hall and new townhouses

August 17
The Illinois Board of Higher Education approves two new building projects at UIS: an $15.8 million residence hall and six new townhouses.

UIS creates Experiential and Service-Learning Programs
October 16
UIS implements the Experiential and Service-Learning Programs, consisting of nontraditional, outside-the-classroom learning. The new entity encompasses existing programs in Applied Studies and Credit for Prior Learning, with the addition of the new Service-Learning program.

Judd is named National City Distinguished Professor
November 13
Richard Judd, longtime business professor at UIS, is named National City Distinguished Professor in Banking and Finance. Judd also serves as director of the Center for Entrepreneurship in the College of Business and Management.


UIS becomes iTunes U campus
January 23
UIS becomes an iTunes U campus. As such, UIS will be able to provide lectures, presentations, or other programs as downloadable files for students and others to access anytime and anywhere.

College of Business and Management accredited by AACSB
April 17
The College of Business and Management at UIS is accepted for accreditation by AACSB International - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the world's premier accrediting agency for collegiate schools of business. Fewer than 15 percent of business programs worldwide and about 28 percent in the U.S. presently have this accreditation.

WUIS launches digital signal
August 7
WUIS-WIPA, the local NPR affiliate at UIS, launches its digital signal, becoming the first radio station in Springfield to offer clearer sound and the possibility of more than one program stream.

TRAC opens with ribbon-cutting ceremony
September 26
UIS holds a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the new, state-of-the-art recreation and athletic center (TRAC) in front of a packed crowd of campus and community members.

UIS receives award for online learning from Sloan Consortium
October 22
In recognition for the university’s leadership in the area of online learning, the Sloan Consortium announces that it has selected UIS as the recipient of the Excellence in Institution-Wide Online Teaching & Learning Programming award.


McDermott named first Ameren Endowed Professor
April 2
Dr. Karl McDermott is named UIS' first Ameren Endowed Professor in Business and Government. The professorship was established through a $500,000 gift to UIS from the Ameren Corporation and is housed within UIS' College of Business and Management.

Emiquon Field Station holds dedication
April 26
A big crowd celebrates the dedication and ribbon-cutting of the new Emiquon Field Station at the Emiquon Preserve located near Havana, Illinois, along the Illinois River. The field station is the premier research facility associated with one of the largest river floodplain restorations in the country.

U.S. News and World Report's ranks UIS as fourth best in the Midwest
August 22
U.S. News & World Report’s 2009 Edition of America’s Best Colleges ranks the University of Illinois at Springfield as the best public university - Master’s category - in the state of Illinois and the fourth best public university in that category in the entire Midwest. The prestigious rankings placed UIS at 26 on a list of 71 top public and private colleges and universities in the 12-state Midwest region.

UIS adds Global Studies major
September 15
UIS begins to implement the Global Studies major in Fall 2009 within the College of Public Affairs and Administration.

UIS joins Great Lakes Valley Conference
October 8
UIS announces that its athletic programs will be joining the Great Lakes Valley Conference for the 2009-2010 academic year after receiving an invitation into the conference. The move is part of the university's transition to NCAA Division II.

UIS receives online education award from Sloan Consortium
October 14
UIS is the recipient of the 2008 Ralph E. Gomory Award for Quality Online Education from the Sloan Consortium. The award is given for innovative work in using quantitative data in a process of continuous quality improvement to assure excellence in online teaching and learning.

BOT approves new Campus Master Plan
November 14
The Board of Trustees approves updating the UIS Campus Master Plan to include land owned by the university outside the ring road. The update was needed as UIS anticipates the need for modest campus expansion, additional services, and potential development outside the ring road, such as a campustown.


House of Reps sworn in at UIS
January 14
The Illinois House of Representatives gathers at UIS as each of the new members of the 96th General Assembly is sworn into the House. The House made history during the meeting as a new vote was made for the impeachment of the Illinois governor, Rod Blagojevich.

UIS placed on national Community Service Honor Roll

February 10
UIS is placed on the 2008 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service efforts to the local community.

Swan named first James Stukel Professor of Educational Leadership

February 17
Dr. Karen Swan, professor in the College of Education and Human Services at UIS, is named the first James J. Stukel Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership.

New MIS degree approved
March 11
UIS establishes a new bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems at UIS within the College of Business and Management.

Holden is named Wepner Professor of Political Science
April 29
Dr. Matthew Holden, Jr., is designated as the first Wepner Distinguished Professor in Political Science at UIS.

Miller appointed as Schewe Professor
May 5
Keith W. Miller is appointed as the first Louise Hartman Schewe and Karl Schewe Professor in Liberal Arts and Sciences. The Schewe Professorship is the first named Professorship in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Ermatinger selected as College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean
May 8
Dr. Harry Berman, Provost at UIS, announces that Dr. James W. Ermatinger has been selected as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

Barnett hired as new Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
May 26
The University of Illinois at Springfield appoints Timothy L. Barnett to the position of Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

Burlingame becomes second Lincoln Chair
May 27
UIS announces that preeminent Lincoln Scholar Michael A. Burlingame has accepted the position of Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies. The appointment will be in UIS’ History Department in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

UIS approved for membership in COPLAC
June 24
UIS is unanimously approved for membership in the distinguished Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC). The vote places UIS among a select group of 25 public liberal arts institutions representing 23 states and one Canadian province.

UIS accepted by Apple for listing in iTunes store
August 18
The University of Illinois Springfield is accepted by Apple for listing in the iTunes Store. Content from UIS is now available without charge to more than 200 million iTunes users worldwide.

UIS alumna to serve on U of I Board
September 4
Governor Pat Quinn appoints former Mayor of Springfield and UIS alumna Karen Hasara to fill a vacant position on the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

UIS Peoria Center moves to new location
October 30
UIS’ Peoria Center moves to new downtown location in the Illinois Central College Perley Building, increasing its space and becoming more convenient to adult learners in downtown Peoria.

Friday, December 18, 2009

UIS graduate students collect holiday gifts for needy children

The holidays will be a little brighter for 53 elementary students at Feitshans Academy in Springfield this year thanks to a group of UIS graduate students.

The Graduate Public Service Internship -Student Association collected toys as part of its annual “Giving Tree” project. UIS students, faculty and staff selected ornaments from the “Giving Tree” that contained a child’s name and age. The donors then purchased gifts to donate to the children.

“I would say every kid ended up with 2 or 3 different gifts. We had over 100 presents. We had one special donor who provided stockings for each one of the kids and they were all age appropriate,” said Lynsey Graham, GPSI-SA president and MBA student.

The graduate students gathered together to wrap all the presents that were collected before delivering them to the students at Feitschans Academy. All of the elementary students were nominated for a gift based on their need by the school.

“Every year we’ve done this it’s gotten bigger and bigger, more and more successful and more people are participating, so it really gives me hope in the future it’s going to grow where we can help even more people,” said Laura Weems, GPSI-SA member and communications graduate student.

The graduate students say they had fun shopping for the presents and it brought back childhood memories of their own.

“It was great to go pick something out and really put thought into what I liked at that age,” said Weems.

For more information on the Graduate Public Service – Student Association visit: http://students.uis.edu/organizations/gpsisa/index.html

Monday, December 14, 2009

Social networking and online tools help UIS students connect with employers

The University of Illinois Springfield Career Development Center is helping students and employers connect in the virtual world through skills match and social networking sites.

“It allows you to connect with employers and recruiters that you wouldn’t be able to connect with. You can connect with people across the country to find different positions,” said Kristen Parsell, senior social work major.

Parsell only has a semester left before she graduates and has found job opportunities online through the center. She’s also considering getting her graduate degree and found an internship online.

The Career Development Center is using sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to help students find jobs and give them tips of internships and employment. The Twitter site was recently named one of the ‘Top 15 College Career Centers You Should Follow on Twitter’ in a national ranking.

“It is really all about networking, so the more you can get out and get involved in local organizations or to get out there in the social networking area to get your name out in that arena will help you,” said Tammy Craig, director of the Career Development Center.

The Development Center is trying out a new system called Pro Net, which allows employers to directly communicate with students. Professionals are invited to take time to answer student questions, allow job shadowing and mentor the students. The hope is the connections built through the program will lead to internships and employment opportunities.

“It’s just another way to educate the student about what the industry is all about and once again help them start networking,” said Craig.

For more information on the Career Development Center’s online tools visit http://www.uis.edu/careerservices/.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

UIS utilizes Google Wave for online learning and teaching

The University of Illinois Springfield is one of the first universities in the nation to use Google Wave for online learning and teaching.

Google Wave is an online tool for real-time communication and collaboration. According to Google, a wave can be both a conversation and a document where people can discuss and work together using richly-formatted text, photos, videos, maps and more. Google released a preview version of Google Wave on September 30, and a limited number of invitations were sent out to test Wave as both Wave and third-party add-ons are being developed.

UIS’ Center for Online Learning, Research and Service (COLRS) began to test Google Wave in October.

“We are doing a number of collaborations with other universities. We’re sharing ideas about online learning and identifying ways in which this new technology can be used for online teaching and learning,” noted Ray Schroeder, director of COLRS.

One of these efforts includes a collaboration outside of the classroom between students at UIS in the “Internet in American Life” course taught by Schroeder and Burks Oakley and students in energy studies at the Institute of Technology in Sligo, Ireland. The students are discussing the impact of the Internet on the perception of energy sustainability in Europe and the United States. This activity is voluntary for the students and not for credit in the course.

“This is an opportunity for faculty and students to experiment with the new technology to better understand how it might be used for more formal inter-institutional online exchanges in the spring,” Schroeder said.

Additionally, staff and faculty members from the Center for Online Learning, Research and Service at UIS have been conducting workshops for UIS faculty members as well as faculty and staff at Clemson University, the University of Missouri at St. Louis and other faculty and administrators across the country as part of a Sloan Consortium online Web 2.0 workshop. The Sloan Consortium is a national organization dedicated to quality online teaching and is comprised of more than 1,200 institutions and organizations of higher education engaged in online learning.

“This new technology will have an important impact on the future of collaboration in education,” Schroeder said. “It has the potential to enable sharing across campuses and across institutions.”

For more information, contact Schroeder at rschr1@uis.edu or 217/206-7531.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

U of I Presidential Search Committee listens to public feedback

Members of the University of Illinois Presidential Search Committee held a public forum on the UIS campus on Tuesday, December 8, 2009, to hear what qualities students, faculty and community members want in the next U of I president.

The forum held in Brookens Auditorium was lead by U of I trustee Karen Hasara, who filled in for committee chair and trustee Pamela Strobel, who couldn’t attend due to adverse weather conditions.

“Between now and our next meeting in February we’re hoping to get a lot of good candidates,” said Hasara.

On the UIS campus the search committee is made up of two faculty members James Patrick Hall and Tih-Fen Ting, along with student member Charles Olivier.

“One of my main priorities in the search committee is to find someone that really understands the differences between all three campuses, because we all are unique and offer different things,” said Olivier.

The committee has met twice so far and is working on a white paper, which will officially list the qualifications and values the University is seeking in the next president.

“I’m looking for a leader, someone that can manage all the different constituencies and focus on the educational side, but also on the research side that the University of Illinois represents,” said Hall.

The search committee will identify and screen potential presidential candidates. The goal is to have a new president in place by July 1, 2010, or at the latest when the fall 2010 academic year begins.

“I think that a lot of people definitely want a president who actually will be very creative, a strategic thinker in how to bring us forward,” said Ting.

The overall search committee is made up of three members of the board of trustees; eight faculty members and three students from the University’s three campuses; one representative from the alumni association and one from the foundation; one administrative officer, one academic professional and one civil service representative.

Committee members encourage anyone who couldn’t attend one of the three public forums held on each U of I campus to send them feedback by e-mail at presidentsearch@uillinois.edu.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

UIS Holiday Stars Project collects 3 tons of food for central Illinois

The University of Illinois Springfield collected a record 6,209 pounds of food for the Central Illinois Foodbank as part of the 2009 Holiday Stars Project. That’s an over 40 percent increase in donations from last year.

“It’s fun to be able to say we raised a ton more than last year because in this case we really mean it, literally. It’s heartwarming,” said Richard D. Ringeisen, UIS chancellor.

On December 3, 2009, student volunteers from UIS helped fill a truck from the Central Illinois Foodbank with donations.

“We’re hearing at the volunteer center every week from food pantries where the donations are down this year, so it’s wonderful donations are up here at UIS to help people in our area,” said Kelly Thompson, director of the UIS Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center.

Students kicked off the month-long food drive through a “Trick or Eat” competition on Halloween night, which collected more than 4,000 pounds of food alone. The effort continued on-campus during November as students, faculty, and staff were encouraged to participate.

“It feels amazing. There are no words to describe it. It’s just giving back to the community,” said Esther Ellison, junior social work major.

The Holiday Stars Project was first started in 2008 as a way to benefit the Central Illinois Foodbank, which assists families in 21 counties.

“This food that’s being donated today really is so awesome because it’s a variety of food, and at the Foodbank variety is really nice to get in because our food is donated,” said Gloria Shanahan, communications director for the Central Illinois Foodbank.

UIS plans to continue its effort to give back to the community next year through the Holiday Stars Project.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

iTunes U boosts UIS' visibility on the web

The University of Illinois Springfield’s listing in the iTunes Store, a popular software-based online digital media store, is paying off in boosting the campus’ presence on the web.

UIS was selected by Apple, Inc. to join the iTunes Store on August 18, 2009. UIS had been using an internal iTunes U account on campus since January 2007, with limited public access. The switch has made UIS content available to more than 200 million iTunes users worldwide.

“We are able to get our story out in a very inexpensive manner. iTunes provides a way to really have great social outreach and it’s a great recruiting tool,” said Munindra Khaund, multimedia education coordinator in the Department of Information Technology Services.

In the first three months UIS has been part of the iTunes store new downloads have increase by more than 75,000. Before the store the campus averaged only 3,000 downloads every three months.

“I think it’s a great market research story. It’s given us a really, really wide reach,” said Khaund.

One of the podcasts attracting the most attention is Professor Michael Cheney’s “The Beatles: Popular Music and Society”. Listens of Cheney’s series alone shot up by 60,000 downloads two months after membership in the iTunes Store began.

The “Revealing Voices” series produced by Khaund and other campus partners was chosen by Apple as a noteworthy podcast helping to boost downloads by 7,000 in two weeks.

The podcasts are also paying off for students, who can log on and listen to them for free. Students have lectures, seminars, and student assignments right at their fingertips through the service.

“We’ve been able to capture faculty content knowledge and deliver it to students. The benefit of that being that the students are able to review, pause, rewind, and take better notes and help in their different learning styles,” said Khaund.

More information on podcasting at UIS is available at www.uis.edu/sightsandsounds/podcasts/. To access UIS on iTunes U, go to http://itunes.uis.edu/. All of the content is available free of charge.

Monday, November 30, 2009

WUIS Public Radio launches new "Alternative" digital station

WUIS/Illinois Pubic Radio
has launched a new “alternative” digital radio station as part of a nearly $300,000 upgrade effort.

The new station called “Xponential Radio” signed onto the airwaves in mid-October and can be received by using an HD radio or listening online at www.wuis.org. The station is available on the second channel (HD-2) of the primary WUIS 91.9 FM digital signal.

“The advantage is we can offer more services to the region. We’ll be offering 3 radio stations eventually,” said Bill Wheelhouse, WUIS Public Radio General Manager.

Wheelhouse describes the “Xponential Radio” format as alternative music designed for public radio. The station’s playlist features music from artists like David Bowie, Lyle Lovett, and Elvis Costello. The primary WUIS (HD-1) channel will continue to carry NPR programming, classical music, and local news.

“With this second channel we also hope to serve UIS students more. Down the road we hope we could offer some UIS athletics on the HD-2 channel,” said Wheelhouse.

WUIS is the first radio station in Springfield to launch a secondary station designed for digital radio, but Wheelhouse feels it will catch on. He says dozens of new digital radio stations are already being started in larger markets like St. Louis and Chicago.

“We hope to see a lot of radio stations doing it to make it worth your while to buy a digital radio,” said Wheelhouse.

As part of the digital upgrade WUIS is replacing all of its studio equipment with state-of-the-art technology to improve audio quality. Wheelhouse says listeners are already noticing the difference when they tune in. The station is also putting the finishing touches on the Suggs Performance Studio, where it hopes to broadcast live music and political forums.

A federal grant paid for $137,000 in new equipment for the station. The rest of the money for the upgrades has come from listener donations and a loan taken out by the station.

For more information on the WUIS digital upgrade contact Bill Wheelhouse at 217/206-6402 or wwhee2@uis.edu. You can listen to both WUIS radio stations streaming online at www.wuis.org.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

U of I presidential search committee to hold public forums

Faculty, students, public invited to make suggestions, ask questions, present ideas

URBANA, Ill. — The University of Illinois’ presidential search committee is holding public forums on each of the University’s three campuses to give faculty, students, staff and the general public an opportunity to discuss qualities needed for the new president.

U of I trustee and presidential search committee chair Pamela B. Strobel said the forums are intended to be “listening sessions,” using the ideas of campus constituencies to help assess the qualifications and experience the new University of Illinois president should possess.

“The forum discussions will help the search committee develop a set of criteria in choosing a new president,” Strobel said. “We will then use the criteria to measure the qualifications of our potential candidates.”

The president is the chief executive officer of the University of Illinois system and is responsible to the Board of Trustees. The chancellors of the University’s three campuses report to the president.

Strobel will moderate the public forums, and other members of the 19-member Search Committee to Assist in the Selection of a President for the University of Illinois also will attend.

The first forum will be held at the Chicago campus, 3-5 p.m., on Wednesday, Dec. 2, in Rooms A, B, C, on the first floor of the Student Services Building, 1200 W. Harrison St. (Racine Avenue and Harrison Street).

The second forum will be held at the Urbana campus, 3-5 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 3, 2009, in Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory St., Urbana.

The third forum is scheduled for the Springfield campus, 3-5 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 8, in the auditorium in Brookens Library.

The presidential search committee, announced at the Nov. 12 Board of Trustees meeting, includes three trustees; eight faculty members and three students from the University’s three campuses; one representative from the alumni association and one from the foundation; one administrative officer, one academic professional and one civil service representative.

While the search committee members represent all of the U of I’s major constituencies, the board in its charge said that the committee members should not consider themselves as a representative of any single interest group. Rather, the members were charged to exercise their judgment as to the best interests of the University as a whole.

The search committee will identify and screen potential presidential candidates. The goal is to have a new president in place by July 1, 2010, or at the latest when the fall 2010 academic year begins.

The search committee’s first assignment is to develop a white paper outlining the nature of the University, the role of the president, challenges and expectations the next president may face and personal qualifications necessary for the position. The Office of the Board of Trustees will create a presidential search Web site, including the white paper, a position announcement and description, call for nominations, search committee members, news releases, announcement of open candidate forums and search firm contact information.

The Board of Trustees’ key expectations of the successful candidate are leadership experience in leading and managing a large, complex academic organization; a commitment to academic excellence in teaching, research and service; the ability to communicate with the University’s external and internal constituencies; an understanding of the changing nature of higher education and its roles in local, state, regional and national economies; the ability to adapt to changing and challenging fiscal environments; and the experience to bring clarity and rationality to a complex administrative structure.

Individuals wishing to speak to the representatives of the search committee will be asked to sign in before the forum begins. Comments may also be sent to the search committee at: presidentsearch@uillinois.edu.


The University of Illinois is a world leader in research and discovery, the largest educational institution in the state with more than 71,000 students, 24,000 faculty and staff, and campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield. The U of I awards more than 18,500 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees annually.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Students help the Central Illinois Foodbank while giving thanks

The University of Illinois Springfield Housing Residents Council (HRC) hosted its annual “Fall Feast” on Thursday, November 19, 2009 in the Lincoln Residence Hall great room.

Students who live in on-campus housing were treated to a Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings for only a dollar donation to the Central Illinois Foodbank. The students were also encouraged to donate canned food as part of the UIS Holiday Stars Project.

“I think it’s really good and helps the community,” said Erin Clinch, UIS freshman education major. “It’s nice for people who can’t afford a good Thanksgiving dinner and it makes you feel good to help people out."

HRC raised nearly $200 last year from the “Fall Feast” on top of the canned food they collected. Organizers expected almost 300 students to go through the buffet line this year.

“You really can’t beat the goodness of giving a can for a Thanksgiving dinner with your UIS family because a lot of the times it’s hard to get back to see everyone from school,” said Margaret Martinotti, UIS junior and HRC Vice Chair for Programming.

The pre-Thanksgiving meal also served the dual purpose of allowing students to connect with one another before they leave campus for holiday break.

“I know my friends at other colleges don’t get as many activities as I do here,” said Clinch. “It’s really nice to just walk down from your dorm room and there’s dinner.”

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

UIS Lincoln scholar's book named top 5 pick for 2009

Dr. Michael Burlingame’s book “Abraham Lincoln: A Life” has been picked by The Atlantic Monthly magazine as one of the top five books of 2009. Burlingame is a professor of history at the University of Illinois Springfield and holds the Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies. Burlingame is considered a preeminent national Lincoln Scholar and has now written three books on the history of the 16th president.

“Needless to say, I am delighted to be ranked with such distinguished authors as A.S. Byatt, Richard J. Evans, James Lasdun, and Alison Light,” said Burlingame. “I am also a bit surprised, for the literary editor of the Atlantic Monthly, Benjamin Schwarz, believes that most books are too long and therefore tends to prefer short story collections to novels. In dealing with non-fiction, however, he seems willing to acknowledge that biographers (like myself) sometimes need a big canvas (two volumes) to portray heroes like Abraham Lincoln and that historians (like Richard J. Evans) need an even bigger canvas (three volumes) to describe villains like the leaders and followers of the Third Reich."

Schwarz calls Burlingame’s book “Measured, psychologically astute, authoritative when it can be.” The reviewer says “Michael Burlingame’s exhaustive narrative (2,024 pages!) is unafraid of ambiguity and indeterminacy. This is the life of Lincoln for our times.”

In the Atlantic’s original review of the book in July/August 2009 contributing editor Christopher Hitchens praised the way Burlingame describes the Lincoln-Douglas debates saying “I would say that the account given here of the famous debates surpasses all its predecessors.”

Dr. Burlingame has taught numerous courses on Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War era, and 19th century American history. He’s currently involved in research projects at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield and other Lincoln research venues.

The Atlantic Monthly picked Burlingame’s book from a crowded field of 25 other top candidates for the year. You can find the Atlantic Monthly Top 5 List at: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200912/books2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Nationally acclaimed "Intern Queen" visits UIS

The University of Illinois Springfield welcomed Lauren Berger, “The Intern Queen” to speak to students about opportunities and answer questions on November 11, 2009 in Brookens Auditorium.

Berger is called “The Intern Queen” because she completed 15 internships during her 4 years of college. She started her own intern company, Intern Queen Inc. in 2006, with the goal of raising internship awareness and connecting students with their future.

“Students are a little lazy sometimes. I was a little lazy as a student and it’s just a little bit of a hand holder and if I can be that person they look at and say wow the ‘Intern Queen’ really helped me with these jobs then I’ve done what I’ve set out to do,” said Berger.

The UIS Career Development Center along with the Student Government Association sponsored the event. The presentation included a panel discussion featuring local businesses and their internship opportunities for students.

“We get a lot of students who come in to do their resumes and other things and get coaching and some haven’t even thought of doing an internship,” said Rachel Hasenyager, Career Development Center Employee Relations Recruitment Coordinator.

Berger was recently named one of BusinessWeek’s Top 25 Entrepreneurs 25 and Under. “The Intern Queen” has been featured in Business Week, E! News Online, New York Post, Chicago Public Radio, Young Money, and Seventeen magazine.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

UIS Sustainability Week teaches environmental lessons

The University of Illinois Springfield is raising awareness about sustainability and the environment by hosting its Second Annual Sustainability Week from November 9 through November 14, 2009.

“It’s important for our campus to remember that we’re all connected and part of our environment, so take a few moments this week and be grateful for the air we breathe,” said Mae Marie Noll, undergraduate academic advisor and co-presenter of Sustainability Week.

Sustainability Week kicked off with a campus bike ride on Monday in an effort to teach participants about reducing their carbon footprint.

“I ride my bike to work as often as possible. It’s about 6 miles each way so 12 miles round trip,” said UIS staff member Rose Scheikhart.

The campus is also hosting a Battery Recycling Drive and is encouraging people to bring in dead batteries to be collected. The group has containers in the Public Affairs Center (PAC) and University Hall lobbies.

Read more about Sustainability Week events in a previous news release.

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.

Monday, November 02, 2009

UIS hosts International Advisers

The University of Illinois Springfield hosted five EducationUSA advisers from Azerbaijan, Peru, Philippines, Oman, and Russia as part of a U.S.-based training program on Monday, November 2, 2009.

EducationUSA advisers are posted at centers around the world to help foreign students learn about higher education in the United States. The group also shared information about admissions processes for students in their home countries.

"We get an inside perspective from the advisers face to face as to what's going on in their countries, what challenges their students face and what their academic interests are," said Dana Atwell, ESL Coordinator in the Office of International Programs.

The advisers spent time in Springfield participating in cultural events as well as informative meetings and workshops. They will visit college campuses around the country and also travel to Washington, D.C.

UIS worked with Study Illinois, a consortium of over fifty accredited institutions of higher learning to bring the group to Springfield. UIS also hosted the annual meeting for the organization during the visit by the international advisers.

Friday, October 30, 2009

UIS Peoria Center celebrates new location

The University of Illinois Springfield Peoria Center held an open house at its new downtown location in the Illinois Central College Perley Building, Room 120, 115 Southwest Adams Street on Thursday, October 29, 2009.

The UIS center has been a part of the Peoria community for 34 years and was previously located on the ICC campus in East Peoria.

“We were able in this location to bring our MBA courses together along with our undergraduate courses, so all programs are offered in this building now,” said Jana Wise, director of the UIS Peoria Center.

Most classes at the UIS Peoria Center are offered evenings and weekends, which accommodates working students and also the faculty.

“We needed a physical location with our name, our sign representing the University of Illinois Springfield. That was our goal we’re here now,” said Ronald D. McNeil, Dean of the UIS College of Business and Management.

The programs currently offered at the UIS Peoria Center are a bachelor of arts degree in Accountancy; a bachelor of arts degree in Management; a bachelor of arts in Criminal Justice; a master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA), and a minor in Management Information Systems. In addition, three business degree completion programs are offered entirely online, a bachelor’s degree in Economics, bachelor’s in Business Administration (BBA), and the Master of Science degree in Management Information Systems.

The same faculty who teach on the main campus in Springfield drive to Peoria to teach in the evenings.

“When people ask me about the UIS degree that I have I tell them it was one of the most wonderful things I was ever able to take part of. I really enjoyed it and still receive benefits from doing it today,” said Jim Mies, 2007 Peoria Center MBA graduate.

For more information on classes at the UIS Peoria Center call 309/999-4250.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

UIS Touch DNA seminar draws national attention

The University of Illinois Springfield’s Downstate Innocence Project held a forensic seminar on cutting edge methods of DNA testing on Wednesday, October 28, 2009 in the Brookens Auditorium.

Timothy Masters, a Colorado man who was wrongly convicted of murder and freed from prison by Touch DNA technology spoke at the event. Touch DNA allows investigators to find DNA on nearly anything a person touches by comparing skin epithelial cells. In Master’s case all three DNA profiles tested matched another suspect in the original investigation.

"The Touch DNA revolution in the United States has really been started by the case of Timothy Masters," said Larry Golden, Co-Director of the Downstate Innocence Project.

Touch DNA
was pioneered over a decade ago by forensic scientists Richard and Selma Eikelenboom. The pair both work for the Netherlands Forensic Institute Department of Biology and traveled to UIS to speak at the Innocence Project seminar.

A crew from the CBS crime show 48 Hours Mystery also came to campus to interview the international experts in DNA. Master’s case has been featured on the program and now investigators are interested in using Touch DNA in similar cases around the country.

The UIS Downstate Innocence Project is looking to use the Touch DNA technology on at least two cases here in Illinois. Golden believes the method could prove helpful in testing evidence from the 1989 Sangamon County murder of Melissa Koontz. The project is working to overturn the conviction of Thomas McMillen.

For more information on the Innocence Project visit: http://cspl.uis.edu/ILLAPS/Service/DownstateIllinoisInnocenceProject/index.htm

Monday, October 26, 2009

Springfield family helps shine light on UIS flags

The three flags outside the Public Affairs Center at the University of Illinois Springfield are now visible at night thanks to the help of a Springfield family.

It’s been UIS Building Services Superintendent Tim Ritzo’s dream to find someone who would donate the spot lights for the American, Illinois and UIS flags. This year a daughter and son-in-law, Kathy and Randy Germeraad, called and asked for ideas regarding a gift they might do in honor of her parents, Bill and Mary Schnirring, longtime owners of Springfield Electric.

“I suggested lighting the flag pole, since it honored the family business and our state and national heritage. They loved the idea,” said UIS Associate Chancellor for Development Vicki Megginson.

The family saw the opportunity as a “perfect fit” since their more than 75-year-old locally owned business deals with both lighting and electricity.

On Monday, October 26, 2009 a ceremony was held near the flag poles where a U.S. flag that was flown over the United State’s capitol was raised. The flag was secured by Tim Ritzo, who is a veteran himself.

UIS Chancellor Richard D. Ringeisen spoke about the importance of the lighting and helped unveil a plaque honoring the Schnirring’s donation.

WUIS 2009 fall fund drive reaches record goal

Listeners helped set a record fundraising total for WUIS this fall as over $150,000 has been raised to support programming costs at the media outlet. The record goal was necessary to cover cuts in state arts grant funding. AFSCME Council 31 provided a challenge match to start the fund drive. Over 100 volunteers helped reach the goal.

The final total for listener support will be over $150,000 as pledges are still being made online at WUIS.org.

WUIS’ two annual fund drives are the station’s largest source of revenue, covering 35 percent of the WUIS budget. This is the portion of the budget that pays for program fees and production.

WUIS listeners continue to support the unique news and entertainment programming the station provides to Central Illinois. Many listeners cite state and local government news coverage, along with NPR’s in-depth coverage of national and international news as critical to their support. The mix of classical and jazz music is also cited.

This fall’s drive also marked the debut of a second channel of programming at 91-9 HD2. WUIS Exponential features an eclectic blend of blues, rock, world, folk, and alt-country which is also available through streaming at WUIS.org. It is the first HD2 channel in Springfield.

WUIS is Central Illinois’ source for NPR (National Public Radio). WUIS content is available from Springfield at 91.9 FM, 91.9 HD1 and 91.9 HD2; in West-Central Illinois at 89.3 FM; and worldwide at WUIS.org. The listener-supported media outlet’s mission is to enrich Central
Illinois through independent journalism, programming and community outreach.

For the program schedule, events, and other information, call the station at (217) 206-6516 or visit WUIS.org.

UIS kicks off Holiday Stars Project with Trick-or-Eat for the Central Illinois Foodbank

The Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center at the University of Illinois Springfield will sponsor a Trick-or-Eat competition to collect the most canned goods on Halloween, Saturday, October 31. The Volunteer Center is collaborating with area hospitals and the SIU School of Medicine, who will also be participating in the Trick-or-Eat competition.

The event is part of the UIS Holiday Stars Project, a campus-wide service initiative giving focus to UIS’ efforts to make a difference in the local community during the upcoming holiday season. The overall goal is to collect 4,500 of pounds of food for the Central Illinois Foodbank by December 3, 2009.

“Our campus community has embraced our Holiday Stars Project and is excited about working together to make a difference in the local community during these times of economic difficulty,” said Kelly Thompson, director of the UIS Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center.

Teams of UIS students who registered for the Trick-or-Eat drive have been assigned to neighborhoods where they will collect non-perishable food items. The teams have already canvassed the neighborhoods in advance, distributing collection bags, along with door hangers that explain the project.

On Halloween, the teams will revisit their neighborhoods between 4:30 and 8 p.m. to pick up donations. Collected items will be returned & weighed that evening at Central Illinois Foodbanks, and prizes will be awarded to teams that bring in the most pounds of food.

The Holiday Stars Project continues through November, when specially marked collection bins will be placed around the UIS campus. Everything collected during the project will be presented to the Foodbank on December 3, 2009.

The Central Illinois Foodbank serves 160 agencies throughout 21 central Illinois counties and also hosts the Kids CafĂ©, part of a nation-wide program through America’s Second Harvest that feeds children a hot, nutritious meal in a safe environment. More information is available at www.centralilfoodbank.org.

For more information about the UIS Holiday Stars Project, contact Kelly Thompson, director of the UIS Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center, at 217/206-8448, or go to www.uis.edu/volunteer/holidayproject/

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

UIS joins National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week effort

Students at the University of Illinois Springfield got a taste of what it’s like to drive drunk during National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week on Wednesday, October 21, 2009.

Students put “beer goggles” on and drove around the quad in a golf cart to simulate the effect of getting behind the wheel intoxicated. The UIS Counseling Center sponsored the event and set up an obstacle course for the students to navigate around.

"The goggles scare you. Once you put them on you don't realize how bad it is to drink and drive because the goggles are for real. You can't see nothing. You're like a zombie," said UIS Sophomore Jeanell Randolph.

"The students that are going to drink and drive are unfortunately still probably going to drink and drive, but I think the other students gain an awareness of what it's actually like to drive intoxicated," said UIS Alcohol & Drug Prevention Coordinator Valerie Scarbrough.

Students also took part in a red ribbon sign-up drive where they pledged not to drink and drive. UIS has celebrates National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week every year along with hundreds of other schools across the country.

Friday, October 16, 2009

UIS students attend AmeriCorps opening ceremony

Students from the University of Illinois Springfield participated in the AmeriCorps open day ceremony at the Prairie Capital Convention Center on October 15, 2009.

“I think it’s great for everyone to come together and see the number of people we have in AmeriCorps in the state, just to see the impact it can have,” said Jordan Jeffers, UIS AmeriCorps VISTA.

Volunteers participated in games that helped them learn about each other and listened to speakers talk about service.

UIS has 16 students that have pledged to volunteer 300 hours a year, which amounts to 5 hours a week.

“I wanted to be part of AmeriCorps because I felt in high school that I wasn’t really involved in community service at all and this was a great opportunity on campus to do a lot of hours,” said UIS freshman John Tienken.

Students later marched to the capitol where they took an oath to serve as part of AmeriCorps.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

UIS students rally at capitol to save MAP Funds

Hundreds of college students, including a group from the University of Illinois Springfield, rallied near the state capitol on Thursday, October 15, 2009 to urge lawmakers to fund the Monetary Award Program (MAP).

The students are asking lawmakers to restore $200-million dollars to make MAP grant funds available for the spring 2010 semester. If the funds aren’t restored it could make it hard for some students to pay for school and others fear they might have to drop out.

"The only way we can possibly get it reinstated in time for it to be effective for students to get it in the spring is right now," said UIS Student Government Senator Jaime Casinova.

The cuts to the MAP program would affect about 750 students at UIS who on average receive about $1,900 a semester from the program.

Governor Pat Quinn spoke at the rally telling students he’s working to restore the funds before lawmakers head home at the end of the week.

MAP grants are awarded to students based on financial need and more than 130,000 people across the state receive them every year.

After the rally UIS students met with lawmakers and delivered signed petitions from the campus community asking for the funds to be restored.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

UIS Faculty Scholarship Recognition Luncheon

The University of Illinois Springfield honored the outstanding achievements of faculty at the 17th annual Faculty Recognition Luncheon, which was held Monday, October 5, 2009 in the Sangamon Auditorium lobby.

The luncheon was started in 1985 as a way to pay tribute to faculty member’s achievements in the areas of research, published articles, creative works, grants, book reviews and professional presentations.

“We have our multiple responsibilities for teaching, advising, and service. But always, creating a space for intellectual work needs to be at the forefront,” said Provost Harry Berman.

Berman related the work that faculty members do to that of a quilt calling their research and other achievements “treasure to hand down to the next generation”.

Meena Rao, vice president of academic affairs at the University of Illinois, was present at the event to congratulate faculty on their achievements and announce the 2009 University Scholar.

Dr. Sviatoslav Braynov, assistant professor of Computer Science, received the award. The University Scholar Program honors and rewards outstanding teachers and scholars at the three U of I campuses. The award comes with a grant of $10,000 each year for three years for research and scholarly activities.

In a short period of time, Dr. Braynov created a large body of work in an important, demanding and fast changing field. He has received recognition nationally and internationally for his work in the area of computer security.

Dr. Rosina Neginksy, last year’s University Scholar spoke at the event and presented Braynov with the University Scholar pen.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Campus Senate passes MAP Grant resolution

The University of Illinois Springfield Campus Senate passed a resolution at its meeting on Friday, October 09, 2009 asking state lawmakers to restore Monetary Award Program (MAP) funding.

Nearly 20% of the UIS student body or about 750 students would be negatively impacted by the cuts to MAP funding for the Spring 2010 semester.

MAP grants are awarded to about 150,000 to 160,000 college students statewide every semester.

Download the resolution passed by the Campus Senate:

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Board of Higher Education approves new UIS Bachelor's Degree

The Illinois Board of Higher Education approved a new Management Information Systems bachelor’s degree for the University of Illinois Springfield at its meeting in Chicago on Tuesday.

The undergraduate major is designed to provide students with a balance of technical skills and business knowledge. The program will prepare students for employment in private and public sectors in a changing global economy.

“College students today are interested in interactive learning. The blended delivery of this program facilitates and enhances interactivity,” said Rassule Hadidi, Ph.D., chair of the Management Information Systems Department.

Students will attend face-to-face classes every other week and instruction is done online during the weeks that classes do not meet in person.

“The blended nature of this program makes it suitable not only for local students, but also those in a reasonable driving distance, such as Bloomington, Danville, Edwardsville and Peoria,” said Hadidi.

UIS expects 25 students to major in MIS in the first year and up to 60 students to be enrolled over the next 5 years. UIS will start offering the degree in the fall of 2010, but students can start taking classes for the major now.

UIS has offered a successful Master of Science in Management Information Systems since 1985 with 42 degrees awarded in fiscal year 2008. The master’s program has a 100% in the field placement record for graduates.

“The prospect for graduates of this new BS in MIS program is very bright,” said Hadidi. “The 2009 federal stimulus includes about $20 billion for health care related information technology.”

According to government estimates about 200,000 new Healthcare Information Technology professionals are needed in areas such as design, development, implementation, and maintenance of electronic medical records.

The curriculum for the B.S. in MIS consists of at least 123 semester credit hours from six groups of courses: 37 hours of general education, 13 hours of Engaged Citizenship Common Experiences (required of all UIS undergraduates), 22 hours of foundation coursework, 21 hours of the College of Business and Management core course, 30 hours in Management Information Systems, and approved general electives.

The addition of the MIS degree means that UIS will offer a total of 23 undergraduate degrees effective the next academic year. The university offers 20 master’s programs and 1 doctoral program for a combined total of 44 available degrees.

Visit the MIS website: mis.uis.edu

For more information on the degree contact Rassule Hadidi, Ph.D. at 217/206-7294 or by e-mail at hadidi@uis.edu.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

UIS partners to teach fire safety

The University of Illinois Springfield Volunteer & Civic Engagement Center hosted a “Stop, Drop, and Roll” program for 55 children and their parents at Cox Children’s Center on the UIS campus.

UIS partnered with the Springfield Fire Department to teach kids not to fear firefighters during a rescue.

The State Farm Good “Neighbear” was also in attendance handing out fire helmets and coloring books to the children. The visit was part of a grant the volunteer center received from the State Farm Safe Neighbors – Fire and Auto Safety Fund to promote awareness during Fire Safety Week in October.

The center is also using the money to teach fire safety to RA’s in the dorm rooms. The on-campus and student population has grown considerably since UIS began accepting freshmen and sophomores in 2001. In addition, 60% of families living in family housing units have one or more family members living with them, including children.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Legislators support civic education by providing Illinois Issues to public libraries

Illinois Issues, the state’s leading public affairs magazine, has launched a new program in cooperation with state legislators to promote public policy information and education through the public library system. “Issues for Citizens” was launched in September with 31 legislators providing Illinois Issues to 59 libraries across the state. (Please check the list below for your local legislator and library.)

Illinois Issues, with its special focus on Illinois government and politics, and its close attention to current trends and legislative issues, definitely belongs in public libraries so that all citizens can be better informed about important issues that affect the lives of each and every one of us,” Dana Heupel, Illinois Issues executive editor, said. “Information from credible sources can lead to civic engagement and productive dialogue in the public arena about important issues.” Heupel cited wind power in Illinois, an overview of the collapse of the economy and profiles of new legislative leaders as examples of recent topics in the magazine.

Besides a 13-issue subscription to the award-winning magazine, participating legislators also provided libraries with The Illinois Governors: Mostly Good and Competent. This third edition (2007) of the book, originally titled Mostly Good and Competent Men by Robert Howard, is edited and updated by Taylor Pensoneau and Peggy Boyer Long. The book introduces readers to the state’s chief executives from Shadrach Bond to Rod Blagojevich and tells the stories of these powerful men’s lives in the context of the state’s rich and colorful political history.

As part of the legislators’ gifts, libraries also receive Illinois Issues’ annual Roster of State Government Officials, a comprehensive listing of contact information for statewide constitutional officers, major executive agencies and directors, state legislators’ listings for their Springfield and district offices, as well as listings of key staff members and much more.

Entering its 35th year, Illinois Issues is a not-for-profit magazine published at the University of Illinois Springfield. A part of the Center for State Policy and Leadership, the magazine is consistently praised for its reporting and news analysis, recently receiving two national awards from Capitolbeat, the association of Statehouse reporters and editors.

Illinois Issues is continuing to enroll legislators and their libraries in the program. More information is available by calling 217-206-6094 or through the web site at http://illinoisissues.uis.edu/ .

Issues for Citizens Program


Sen. Pamela Althoff
Crystal Lake Public Library

Rep. William B. Black
Danville Public Library
St. Joseph Township Swearingen Memorial Library

Sen. Bill Brady
Bloomington Public Library

Rep. William D. Burns
Bessie Coleman Library (Chicago)

House Rep. Leader Tom Cross
Plainfield Public Library
Naperville Public Library on Naper Blvd.

Senate President John Cullerton
John Merlo Library (Chicago)

Rep. Monique D. Davis
Carter G.Woodson Library (Chicago)

Sen. Deanna Demuzio
Carlinville Public Library

Sen. Kirk Dillard
Bloomingdale Public Library
Itasca Community Library

Rep. Ken Dunkin
Chicago Public Library – Hall Branch

Rep. Jack D. Franks
Harvard Diggins Library (Harvard)

Rep. Jehan Gordon
Peoria Public Library – McClure Branch

Sen. Bill Haine
Hayner Library District (Alton)
Six Mile Regional Library District (Granite City)

Sen. Don Harmon
Chicago Public Library – Austin Branch
Chicago Public Library – Galewood-Mont Clare Branch
Chicago Public Library – North Austin Branch
Melrose Park Public Library
River Forest Public Library

Rep. Kay Hatcher
Aurora Public Library - West Branch
Batavia Public Library
Charles B. Phillips Public Library (Newark)
Kaneville Public Library District
Maple Park Library District
Messenger Public Library (North Aurora)
Plano Public Library
Oswego Public Library
Sugar Grove Public Library District
Town & Country Library (Elburn)
Yorkville Public Library

Sen. Dan Kotowski
Norridge Public Library (Chicago)
Elk Grove Village Public Library

Rep. Lou Lang
Lincolnwood Public Library District
Morton Grove Public Library

Rep. David Leitch
Peoria Public Library – Lakeview Branch

Sen. Ed Maloney
St. John Fisher Library (Chicago)

Rep. Richard Myers
Carthage Public Library
Henderson County Public Library District (Biggsville)

Rep. Elaine Nekritz
Indian Trails Public Library (Wheeling)
Prospect Heights Public Library District

Rep. JoAnn Osmond
Lake Villa Library
Zion-Benton Library

Rep. Robert W. Pritchard
Flagg-Rochelle Public Library District
Sycamore Public Library

Senate Rep. Leader Christine Radogno
Lemont Public Library

Rep. Kathy Ryg
North Chicago Public Library
Warren-Newport Public Library

Rep. Darlene Senger
Naperville Public Library (The Nichols Library)
Aurora Public Library – Eola Road Branch

Rep. Angelo “Skip” Saviano
Elmwood Park Public Library
Franklin Park Public Library

Sen. John Sullivan
Warren County Public Library

Rep. Jil Tracy
Quincy Public Library

Rep. Dave Winters
North Suburban District Library (Loves Park)
South Beloit Public Library

Rep. Karen Yarbrough
Maywood Public Library

UIS Homecoming 2009

Students, faculty and community members came to the University of Illinois Springfield campus on Saturday, October 3, 2009 to celebrate Homecoming 2009.

The day started with the inaugural Yellow Brick Road 5K Run/Walk that took participants on a scenic trip around campus.

One of the highlights was the UIS Homecoming Parade featuring student organizations, political groups and others. It was followed by the Homecoming BBQ & Lawn Party where students enjoyed free food, drinks, and fun.

The night ended with the UIS Students vs. Alumni/Faculty/Staff Basketball game at the TRAC.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Students volunteer during Homecoming activities

Students from the University of Illinois Springfield are giving back to the community during Homecoming 2009.

The Volunteer & Civic Engagement Center organized a service event for M.E.R.C.Y. Communities on Friday, October 2, 2009. The organization provides a supportive housing and service organization for abused, homeless, and at-risk single mothers and their children.

Students spent the afternoon cleaning, painting, and moving air conditioning units to prepare a housing center for new families.

“I volunteered today just to help out because I figure if no one volunteers to do it they’re going to have to get people either way to do it,” said UIS Freshman volunteer Rachelle DeBerry.

“Having the UIS students come out here is really a big help to us every year,” said M.E.R.C.Y. Communities Director of Marketing Brian Ganz.

For more information on volunteer opportunities call The Volunteer & Civic Engagement Center at 217/206-7716 or e-mail volunteer@uis.edu.

Friday, September 25, 2009

UIS honors distinguished professors during Ceremony of Investiture

The University of Illinois Springfield honored three newly named distinguished professors during a Ceremony of Investiture on September 25, 2009 at Sangamon Auditorium.

Dr. Matthew Holden Jr., Professor of Political Science; Dr. Karen Swan, Professor of Educational Leadership; and Dr. Keith Miller, Professor in Computer Science received medallions that symbolize their new positions. Investiture is one of the highest honors that a faculty member can receive and gives them the financial resources to continue their research.

“Having three investitures-- and in three of UIS colleges at once-- is really very rare. It is a real testament to the investment of our citizens and businesses that we now have through private gift support funds for six named professorships and one named chair, with additional chairs on the horizon,” said Vicki Megginson, Associate Chancellor of Development at UIS and Senior Vice President, University of Illinois Foundation.

The university and students benefit enormously from professorships. They allow UIS to attract top-level academics that have extensive expertise, who deepen and broaden our curriculum, and who serve as beacons to other professors who want to come and work with them.

“Each of these professors adds vigor to UIS’ academic excellence and strengthens our ability to provide a challenging yet intimate learning experience for our students,” said UIS Chancellor Richard D. Ringeisen.

Award Winners:

Dr. Matthew Holden, Jr., professor in Political Science was named the Margaret L. Wepner Distinguished Professor of Political Science. Dr. Holden, previously the Henry L. and Grace M. Doherty Professor Emeritus of Politics at the University of Virginia, has wide-ranging scholarly interests in political science, other social sciences, history, and law. His current work includes research on public administration and political power, executive politics, energy and climate change politics, and the Department of Justice as a working system.

Related to the legacy of Abraham Lincoln is his interest in how democratic systems can accommodate the facts of multi-racial and multi-ethnic populations. A widely published author, Dr. Holden’s 1973 book, The Politics of the Black “Nation,” along with its companion, The White Man’s Burden, was a classic in the early political scholarship on race and politics.

Dr. Holden, who retired from the University of Virginia in 2002, also taught at Wayne State University, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

He served as president of the American Political Science Association in 1998-99. He was also President of the Policy Studies Organization, and Editor of the National Political Science Review. He is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Senior Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.

His public service work includes service on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission, and a variety of local, state, and Federal advisory committees. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Northwestern University.

Dr. Karen Swan, professor in Education Leadership was named the James J. Stukel Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership. Dr. Swan’s research has been focused mainly in the general area of media and learning, and her current research focuses on online learning, data literacy, and ubiquitous computing.

She is particularly known for her research into the effectiveness of online teaching and learning, and for her work on communities of inquiry as it relates to online education.

In 2006, Dr. Swan received the Sloan Consortium for Asynchronous Learning Networks Award for “Most Outstanding Achievement in Online Learning by an Individual.” This award recognized her for national innovation, research and service in online learning.

Dr. Swan has published over 70 journal articles and book chapters as well as two books and several multimedia applications on educational media and technology topics. She serves on the editorial boards of several journals, on the program committees for three educational technology conferences, and currently chairs the Sloan-C International Conference on Online Learning.

Dr. Swan came to UIS from Kent State University, where she was Research Professor at the Research Center for Educational Technology in the College & Graduate School of Education, Health and Human Services.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Connecticut, a Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction from Keene State College, and Master of Education and Doctor of Education degrees in Instructional Technology from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Dr. Keith Miller, a professor in Computer Science since 1993 was named the Louise Hartman Schewe and Karl Schewe Professor in Liberal Arts and Sciences. Dr. Miller’s research specialties are computer ethics and software testing. He is author or co-author of over 300 publications and presentations and is currently the editor-in-chief of IEEE Technology and Society and associate editor of IT Professional magazine. He was one of the authors of a code of ethics for software engineers adopted by international organizations and translated into seven languages.

Dr. Miller’s research is aggressively inter-disciplinary. He has collaborated with computer scientists, biologists, philosophers, lawyers and psychologists, and he is the associate director of UIS’ newly named Alfred O. and Barbara Cordwell Therkildsen Field Station at Emiquon, site of The Nature Conservancy’s floodplain restoration project on the Illinois River. He is also pleased to serve as an associate faculty member in UIS’ Philosophy Department.

Named a University of Illinois Scholar in 2000, Dr. Miller has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Illinois Board of Higher Education, and the Sloan Foundation. He also received the Outstanding Service award from the Association of Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Computers and Society in 2006.

An early adopter of online education at UIS, Dr. Miller earned his Bachelor of Science in Education from Concordia Teachers College in Seward, Nebraska; his Master of Science in Mathematics from the College of William and Mary; and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Iowa.

About the Awards:

A member of the Committee for Higher Education in Central Illinois, Wilbur Wepner helped found Sangamon State University (now UIS) in 1969. His wife, Margaret, supported her husband’s efforts. He died in 1994. Before her death in 2005, Mrs. Wepner cast the couple’s final vote of confidence in UIS’ future by leaving an “unrestricted” estate gift of $1.2 million to the university, part of which was used to create a distinguished professorship named in her honor.

The James J. Stukel Distinguished Professorship was created by the University of Illinois Foundation to honor James Stukel, the 15th president of the University of Illinois system (1995-2005). The professorship includes support for research and grant work and was created for a candidate who possesses expertise in and scholarly accomplishments relating to online teaching and learning issues.

Louise Hartman Schewe was a teacher and active civic leader whose interests included the Springfield Art Association and the Illinois Symphony Guild. Karl Schewe was a member of the Chicago Board of Trade and A.G. Edwards and Sons, Springfield. Upon her death in 2006, Louise Schewe left a generous bequest to the University of Illinois Springfield to support initially a professorship, and eventually a chair in Liberal Arts and Sciences.

To watch the video of the Investiture click on the link below