The UIS Community

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

Friday, September 11, 2009

First question

I didn't ask, but I think Chris Kennedy, a new member of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees, sent a clear message yesterday not only with his first question, but by the intended audience for that question. He had just listened to a quick but detailed orientation from an administrator about U of I attributes and challenges. Among many other things, he heard that thousands of students at all three campuses are in danger of losing some critical state financial aid in the spring semester. He didn't ask for clarification. He got it. When it came time for questions, he turned to the three student trustees and asked them if the students on the three campuses were aware of the problem. Yes, they told him. Then he asked if there's a genuine concern that students will have to drop out in the spring if they don't get this financial aid. Yes, they told him again. Not long afterward, Kennedy was elected the board chair. Then there was a great photographic moment -- I didn't have a camera -- with Kennedy and Governor Pat Quinn chatting in a very friendly way with the three student trustees. I hope someone took that picture.

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Friday, September 4, 2009

My first open forum

I left the first "Ed's Campus Forum" less than an hour ago. I thought it was a good conversation, with good questions and comments. The topics included our search for an LGBTQ coordinator, why UIS doesn't have a student union, why we don't recycle glass (I'll have to check into that), the location of the Public Safety Building, Styrofoam cups in our cafeteria, Karen Hasara and the Board of Trustees. I'll add links to this post and additional comments in the next few days. Oh yeah, about 15 people were there -- students, staff and faculty. I should have counted, but I was listening and responding. How did it go? I'll await feedback on that. I enjoyed it and was glad that people came.