News and Highlights for Faculty & Staff on the Urbana-Champaign Campus | March 2015
As you have heard, the proposed state budget remains uncertain, and we will likely face a significant reduction in state funding. Being stewards of the state’s flagship university, we must take responsibility to continue in our tradition of overcoming numerous challenges while delivering on our mission of learning, discovery, engagement and economic development.
To address this current challenge, we will concentrate on maintaining and enhancing the excellence of our campus by being realistic about the financial challenges ahead and deploying our resources in a strategic and efficient way. At the same time, our commitment as a public land-grant university to ensure accessible and affordable education will not wane. We will also continue to attract and retain excellent faculty and students, while providing state-of-the-art facilities for research and learning. New initiatives like the Carle-Illinois College of Medicine and the emerging plans for the new student-centered Design Institute will be a part of our ambition to move the institution forward. Strategic innovation must be a fundamental focus.
To face our challenges and remain true to our core mission and the aspirations outlined in our strategic plan, it is imperative that we work together as stewards of this great institution. The leaders of each college, school and institute and I have begun discussions about ways to reduce costs and increase revenue. These conversations will continue as I will be reaching out to other leaders of our campus, including the Academic Senate and the Campus Budget Oversight Committee (a faculty committee with representatives from across campus). We will be informed and guided by the same enduring principles and values that have made this institution a world-class university.
I will share more details of the new state budget as they become clearer.
Board of Trustees Vote to Establish New College of Medicine
The University of Illinois Board of Trustees voted unanimously on March 12 to establish the nation’s first college of medicine focused, from the beginning, on the intersection of engineering and medicine. This will be the first new college created at Urbana in 60 years.
The college will be a partnership between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Carle Health System that is specifically designed to train a new kind of doctor. This ground-breaking approach will integrate the university’s unparalleled assets in engineering, technology and supercomputing with Carle’s nationally recognized, comprehensive health care system.
View the full story here.
Three Faculty Members Awarded Sloan Research Fellowships
Congratulations to the three Illinois faculty members who are recipients of 2015 Sloan Research Fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation: Ryan Foley, astronomy; Alison Fout, chemistry; Thomas Kuhlman, physics.
The two-year program awards the fellows $50,000 to pursue their choice of research topics and gives the researchers flexibility in applying funds toward their research.
Read the full story here.
Two Faculty Members elected to American Academy of Microbiology
Two Illinois professors have been elected fellows of the American Academy of Microbiology. Steven Blanke, microbiology, and Bryan White, animal sciences, are among the 79 microbiologists chosen by their peers for this honor.
The American Academy of Microbiology is the honorific leadership group within the American Society for Microbiology. According to the ASM, the Academy recognizes excellence, originality and leadership in the microbiological sciences, and election to this group is considered a mark of distinction.
Read the full story here.
Illinois Among Top U.S. schools for Peace Corps Volunteers
For the fifteenth year in a row, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has earned a spot on the Peace Corps’ annual list of the top volunteer-producing colleges and universities across the country. With 36 graduates currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers, Illinois ranks at No. 20 among large schools.
Since the agency was created in 1961, 2,014 Illinois alums have served overseas, making it the No. 7 all-time producer of Peace Corps volunteers.
"I offer my own personal congratulations to these volunteers," said Provost Adesida. "They are adding to the global dimension of our land-grant mission - an impact I can vouch for on a personal level. My own decision to pursue a career in engineering came from the experience with my high school Physics and Chemistry Peace Corps teacher in Nigeria."
Read the full story here.
Illinois Hosting "Many Voices: A Campus Conversation on Diversity"
This spring, Illinois is hosting “Many Voices: A Campus Conversation on Diversity,” a series of college events, campus-wide conversations and speakers.
The goal of these conversations is to ask how we can develop and sustain an inclusive Illinois, build bridges across differences on our campus and think creatively about school spirit. The speaker series will include national experts and scholars sharing their advice and expertise around the challenges and opportunities involved in building inclusive communities.
See the full list of events here.