Friday, October 29, 2010

UIS campus housing to disconnect phone service

Almost everyone has a cell phone nowadays, especially college students. That's why the University of Illinois at Springfield is choosing to eliminate land line service in its student housing.

Housing Director John Ringle says starting over the Christmas break land line service will be disconnected.

"By cutting off that particular monthly expense for the 1,100 residents that are living on campus, that comes out to a pretty significant savings on the course of a fiscal year," Ringle said.

Ringle says the jack will remain, but if you plug a phone into it, you won't have service unless you request it.

"Students can plug a phone in, let us know they want to activate it as a line and then we will charge them accordingly next fiscal year. For those that still want it this fiscal year, we think because it's mid-year, we should work with them and give them the opportunity to keep it if they want to," Ringle said.

Ringle says it will be a savings of about $125,000 a year. Ringle says that savings will help pay for carpet replacement and new furniture.

The story was featured by WICS-TV 20 on October 28, 2010.

Download a PDF of the text article

Watch the story on News Channel 20's website

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Out-of-state money fueling race for governor

State officials may need to review ways to “protect disclosure” in Illinois in the wake of largely untraceable campaign contributions flowing into state campaigns, a leading campaign finance reform group says.

An unprecedented amount of out-of-state money is financing the race for governor, one expert added.

“That’s pretty unprecedented for Illinois to have that huge amount of money coming in from out of state,’ said Kent Redfield, political science professor emeritus at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Redfield raised another point.

“The Democratic group discloses (contributors), the Republicans don’t,” he said.

Redfield's comments were featured in an October 27, 2010, article in The State Journal-Register.

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Illinois voters asked to choose twice for Senate seat

No, Illinois, you're not seeing double.

The Nov. 2 ballot asks for two votes for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama, another twist of the state's wacky politics.

A judge has determined the same candidates must run for two terms: one being the normal six years beginning in January, the other an interim stint beforehand that probably will last little more than a month.

In both cases, voters will choose from among Democrat Alexi Giannoulias, Republican Mark Kirk, Green LeAlan Jones and Libertarian Mike Labno. Polls show the race extremely close between Giannoulias and Kirk.

Chris Mooney, a political scientist at the University of Illinois at Springfield, said the chances the vote could be split between two candidates - so that one serves the short term and another the full six years - is slim.

But he wouldn't totally rule it out.

"The way it's polling, it's so close, I guess that's possible," Mooney said.

Mooney's comments were featured in an October 26, 2010, article by the Associated Press.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Illinois senate race attracts parties' big guns

Candidates for the Illinois Senate seat will get help from prominent politicians in the closing days of the campaign. President Obama will campaign for Democrat Alexi Giannoulias, and Karl Rove will stump for Republican Mark Kirk.

University of Illinois Springfield professor Charlie Wheeler says the nastiness of the Illinois senate race stands out even in a year filled with negative ads and harsh political attacks.

"If you would listen to what each says about the other, neither is fit to be dog catcher, much less U.S. senator," said Wheeler.

Wheeler's comments were featured in an October 26, 2010, report by National Public Radio (NPR).

Listen to the report on NPR's website

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Big names hit Ill. in campaign's waning days

In the final days before the Nov. 2 election, Democrats and Republicans are leaning on party heavyweights, energizing their bases and looking for swing voters in the high-profile races for President Barack Obama's old Senate seat and Illinois governor.

Democrats have more work to do than Republicans to energize their base, but both sides need to sway independent and swing voters, said Kent Redfield, a professor emeritus of politics at the University of Illinois-Springfield.

While Republicans are charged up ideologically, some Democrats aren't happy with Obama because they've been hurt by the slumping economy, are dissatisfied with his progress on gay rights or think he settled for too little change in health care reform, Redfield said.

Redfield's comments were featured in an October 26, 2010, article by the Associated Press.

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Illinois lieutenant governor: They're ready to lead

The next lieutenant governor of Illinois, a place that recently got a lesson in how quickly the "light gov" can be thrust into leadership, most likely will be a government novice who owes the job partly to family connections.

The Democratic nominee is a one-term city council member chiefly known as the daughter of a U.S. senator. The Republican is a 28-year-old who has never held office and won the nomination with the help of his family fortune.

Illinois' last lieutenant governor, Pat Quinn, found himself in charge after Rod Blagojevich was indicted for political corruption and booted from office. This year, voters will decide whether to change the state Constitution so they can recall undesirable governors before their terms are up.

Both Carbondale Democrat Sheila Simon and Edwardsville Republican Jason Plummer insist they're ready to step in and lead the state, including managing the biggest budget crisis in Illinois history.

The state constitution doesn't provide for filling a vacancy in the lieutenant governor's office, which is why no one has replaced Quinn. Some critics call for eliminating the post and letting another official, like the attorney general, take over if there's a vacancy in the governor's office.

"The governor is an exceptionally important position in the United States these days," said Chris Mooney, political science professor at the University of Illinois at Springfield. "Far less damage can be done by a senator or a congressman than by a governor."

Mooney's comments were featured in an October 25, 2010, article by the Associated Press.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

UIS administrator appointed interim vice chancellor

An administrator at the University of Illinois Springfield for more than 20 years has been appointed interim vice chancellor for academic affairs at the university, pending trustees’ approval.

Lynn Pardie, who has been associate vice chancellor for graduate education and research at UIS since 2006, will begin her new position Jan. 1. She replaces Acting Chancellor Harry Berman in his position as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, which he will continue to fill until the end of the year.

“Her administrative experience, her scholarship, and the respect she has earned as a UIS faculty member and administrator since 1989 make her a great choice to lead Academic Affairs through this important period of transition,” Berman said.

Pardie was featured in an October 23, 2010, article in The State Journal-Register.

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'Heidi Chronicles' also a chronicle of the Baby Boom generation

Wendy Wasserstein's Tony Award-winning play "The Heidi Chronicles" is often described as a feminist drama about one woman's quest to "have it all".

But the play, which opened Friday at the UIS Studio Theatre, can also be seen as a chronicle of the Baby Boom generation.

Complete with a soundtrack of classic '60s, '70s and '80s hits and references to seminal events of the era, "The Heidi Chronicles" captures the idealism, angst, and self-absorption of Boomers who, even now, are still thinking about what they want to be when they "grow up" and redefining what "grown up" means.

Directed by Missy Thiboudeaux-Thompson, "The Heidi Chronicles" opens in 1989 (the year it was written) with art history professor Heidi Holland (Ashley Warren) lecturing her students about the history -- or more precisely, the lack of documented history -- of women in art prior to the 20th century.

The play was featured in an October 23, 2010, article in The State Journal-Register.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Author of 'Bloody Crimes' to discuss Lincoln, Jefferson Davis

As the Civil War wound to a close, three remarkable journeys took place simultaneously — the death pageant carrying Abraham Lincoln’s corpse; the hunt for Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth; and the pursuit of the fleeing Confederate president, Jefferson Davis.

Writer James Swanson’s 2006 best-selling book “Manhunt” chronicled the 12-day pursuit of Booth. His newest one, “Bloody Crimes,” which Swanson will discuss at 8 p.m. today at the University of Illinois Springfield’s Brookens Auditorium, picks up where “Manhunt” left off, tracing Lincoln’s final path and Davis’ desperate one.

As of this week, “Bloody Crimes” is 15th on The New York Times bestsellers list for hardcover nonfiction.

Swanson will discuss his new book with Michael Burlingame, Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois Springfield.

Swanson's appearance at UIS was featured in an October 21, 2010, article in The State Journal-Register.

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'Heidi' chronicles evolving roles for women

Director Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson has personal experience with the “The Heidi Chronicles,” the play that opens UIS Theatre’s new season at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Studio Theatre on the University of Illinois Springfield campus.

Thibodeaux-Thompson said she was in the play in 1994, though for the sake of her actors she doesn’t want to say which characters she played. Then just 5 years old, the play’s ideas were still fresh, perhaps even raw.

“There were many feminist theater critics at the time who felt that it didn’t do — I don’t know how to put this, and I want to be careful so it doesn’t give the ending away — they felt it wasn’t accurately depicting the feminist struggle or the feminist achievement,” Thibodeaux-Thompson said.

“The Heidi Chronicles” follows the title character from her school days in the 1960s, when feminism was on the rise, through a high-powered career as an art historian in the 1980s, when the character is lost personally and has a more nuanced view of the movement.

“The Heidi Chronicles” was featured in an October 21, 2010, article in The State Journal-Register.

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A woman's movement

University of Illinois Springfield Theatre Program produces the thought-provoking Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play by American theater icon, Wendy Wasserstein. Relive the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s through the humorous, historical and cultural trek of Heidi Holland as she moves from high-school brainer to adult professor and feminist. UIS Assistant Professor of Theatre Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson directs.

"The Heidi Chronicles"
Friday and Saturday, Oct. 22-23, 29-30, 7:30pm
Sunday, Oct. 24, 2pm
Thursday, Oct. 28, 7:30pm
UIS Studio Theatre
206-6613
$12 adults, $10 seniors (plus service charges)

The play was featured in an October 21, 2010, article in the Illinois Times.

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Thom Serafin of La Grange Park receives 2010 William E. Winter Award for Outstanding Advocate Leadership

La Grange Park resident Thom Serafin, founder and CEO of Serafin & Associates, as well as noted political analyst, was awarded the 2010 William E. Winter Award for Outstanding Advocate Leadership on Oct. 16, at the University of Illinois Springfield. The award is given to a volunteer who has shown extraordinary leadership in supporting the development of the goals of the University of Illinois.

PROVIDING LEADERSHIP AND SERVICE TO UIS

Thom's leadership to UIS has been evident for many years. An expert in public affairs, public relations, reputation management, media advising and strategic planning, Thom has generously advised the UIS Office of Development, UIS Alumni Relations and the campus leadership whenever asked. He has opened his firm's doors to host Development meetings in the Chicago region and has helped build engagement and reconnect with UIS' distinguished alumni.

Serafin's award was featured by the website Patch.com in an October 20, 2010, article.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ringeisen leaves UIS after more than nine years at the helm

The city of Springfield loomed large in the rearview mirror for Richard and Carolyn Ringeisen on Tuesday morning.

Ringeisen was at his desk at the University of Illinois Springfield on Monday, his last day at work after 9 ½ years as chancellor of UIS.

"When that car points south tomorrow morning, it's going to be sad in that car for my wife and me," he said. "We've really grown to love Springfield and its people and this institution."

The Ringeisens are retiring to Clemson, S.C., in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, where he was a mathematics professor and department head at Clemson University for 14 years. It's where the Ringeisen's children attended elementary and high school.

Ringeisen's departure was featured in an October 20, 2010, article in The State Journal-Register.

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UIS under new leadership

After more than a decade as chancellor at UIS, Richard Ringeisen turned over the reins Tuesday. Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Harry Berman will become Interim Chancellor for the remainder of the academic year.

The chancellor's office sits empty Tuesday afternoon. Only a few tokens remain of the man who many say revolutionized U of I's Springfield campus.

"When he first took over he said there was no one on campus when you looked out the window and now there's over 5,000 students here on campus, so UIS has grown a great deal since he took over," said Matt Van Vossen, president of the UIS Student Government Association.

The man who will now sit behind the chancellor's desk is no stranger to campus. Harry Berman has worked for the university for over 30 years.

"I've known all the presidents at UIS and I've learned something from each of them," said Berman.

The change was featured by WICS-TV 20 in an October 19, 2010, report.

Watch the story on News Channel 20's website

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Campaign 2010: Senate race all about character

When voters pick their next senator, they'll likely just be choosing who they trust more.

The race between Mark Kirk and Alexi Giannoulias has been filled with personal attacks. Kirk has been accused of lying on his military record. Giannoulias has been accused of doing business with criminals at his family's bank.

UIS political science professor Michael Miller says Kirk has the advantage in the credibility game so far. He came forward and admitted he lied.

Giannoulias has jumped around his problem, Miller said.

Miller says you can expect to see more negative commercials until election day.

Miller's comments were featured in an October 19, 2010, report by WCIA-TV Channel 3.

Download a PDF of the article

Watch the story on WCIA's website

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The graying of Sangamon County

Sangamon County is closing in on the Big 40.

The estimated median age of Sangamon County residents is at 39.3 years, with final census data to be released later this year. The county has “aged” two years since the 2000 Census and more than five since 1990.

It’s also above the state and national median age.

Carolyn Peck, associate professor of human services-gerontology at the University of Illinois Springfield, couldn’t say why Sangamon County is slightly older than average, though she said several factors could be examined.

“You could look at poverty rates in Sangamon County in comparison to other counties and see, demographically, do we have a higher socioeconomic standard for living that might increase health or do more people have health insurance,” she said. “It’s an interesting observation.”

Nationally, people are living longer, a trend that will only continue, she said.

Peck's comments were featured in an October 19, 2010, edition of The State Journal-Register.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Phillips, UIS golf team off to good start at regional

The University of Illinois Springfield, led by Zach Phillips, finished the first day of the Great Lakes Regional No. 2 in sixth place at Glen Echo Country Club.

Phillips, who carded a 5-over par 77, is tied for 16th overall.

UIS is tied for sixth place (out of 15 teams) with Tiffin University after finishing the first round with a team score of 313. Host University of Missouri-St. Louis is in the lead with a 298.

In addition to Phillips, UIS’ Shane McCafferty and Ryan McKillips each shot 78 and are tied for 22nd.

The two-day event wraps up with 18 holes today.

The golf team was featured in an October 19, 2010, article in The State Journal-Register.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

UIS celebrates 40th anniversary

The University of Illinois Springfield is celebrating its 40th anniversary. The school has awarded more than 32,000 degrees over the last four decades.

UIS was founded in 1970 as Sangamon State University. At its birth the 700 plus acre campus was only an upper division university.

"It was a couple of buildings and a cornfield and when we first started classes we actually started them in downtown Springfield. The campus wasn't quite ready," said Joan Sestak, director of Community Relations at UIS.

The seed was planted. In 1995, SSU became the 3rd campus of the University of Illinois. Naomi Lynn was chancellor at the time.

"It was challenging. It was interesting because we had to adapt from Sangamon State University to become the 3rd campus of the University of Illinois, but it was also very rewarding. We knew it was the right thing to do," said Lynn.

WICS-TV 20 spotlighted the 40th anniversary in an October 16, 2010, report.

Watch the story on News Channel 20's website

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Opinion: Study sales tax hike from all angles

The following is a portion of an op-ed column written by Beverly Bunch, a professor with the Center for State Policy and Leadership/Public Administration Department at the University of Illinois Springfield. It was published in an October 16, 2010, edition of The State Journal-Register.

"On Nov. 2, voters in Sangamon County have the opportunity to indicate whether they favor a 1 percent sales tax to support school facilities. If approved, the revenues generated by the tax would be distributed among the county’s school districts on a per pupil basis.

I realize these are difficult economic times to ask voters to consider supporting a tax increase. But as a university professor who has conducted research and taught public finance and budgeting for more than 20 years, I wanted to share some observations and highlights from studies that I believe are relevant to this referendum.

First, research indicates that school facilities do matter in terms of student learning. A University of California Los Angeles professor notes that studies have found a 5- to 17-percentage point difference between achievement of students in poor buildings and those in above-standard buildings (after controlling for the differences in socio-economic background of the students). Recent testimony before the U.S. Congress indicated that there is a relationship between a school’s physical conditions (indoor air quality, lighting, thermal comfort and acoustics) and student attendance and test scores. Does this mean that test scores will improve as soon as new facilities are built or old facilities are repaired? Most likely not, but it does suggest that over time, the improvements would have a positive impact on student learning."

Download the full article as a PDF

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Friday, October 15, 2010

New-look UIS basketball team starts practice

University of Illinois Springfield Prairie Stars coach Ben Wierzba is counting down the hours to the first day of men’s basketball practice.

The first-year coach is just as excited as his players. They don’t have long to wait. The season officially gets under way today at 10:15 a.m.

“They’re excited,” Wierzba said. “We’ve had a good month. I’ve been here about four or five weeks and they’ve had good attitudes every day (in individual workouts).”

This is Wierzba’s first head coaching job. The former University of Evansville assistant is working with a team made up of a large number of new players.

“The next challenge is getting in there as a team and practicing together as a team,” Wierzba said.

Wierzba replaced Kevin Gamble, who resigned to become director of player development at Division I Providence College. Gamble was 130-79 in eight seasons as UIS coach, including 11-13 last season.

The team was featured in a October 15, 2010, article in The State Journal-Register.

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Lack of vote center angers UIS students

Some students at the University of Illinois Springfield are fuming after being left out of a pilot program to place early-voting and grace-period registration centers on state university campuses this fall.

The state law enacting the program refers to voting centers being placed at the "main campus of each public university."

But there appears to be confusion over the definition of "main campus."

The law's sponsor in the state Senate, as well as officials at the Sangamon County clerk's election office and the Illinois State Board of Elections, said the intent of the pilot program was to limit it to the state's nine "main" public university campuses - excluding UIS and other non-flagship sites.

The story was published in a October 14, 2010, edition of The State Journal-Register.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Official city holiday ornament depicting UIS unveiled

A three-dimensional depiction of the colonnade on the quadrangle at the University of Illinois Springfield is featured on the 2010 City of Springfield ornament.

The design, unveiled at a press conference at the colonnade Wednesday, is the 18th in a series of collectible ornaments depicting local buildings and landmarks.

The series is a project of St. Joseph’s Home, a not-for-profit nursing home established in 1903. Sales of the ornament support the home.

The 2¼-inch tall ornament depicts the colonnade, constructed on the north side of the UIS Quad in 2005, as well as a base commemorating the 40th anniversary of UIS.

Terri Hempstead, development coordinator of St. Joseph’s Home, said the university a year ago suggested that the home consider spotlighting UIS.

“We were thrilled,” she said. “It is a worthy addition to the group of buildings and landmarks that define the identity of Springfield.”

The ornament was featured in a October 14, 2010, article in The State Journal-Register.

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Presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin to speak

Seats have been selling fast for presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin’s lecture at the University of Illinois Springfield’s Sangamon Auditorium tonight.

Tickets are available, but only a few. As of Tuesday afternoon, there were 325, according to UIS. Goodwin’s lecture begins at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $15 ($21 online). The lecture is part of the Jim Edgar Lecture Series sponsored by UIS and the museum.

Goodwin, who is in Springfield for the opening of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum’s new exhibit based on her book “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln,” will share her thoughts on “The Art and Craft of Storytelling: From JFK, LBJ and FDR to Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt.”

Goodwin's appearance was featured in a October 14, 2010, article in The State Journal-Register.

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Barack Obama's old senate seat in danger of becoming Republican

In what would be perhaps the most symbolic defeat for the president in the November midterms, Alexi Giannoulias, the Democratic senate candidate for Illinois, is only a percentage point ahead of his Republican opposition Mark Kirk.

Mr. Obama has already made one fundraising appearance in Chicago to rally support for Mr. Giannoulias, 34, a former state treasurer who has suffered from his inexperience and the revelation that his family's bank, now failed, lent money to mobsters.

"He is not as popular nationally or in Illinois as he was two years ago," said Kent Redfield, a professor political science at the University of Illinois. "There is a national mood, a worry about the economy and the country's future, that is bleeding into Illinois.

"It says a lot about how bad he and the Democrats are doing that this seat is in play. It's not a seat they should have to worry about."

Redfield's comments were featured in a October 13, 2010, article by the London Daily Telegraph.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Robert Moore, 2010 First Citizen nominee

University of Illinois Springfield alumnus Robert Moore has been nominated by The State Journal-Register for the 2010 First Citizen Award.

Moore's biography as published in the October 13, 2010, edition of the SJ-R:

Occupation: Retired U.S. Marshal, chief of police. Owner, CEO, Robert Moore and Associates Black Police Resource Center.

Family: Wife Barbara Moore, daughters Kimberly and Tamara, grandchildren Aminah, Charles and Jocelyn.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and master’s degree in public administration, University of Illinois Springfield. Graduate, Southern Police Institute, University of Louisville.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

UIS students celebrate National Coming Out Day

Students at the University of Illinois at Springfield are coming together to allow others to come out. October 11 marks the 23rd annual National Coming Out Day to battle hate. Gays, lesbians and their supporters are raising awareness in hopes of increasing tolerance.

William Kipp first came out at age 13 telling his parents he was gay.

"They sent me away to a boarding school... their hope was it would turn me straight," said Kipp.

Kipp and his friends have all experienced first hand the struggles young gay people face in today's society.

A story on National Coming Out Day aired on WICS-TV 20 on October 11, 2010.

Watch the story online

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Homecoming attendance, enthusiasm up at UIS

Attendance increased for every event at the University of Illinois Springfield’s 2010 homecoming, officials said.

UIS is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

Rebecca Roche, coordinator for the homecoming student activities, said the university worked hard this year to get the word out about events.

“It’s been a big thing to get people out,” she said. “In the past, people have come for the shirts, and that’s it. This year, in every event we had an increase in students.”

This year’s homecoming events started Oct. 4 and continued through Saturday. The university boasts 5,174 students, about 1,100 of whom live on campus.

This year about 600 students attended a pep rally Monday, while attendance doubled from 20 to 40 during Tuesday’s Make Your Own Spirit Wear and from 100 to 200 at the Homecoming BBQ and Lawn Party Saturday, she said.

Homecoming was featured in a October 10, 2010, article in The State Journal-Register.

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Celebrating 40 Years at UIS

It's homecoming week at UIS, and to make things extra special they are celebrating their 40th anniversary. The university has undergone many changes over the years from a new name, to new buildings. One staff member has been there to see it all.

"When I first saw the campus it was literally a pile of mud down in one end and one building," said Lynn Price.

When Price started at the university as a campus nurse she was the only person working for Health Services.

"I've had the opportunity to build this health service, because nobody else knew what Health Services meant, so the physicians and I decided what we were going to do," she said.

40 years later Price is the Director of Health Services at UIS and says she's amazed at what the university has become.

Price was featured by WICS-TV 20 in a October 8, 2010, report.

Watch the story on News Channel 20's website

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UIS holds first symposium on Lincoln and political science

The University of Illinois Springfield this weekend is serving up a familiar Springfield topic, but with a slightly different twist.

The inaugural Wepner Symposium on the Lincoln Legacy and Contemporary Political Science got under way Friday with six open-to-the-public sessions at UIS’s Public Affairs Center. It concluded with sessions at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the Hall of Representatives at the Old State Capitol on Saturday.

“The purpose of the symposium is to generate and stir up some new thinking about this very great president,” said Matthew Holden Jr., the Wepner Distinguished Professor in Political Science at UIS. “Lincoln has slipped out of political science.”

Both Holden’s chair and the symposium were made possible by a $1.2 million unrestricted estate gift from a Springfield couple, Wilbur and Margaret Wepner, longtime supporters of UIS.

“We were looking for the right person to tie Lincoln and political science together,” said UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen in opening the symposium. “He (Holden) is the perfect person for this.”

The symposium was featured in a October 8, 2010, article in The State Journal-Register.

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Area Colleges: Egolf, Thorpe lift UIS women's soccer team

Casey Thorpe and Erin Egolf scored a goal apiece to lift the University of Illinois Springfield Prairie Stars women's soccer team to a 2-0 victory over the St. Joseph’s Pumas in a Great Lakes Valley Conference match Friday at Kiwanis Field.

UIS is 2-9 overall and 2-8 in the GLVC after failing to win a league game in the 2009, the school’s first year as a GLVC member. The Stars beat Kentucky Wesleyan last month for their other conference victory.

Thorpe converted a penalty kick to give UIS a 1-0 first-half lead. Egolf netted her seventh goal of the season on a headball off Rachel Neudahl’s assist after halftime.

UIS goalkeepers Sam Chappell and Kelli Kubal combined for the shutout against the Pumas (1-9-1, 1-8-1).

The Stars host Indianapolis in a GLVC game Sunday at noon.

The win was featured in a October 9, 2010, article in The State Journal-Register.

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

UIS baseball team gets in swing of things

After spending a year behind a desk attending to every detail and organizing every little thing that’s needed when beginning a college baseball program, University of Illinois Springfield coach Brian Grunzke is seeing the fruits of his labor.

The former NCAA Division I assistant at Northern Iowa and Arkansas-Little Rock, who was hired in August 2009 to start the UIS program, finally has made his way from his second-floor office in The Recreation and Athletic Center to the baseball diamond.

The Prairie Stars are in the midst of their first fall season.

The baseball team was featured in a October 7, 2010, article in The State Journal-Register.

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Picture: Fun with food

University of Illinois at Springfield student Kayla Ico’s hands are covered in mashed potatoes Tuesday as she competes to sculpt the food in a homecoming activity.

Ico's photo was featured in The State Journal-Register on October 6, 2010.

Download a PDF of the photo

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Gay students not automatically in the clear at college

For many gays and lesbians, there's no question that college is infinitely more welcoming than the hallways, cafeterias and locker rooms of middle and high school. But despite more visibility, finding acceptance continues to be a challenge on many campuses, experts say.

Steven Black
, a senior, said that you can't always go by location. His experiences at University of Illinois, Springfield have generally been positive. The environment, he said, started changing his freshman year, when the school sponsored an alternative prom for area teens.

"That was the turning point … a sign that this really is a safe place," he explained. "I'd call it a downstate utopia."

Black's comments were featured in a October 6, 2010, article in the Chicago Tribune.

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Richard Judd: The entrepreneurial spirit needed now more than ever

The following article was written by Richard Judd, National City Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois Springfield. It was published in a October 6, 2010, edition.

"According to a McKinsey Reports survey, most business executives around the world agree that global social, environmental and business trends are more important to business strategy then they were five years ago.

Respondents identified the top seven trends as being: A faster pace of technological innovation; increasing availability of knowledge/skill to exploit technological change; a growing number of consumers in emerging markets; development of technologies that empower consumers and communities; adoption of increasingly scientific data-driven management techniques; increasingly global labor talent markets; and shifts of economic activity between and within global regions."

Download a PDF of the full article

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Area Colleges: Barnes paces Prairie Stars

Maddy Barnes slammed 11 kills to lead the University of Illinois Springfield volleyball team past Robert Morris-Peoria 25-11, 25-8, 25-13 Tuesday night in a non-conference match at The Recreation and Athletic Center.

Sam Krilich added 10 kills, Courtnee Brown had 11 digs, and Colleen Gentile and Courtney Kombrink contributed 16 assists apiece for the Prairie Stars.

UIS improved to 5-12. The Eagles dropped to 3-18.

The win was featured in a October 6, 2010, article in The State Journal-Register.

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Democrats face tough fight to keep Obama's old senate seat

Illinois Democrats are locked in a dogfight to retain President Barack Obama's troublesome former U.S. Senate seat.

A Chicago Tribune poll released this weekend has first-term Democratic state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias up by two points over five-term Republican U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk, 38% to 36%.

Last month, the same poll found the candidates tied at 34%. Democrats enjoy as much as a 10-point margin over Republicans among registered voters in the state.

"Kirk has got to win moderates and independents in order to win as a Republican in Illinois," said Kent Redfield, a professor at the University of Illinois in Springfield. "Giannoulias has to get enthusiasm within his base."

Redfield's comments were featured in a October 4, 2010, article in The Wall Street Journal.

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Lieutenant governor candidates insist they're ready to lead state

Both Carbondale Democrat Sheila Simon and Edwardsville Republican Jason Plummer insist they’re ready to step in and lead the state, including managing the biggest budget crisis in Illinois history.

The state constitution doesn’t provide for filling a vacancy in the lieutenant governor’s office, which is why no one has replaced Gov. Pat Quinn. Some critics call for eliminating the post and letting another official, like the attorney general, take over if there’s a vacancy in the governor’s office.

“The governor is an exceptionally important position in the United States these days,” said Chris Mooney, political science professor at the University of Illinois Springfield. “Far less damage can be done by a senator or a congressman than by a governor.”

Mooney's comments were featured in a October 5, 2010, article in The State Journal-Register.

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Monday, October 4, 2010

40 Years: Where does the University of Illinois Springfield go from here?

University of Illinois Springfield undeniably has come a long way since its founding 40 years ago. What kind of campus it will be for the next 40, or at least the next few, depends on how well it continues to balance two somewhat competing goals - transforming into a traditional four-year school while capitalizing on technologies preventing it from ever fully becoming one.

A lot also will depend on who replaces retiring UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen, who will leave UIS having checked off many items in the school's 2006 strategic plan. The next chancellor isn't expected to be named until next year.

In 2006, the university recast itself as a small public liberal arts university. It was a commitment to teaching over research and intimacy over mimicking larger public colleges - priorities resonating back to its more free-spirited, progressive days as Sangamon State University.

The 40th anniversary of UIS was featured in a October 3, 2010, article on the front page of The State Journal-Register.

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Thank you to director of GPSI program

About a year ago, Tad Huskey of Springfield was busy working two part-time jobs and taking three classes to wrap up his master’s degree in accounting at the University of Illinois Springfield.

"Sure, I was stressed... but it was my last year of school. What an exciting time," he said.

But life doesn't go by the academic calendar. Tad's mother, Diane Huskey, was diagnosed with cancer - again. Tad, of course, wanted to be at home in Vandalia as much as possible, and considered dropping a class he did not need to graduate - but it was too late in the semester to avoid having his transcript say he didn't finish a class he started.

Tad sought the opinion of Kim Hayden, director of the Graduate Public Service Internship Program, who had provided good advice in the past.

Kim is just one of a number of area residents who received a big "thank you" from readers of The State Journal-Register who wrote to us about mentors, coaches, loved ones and others who helped make those they helped the people they are today.

Huskey's story was featured in a October 3, 2010, article in The State Journal-Register.

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Portrait of the artist in a recession

Another local artist who relies on found material in a different way is painter Ken Pease.

His art consists of bright, colorful cartoon characters created with recycled paint on found wood. He’ll buy paint that’s been returned to a home store, and he’s made friends with employees at cabinet shops. “You can call it recycling or you can call it cheap,” he quipped.

Pease has noticed a difference in the sales of his art since the recession began. Before moving here last year (his wife, Jenene Case Pease, joined the University of Illinois Springfield faculty), Pease worked full time as a graphic artist for a Florida company that made logo T-shirts of college sports teams.

“I moved here with thoughts of teaching art classes before all that was cut,” Pease said. Instead, he works part time as the manager of the Visual Arts Gallery at UIS.

“Who knows? If the economic times were better, something might have turned into a full-time position, and it would have made things a little easier,” Pease said.

Pease was featured in a October 1, 2010, article in The State Journal-Register.

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UIS ignores attorney general's ruling on records

The University of Illinois Springfield is refusing to release records detailing conduct by athletic coaches that led to their forced resignations last year despite a ruling from the state attorney general’s office that the school has not overcome a presumption the documents are public records.

“UIS has failed to meet its burden of establishing that disclosure of the information … would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy of the student,” wrote Sara Gadola Gallagher, deputy public access counselor for Attorney General Lisa Madigan, in a Sept. 30 letter to Derek Schnapp, UIS spokesman.

In a letter Friday to The State Journal-Register, Schnapp said the requested records will not be released despite the ruling.

“Our belief is that the students’ personal privacy concerns clearly outweigh the public’s right to know,” Schnapp wrote.

The attorney general’s office ruled without seeing the records in question and without issuing a subpoena to compel the university to release the documents to the agency’s public access counselor, who has subpoena power in public-records cases. The university has told the attorney general’s office that it believes federal law bars release of the records.

The records request was featured in a October 2, 2010, article in The State Journal-Register.

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