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:

2000

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.

2001

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

2002

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

2003

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.

2004

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.

2005

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.

2006

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.

2007

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.

2008

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.

2009

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.

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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

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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/.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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