Chancellor Koch opens academic year at convocation
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This year marks the 44th academic year for UIS. It is also a year of tremendous growth, with the largest freshman class in UIS history (325+), as well as the largest international class to date. “We’re standing on the shoulders of giants,” said Chancellor Susan Koch – quoting Isaac Newton – as she explained UIS’ academic position at the annual fall convocation. The convocation, held Aug 22, 2013 at PAC, gave Koch the opportunity to reflect on the past academic year, and further outline goals for the year to come. “Growth, talent acquisition and retention, and facilities – those are our priorities,” she said. Growth: “If we’re going to be ‘masters of our own fate,’ we’re going to need to be a larger institution.” This means we need to foster:
- Higher visibility to prospective students to draw a larger, increasingly diverse student body, faculty and staff.
- A larger variety of relevant undergraduate and graduate programs that maintain teaching-focused learning.
- Affordability and accessibility – with an increased number of online programs.
- Hiring a diverse and talented staff and faculty.
- Providing appropriate and competitive compensation to improve retention.
- Strengthening campus culture for students, faculty and staff to create a “collective focus on excellence.”
- The addition of the student union – acting as the heart of campus life, and the surrounding communities.
- The renovation of Brookens Library.
- The addition of a Public Safety Building.
- Beginning preliminary planning for the next academic building and renovating existing facilities as needed.