The UIS Community

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

Friday, January 23, 2009

The amazing geese

I have probably seen tens of thousands of geese this week out of my fifth floor office window. Thousands for sure. Our campus isn't far from Lake Springfield. What direction are these flocks going? Some south, some north, some west, for sure. Maybe east, I don't know. It's an amazing feat of nature. I wonder where they're going. I do know they're going where they're supposed to go. Which is more than I can say for some humans. It's why I take inspiration from the geese this week. They've helped me focus on what I should be doing and could be doing. Noticing the geese is a gift. They've probably tried to entertain me in the same way in recent years, but I didn't notice as much. Have a great semester.

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Budget issues - come to the campus forum

We're trying to do two things: (1) manage a difficult budget period and (2) keep an open conversation going about what it all means at UIS. Chancellor Richard Ringeisen issued a statement to the campus community about this last week. The chancellor and Provost Harry Berman will lead a campus forum at 11 a.m. Wednesday, January 21, in Brookens Auditorium. Ask whatever you'd like about our financial situation or the budget. Or give us your perspective. Or add your comments right now by clicking on the comments link just below this post.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The whole House was here, making history

The House of Representatives was on campus today. All 118 of them, as they were sworn in on the first day of the new General Assembly. What a privilege for UIS to be in the capital city and host events like this. Watch some video here. More photos are available here from the UIS web site. It's notable that Governor Blagojevich was impeached for a second time after the members were sworn in. Thirty years from now, people will be wondering why the House took this vote for the second time and why they did it at UIS instead of in their own chamber in the state Capitol. I plan to chronicle that.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

The full House is coming

The Illinois House of Representatives is coming to UIS on Wednesday. All the members. Just two days from now, for their swearing in. We're expecting nine buses and more than 2,000 guests. It's a privilege to be in the state capital, and the House is coming to campus so that it can accommodate many more people than the House chamber could in the Capitol. UIS hosted this event two years ago, and it was great fun for the members and for us. We're doing everything we can to make everybody feel welcome, and we're really looking forward to it.

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Friday, January 9, 2009

Observing the impeachment

The news about our governor's impeachment today probably sounds terrible to the rest of the country. But if you live in Springfield, there is a strange feeling of great relief that it's finally happened. At UIS, we have a keen eye on state government. Professsor Kent Redfield and others have been interviewed dozens if not hundreds of times around the country in recent weeks. Illinois Issues has an award-winning blog with a unique up-to-date perspective, and WUIS public radio covers everything in-depth. Being in the state capital, for UIS, is another way of saying "location, location, location" makes all the difference to people seeking accurate information.

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Friday, January 2, 2009

UIS students into social networking

Facebook is really popular with our students. It's social networking. I've been told some of our students spend up to two hours a day interacting on Facebook. Some probably do more. Most of them probably don't want administrators like me prying into their conversations; so I don't. It's public conversation yet somewhat private -- for them -- at the same time. UIS has a Facebook site. Click here to find it. I'm still on the periphery on social networking, with a professional profile at LinkedIn and an account at MyRagan, a service of Ragan Communications, one of my favorite companies.

Everybody says the big deal about social networking is that the content is user-generated. I still think people want information from those sites, too. I have much to learn. I wish there were shortcuts, but I think I just have to stay with it.

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