The UIS Community

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

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Michael Burlingame gift

I asked for Michael Burlingame's two-volume biography of Abraham Lincoln as a Father's Day gift, and I got it. I am so thrilled. It is called Abraham Lincoln: A Life. This new academic look at Lincoln is said to supplant the volumes written by Carl Sandburg in the early and middle parts of the 20th century. I am especially interested in reading about Lincoln's years in Springfield, Ill., which is where I live. Burlingame has just become the the Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield, where I work. I love to tell our students what it is to study in the city where Lincoln walked. I live less than two miles from Lincoln's home and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. I love to walk in those areas, which always remind me of Lincoln's humanity as well as his greatness.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Cheryl Peck, Tim Barnett, Margot Duley in transition

We'll see three major transitions on July 1:
Cheryl Peck is retiring. She maintained high standards of integrity in her role as director of public relations. We're having a sendoff reception next Tuesday, June 23. Best wishes to a colleague who deserves a happy retirement. An announcement of her successor is imminent.
Dr. Tim Barnett is arriving. There is much optimism around campus because of what he brings as the new vice chancellor for Student Affairs.
Dr. Margot Duley is retiring as dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Dr. James Ermatinger is arriving. I have really enjoyed Margot's sensible approach to academia and to life.
Transitions produce hope. UIS has other transitions, too, but these three in particular will make UIS a different place henceforth.