Chancellor Koch addresses Campus Senate
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Chancellor Susan Koch addressed the Campus Senate at their meeting last Friday, speaking for roughly one hour about national, state, and campus-oriented topics of interest.
On the national level, Koch spoke about the current administration and the impacts that predicted policies could have on UIS.
“We have already started to advocate in a number of ways … for the preservation of federal financial aid and fair treatment of all current and prospective students, including those who may be undocumented,” Koch said.
Koch met in private with a few of UIS’s undocumented students and heard their concerns about the current administration.
“Very, very concerned about their future,” she said of the students.
Ryan Croke, associate chancellor for public affairs, provided a copy of a letter drafted by the American Council of Education (ACE) that encourages President Trump to “treat Dreamers with fairness,” according to Croke.
A copy of the letter, titled “Letter from College and University Presidents to President Trump About ‘Dreamers’,” is available on the ACE website.
Koch also heard concerns brought forth by the Indian Student Organization regarding not only their visas, but their physical safety, as well.
“A couple of students I had lunch with told me that their parents are calling them every day, because they’re very worried about their safety,” the chancellor said, referencing the murder of an Indian master’s student in Kansas last month as a possible cause for concern.
“Graduate enrollment [for spring 2017] is down 250 [students from last spring],” the chancellor told the senate. “That’s almost 100 percent international students, and of course it’s computer science and MIS. That’s the big concern.”
However, “our online education continues to absolutely flourish,” according to the chancellor. Thirty-three percent of UIS’s enrollment for spring 2017 is online, with students from 47 states and 10 different countries.
“It’s a way to differentiate between us and so many other public institutions in Illinois,” Koch said, noting that she recently received an award on behalf of the school for “leadership in online education.”
“We’re going to have to continue this intensive focus on maintaining our north trajectory,” she said.
After encouraging senate members to support the school and students by attending sporting and theatrical events, the chancellor closed her address by saying, “I will be the first to say that these are very challenging times. But this is a time for us to stick together, to be optimistic, and to do everything we can to succeed in our [student-focused] mission.”
After a brief question and answer session with the senate and the audience, the chancellor left the senate to carry on with their normal business.
The senate swiftly approved resolution 46-13, a five-week-old resolution to amend and update the campus senate bylaws.
The senate also approved resolution 46-14, a new resolution that approved the creation of a post-baccalaureate certificate in healthcare management. Certificates appeal to students who seek an advanced education without committing a large amount of time and money to a master’s program.
The vote on another new resolution, 46-15, was postponed after about 20 minutes of debate over the clarity of the wording of the resolution.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:55 a.m. The next campus senate meeting will take place on April 7 at 10 a.m. in PAC G.