Monday, January 24, 2011

Outlook 2011: UIS leader is 'hopeful' for future

Having celebrated its 40th year in 2010, the University of Illinois Springfield — founded as Sangamon State University — is looking ahead to the next 40.

But, like all institutions of higher learning, the future is clouded by bleak economic conditions. “If I were going to say one word to describe the outlook for UIS in 2011, I’d say ‘hopeful,’" said Harry Berman, interim chancellor of the university.

“We’re coming off of some wonderful things. This fall, we had a 5 percent increase in enrollment, and in August, we were named the fourth-best public university in the Midwest in U.S. News & World Report (2011 America’s Best Colleges),” he said.

The number of online classes is rising; 25 percent of attendees are now online students. With an increase in students, Berman is hoping developers will take a new look at the business potential of the campustown area south of the city near Lake Springfield.

“We have 1,100 students living on campus, we have students working on campus and we’re optimistic that there will be more interest among developers,” Berman said.

The outlook was featured in a January 23, 2011, edition of The State Journal-Register.

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