The UIS Community

A new kind of conversation addressing issues that UIS students and staff care about.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Energy at DC alumni event

There was a lot of vibrant energy in the room last night at the Alumni Association's reception for UIS alums in the Washington, D.C., area. The people there graduated from 1973 to 2008 -- nearly our entire history! (There were also some UIUC alumni there, too. All part of the same Illinois family.) The networking was fun. I enjoyed seeing people I knew from their Springfield days and really enjoyed meeting new people with connections to UIS. How rewarding to see and hear on the front lines how UIS and our alumni are "making a difference in the world" -- one of our major strategic goals. I think we'll get some pictures posted soon. Come back and check; I will let you know.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

1.9 miles

My amateur test indicates it is 1.9 miles from our residence halls to the entrance of the new Walmart, which is set to open July 16. The store is on Hazel Dell Road between 6th and 1th streets. A number of our students now have to go much farther for groceries and a department store and other assorted supplies. A few more places have opened recently on Toronto Road, a coffee shop and restaurant, for example, so maybe we are getting closer to a "campus town" near the campus. Developers will build it when the market says it will be profitable. For UIS students, the sooner the better.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

It's still about the students, with Dr. Miller leaving

The chancellor announced today how we'll handle the transition when Dr. Chris Miller departs this summer as vice chancellor of student affairs and administrative services. Two senior administrators, Steve Chrans and Marya Leatherwood, will become "interim assistant chancellors" and basically run Student Affairs while we search for a new vice chancellor. While this is big news on the UIS campus, it will be less than big news to some of our constituents and students. My hope is that our students, who are always our number one priority, will feel no glitches and that they continue to enjoy their educational and developmental experiences to the fullest. A few people posted comments about Dr. Miller's departure after a previous post about this issue.

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Sunday, June 8, 2008

What are you reading?

I love books. I buy more than I can ever possibly read. Silly? Maybe. I'm actually agonizing over what books to take on vacation -- not because there is no choice, but because I know I'll leave a good book behind. I am leaning toward The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel, one of the NY Times "Best Books of 2006," and David Halberstam's The Best and the Brightest, a book I should have read long ago. Or I may go back to Presidential Courage by Michael Beschlosss, a reminder that leaders must make very difficult difficult decisions and also deal publicly and graciously wither persistent critics. What are you reading?

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Wind, rain, Auburn graduation and more

I'm almost losing count of the bad weather scenarios. Last Friday evening (May 30) we had a tornado warning in the area. Actually, more than one. Then last night, just four days later, storm after storm blew through central Illinois, giving us another tornado warning and a record 4.71 inches of rain, obliterating the daily record of 2.23, set in 1919. Seems as if I'm spending a lot of time in my basement, just waiting. On Friday night, we had to interrupt the Auburn High School graduation in our Sangamon Auditorium because of the tornado warning. Spending time safely in our lower tunnels is something those people will never forget, I'm sure. This is also the year we exceeded our average amount of snow by almost 10 inches. Then we got a cold and wet spring season without having a lot of pleasant spring weather. I'm ready to shout "Enough!" because I sense that all of this is exhausting people. At the same time, I'm so grateful to the UIS Police Department for staying on top of the weather conditions, keeping the campus community informed, and doing what they must to help keep people safe.

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