Sunday, January 29, 2012

Another example of why our online programs work for our students

It was a pleasure meeting with UIS supporters and alums for a couple of days in Phoenix this last week. Among them was Ed Carr. Ed is an executive with the Boeing Corporation in Phoenix (where they make the Apache helicopter) and is an online UIS student in our M.A. in Legal Studies Program. A busy dad with two active kids; Ed has found both the convenience and academic excellence of the UIS online program to be exactly what he was looking for. It's going to be a pleasure to shake Ed's hand when he participates in the May 2013 commencement ceremony. He has already decided to be there in person so that he can meet his professors and fellow students face-to-face.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

It's always great to run into our alums

UIS has accomplished alums across the state of Illinois and around the world. Wen Huang and Derek Felix are among them and what a pleasure it was to talk with them in Chicago a few days ago! Wen came to UIS (then Sangamon State) from China to earn his M.A. in Public Affairs Reporting in 1991. He is a Chicago-based writer and journalist who works for the Aon Corporation and is a regular contributor to the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Asian Wall Street Journal and other well-known publications. Wen's memoir, The Little Red Guard, will be published by Penguin books this spring and will be featured on the Oprah Winfrey network. Derek just graduated in 2010 with a degree in Business Administration and now has an exciting position with Groupon, a high tech company that now has about 3,000 employees in Chicago. Both Wen and Derek give credit to their UIS experience for preparing them well for success. It's great to know we have such great alums!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Bipartisanship – Our Students live it!

“Bipartisanship” is a word that we all hear quite often when a conversation about politics takes place. But when I heard that for the second year in a row that our chairman of the College Republicans (Zach Watkins) and the president of the College Democrats (Sean Miller) live in the same townhouse, even I thought that was pretty unique. Even the secretaries of both organizations (Andrea Carlson and Michelle Tuma) are roommates in Lincoln Residence Hall. After watching the video on the UIS website, it’s pretty easy to surmise that our leaders in Washington and here in state government in Springfield could learn a thing or two from our students.

I always knew we were leaders in public affairs and government, why wouldn’t we be leaders in practicing bipartisanship (or at least civility). Our students literally live it!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Good Morning, It's a Beautiful Winter Day

Happy 2012 & Welcome to the new semester at UIS! Thanks for stopping by and reading my first post to the Chancellor’s Blog. As some of you may have heard during my open forums, I told a story about my 3-year-old granddaughter’s “Good Morning” song. The shortened version of this story is that my daughter was rushing to get her 3 children into the car and hoping to get little Abigail to pre-school on time. But Abigail told her mom to wait a minute, because she had to sing her “Good Morning” song. Granted it’s hard to be agitated when you hear a 3-year-old burst into song, “Good Morning, Good Morning. It’s a beautiful day. I wonder what we’re going to do today.” There are days you may feel rushed or frustrated, but sometimes you just have to stop and take a deep breath and soak in the beautiful surroundings. When I drive into campus, I still think about how lucky I am to serve as your Chancellor. We have such a beautiful campus and great people that go along with it. Not only does it make for a great morning and a great day, but what a wonderful thing we have going here at UIS.

I am hoping to share some observations and experiences with you on this blog. I plan on making a post or two every week, and give you a little slice of my thoughts, that you might not normally get a chance to see from a chancellor. Come back and visit!