Tuesday, April 24, 2012

UIS has talented student-athletes!

It was such a pleasure to be part of the annual UIS Athletic Banquet Sunday evening. My congratulations to Michael Fakuade,  Male Athlete of the Year who has been such fun to watch on the basketball court this year.  Congrats also to senior pitcher, Heather Gradishar, who has helped the women's softball team to have their best year ever.  Heather, we'll be there to cheer you on Saturday in the conference tournament.  And kudos to Jane Brown, a Springfield native and a member of the women's tennis program who boasted the highest cumulative grade point average of any senior student-athlete!  And by the way she is an Accounting major who is graduating in three years!! 

I'm very proud of all our terrific Division II athletes – its amazing how well they balance their academics with their athletics and it shows in both the GPAs and the athletic performance.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Students say "Yes" to a student union

By almost a 4 to 1 ratio, the students voted “yes” in yesterday’s referendum to build a student union on our campus (the actual vote was 432 to 109).  I want to congratulate the many students that worked hard on bringing the referendum to a vote and explaining the importance of having a union.  Even though there is still a long way to go, this was a very big step in the process.  Let’s keep our eyes on the prize and make that all important “hot spot” a reality to our campus and community!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Let's Build a Student Union!

Today is an important day for our UIS community – the day that students have an opportunity to vote to build a Student Union on our campus. The referendum today is a student-led initiative and I strongly support it. As I've been getting to know UIS students this year, I've heard again and again that students need and want a union and, as far as I'm concerned, we can't get the shovel into the ground soon enough!

Our union will be a destination for all members of our community - on–campus students, non-traditional students, graduate students, faculty members, staff, alums, and yes, even the Chancellor. It will be our campus living room – a bright and bustling hot spot for student activities long into the future; a place to work on homework, hold meetings, enjoy some new food and beverage options, play video games, and just hang out after class. As our student leaders are fond of saying: "Think of it as a campus town in a box."

If you are a UIS student, I hope that you will vote today for this very important next step in the growth of our university.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Equal Pay Day

Everyone knows that today is Tax Day the annual deadline for U.S. Citizens to file their income tax; but did you know it is also Equal Pay Day? Equal Pay Day symbolically marks the number of extra days women would have to work into 2012 in order to earn, on average, as much as their male counterparts do for the same work. According to a recent study by the American Association of University Women, the average disparity between men's and women's wages in the U.S. is 76%, with the average salary for men being $50,549 and for women, $38, 368. Where you live in the U.S. makes a difference with Washington, D.C. Being the best location and where women earn 91% of what men do. Wyoming is the worst at 64% and Illinois is not so good either. The wage gap in Illinois between men's and women's salaries is ranked as 34th in the nation. For college educated Illinois women, that amounts to about $1.2 million in lost earnings over a lifetime. This is a very real issue for Illinois families.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The latest buzz on a student union

As many of you know, the buzz is out and about building a student union at UIS. Many of our students, faculty, and staff are trying to inform everyone with the facts and there are a lot of things you are probably wondering. … “Like how much? Who would have to pay for it? What would be in it? Where will it be located?” Many of your answers can be found at this link. I hope members of the campus community will attend one of the open forums that have been scheduled to discuss the student union initiative. I agree with our student leaders that we need a student union – a central gathering place for our campus community. The student union will be for everyone and would greatly enhance campus life here at UIS. Student government is holding a referendum on April 19th. If you are a UIS Student, please vote!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Their work is never done

Just this week our UIS Illinois Innocence Project hosted its 5th annual Defenders of the Innocent Awards Reception at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Springfield. The Illinois Innocence Project works to exonerate individuals who are innocent of the serious crimes for which they have been incarcerated and, at the same time provides students with a hands-on learning experience of great value to their education. I am very proud of the collaboration and the work that is put into their efforts. As Larry Golden will tell you, their work is never done. I like that philosophy!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Fortune favors the prepared mind

I had a quick business lunch yesterday at the Tai Pan - my favorite little Chinese restaurant in Springfield. This message was in my fortune cookie: "Sell your ideas, they are totally acceptable." Nice! (And by the way, the title of this blog post is from Louis Pasteur, who knew well from his own experience that fortune does, indeed ,favor the prepared mind.)

Monday, April 2, 2012

The greatest wealth is health

With Spring well underway, the UIS campus is so beautiful – it seems like everyone is outside. Spring is also is a great time to get more active and get a little more committed to being healthy. I'm wearing my pedometer and planning on making that 100 mile goal by mid-April! On our campus a great way to enhance your health will be to attend the UIS Health Awareness Fair just a couple days away on April 4th in the TRAC. The Health Fair is a great opportunity to take advantage of some free health screenings, and gather valuable information on health and wellness. The Diversity Center will also be kicking off their Bullying – Not at @UIS Campaign. I hear this is a major – and "picturesque" event on our campus and I hope I'll see lots of UIS students, faculty and staff there! By the way, the title of this blog post is a famous (and very true) quote by the ancient Roman poet, Virgil. (Health educators know weird stuff like this.)