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News and Highlights for Faculty & Staff on the Urbana-Champaign Campus  |  October 2017

Spotlight on Provost's Office Leadership

In this series, we invite you to meet the teams that comprise the Office of the Provost. This edition spotlights the Academic Affairs team.

William Bernhard is the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and provides leadership in the areas of academic affairs and faculty affairs. His portfolio includes faculty development, the Provost Fellows program, academic awards, and assessment.

Rosa Milagros Santos is the Associate Provost for Faculty Development. Her portfolio includes faculty mentoring, support for pre-tenure, mid-career, and specialized faculty, and leadership development.

Staci Provezis is the Associate Provost for Academic Effectiveness. She oversees the campus-wide academic program review processes, program and institutional learning outcomes assessment, strategic planning administration, and provides leadership for the campus accreditation process.

Kim Green is the Major Awards Coordinator. She serves as a resource for units in their efforts to nominate their faculty for awards and is involved in activities that help to promote faculty achievements.

Read more

Office of the Provost Website

The Office of the Provost launched a new website in January 2017. Our primary goals were to streamline content into a more navigable structure, align more closely with our campus identity, and to make the site responsive so that users have a seamless experience across all devices. As we continue to make improvements and add meaningful content, we invite you to browse the site. If you come across any errors or issues, please report them to Kim Green ( We appreciate your feedback.

Provost Fellows Program

The Provost Fellows Program provides academic leadership experience in key campus administrative roles for distinguished faculty. Fellows participate in a range of mentoring and learning opportunities, collaborate with colleagues in the Provost’s and Chancellor’s Offices and in other academic and administrative offices across campus, and assume leadership roles on critical campus strategic initiatives and projects, designed in conjunction with fellows’ individual interests and longer-range career goals. Provost Fellows for the 2017-2018 academic year:

Kevin Hamilton, professor of art and design – Professor Hamilton is researching conflict resolution and transformation processes as applied in higher education, and developing campus programming to facilitate conversation on divisive topics. Read more about his current Provost Fellow project.

Jamelle Sharpe, professor of law - The focus of Professor Sharpe’s Provost Fellow appointment is academic and faculty affairs related to academic program improvement and innovation, campus policies and guidelines that relate to academic and faculty affairs, and campus-wide faculty development and diversity initiatives. Read about his current Provost Fellow project.

Scott Willenbrock, professor of physics – Professor Willenbrock is working to implement sustainability initiatives across campus. His focus is on energy-related aspects of sustainability, since it is energy use that constitutes the majority of campus greenhouse gas emissions. Read about his current Provost Fellow project.

Annual Celebration of Women Faculty

The Chancellor, the Provost, and the Gender Equity Council will host a special celebration to honor the achievements of women faculty at Illinois. Women faculty on campus who have been recently promoted, tenured, recently honored with a named professorship or chair, and university scholars will be this year’s honorees. The program includes featured speakers from across campus. This annual event will be held on October 25, 2017 from 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM in the Chancellor's Ballroom at the I-Hotel.  A copy of the invitation can be found by clicking here.

Academic Leadership Seminar Series

The Academic Leadership Seminar Series is designed for new and experienced Executive Officers who wish to engage in dialogue, share best practices, and discuss issues such as leadership, financial and strategic planning, and faculty development.  The next seminar, Managing Faculty Engagement in Governance, will be held on October 26, 2017. Click here for more information on the series.  

Thriving as an Associate Professor Seminar Series

We invite faculty to participate in the 2017-2018 Thriving as an Associate Professor Seminar Series. The following session is remaining for Fall 2017:

  • “Nuts and Bolts of Writing Tenure Review Letters” You have been asked to review a tenure dossier for a faculty member at another university. What exactly is included (and should not be included) in tenure review letters? Join us as we discuss the nuts and bolts of writing useful and academically rigorous tenure review letters. Tuesday, November 7, 2017 from 11:30-1:00 PM in the Heritage Room, ACES Library. 

Two additional sessions are scheduled for Spring Semester. Click here for more information.

Provost’s Communication #1: Budgetary Principles and Practice

Provost’s Communication #1: Budget Principles and Practice has been updated and is available on the Provost Office website.  Changes were made to Section III, Budget Review Process to reflect the process for evaluation of campus units including the roles and responsibilities of the Campus Budget Oversight and Administrative Budget Committees.  The remaining portions of the document will be updated after implementation of the new budget system.


The state of Illinois budget impasse ended in July 2017.  Allocations for Urbana-Champaign from the University of Illinois System offices included funding for the remaining FY17 appropriations, Monetary Award Programs (MAP) support for FY17 and FY18, and FY18 funding at 87.6% of FY15 levels. Despite the reductions, as a result of careful financial planning and campus and college cost-containment activities, the University of Illinois is in a stable financial position moving forward.

We are returning to a more traditional budget planning cycle and will issue annual budget planning guidelines to units in early November, as well as meet with academic and administrative units at the beginning of the spring 2018 semester.

Investment for Growth Proposals

To enhance our scholarly excellence and to improve our financial viability, we believe it is important for our institution to invest discretionary resources to allow our university to address the changing demands of a premier land-grant institution. In FY18, each college and research institute contributed resources to a $10.6 million investment pool. Each then submitted proposals for funds to seed net revenue generating activities; to provide bridge funds for the expansion of existing revenue generating activities; to invest in automating processes; to motivate reorganization; and to co-invest in new instructional facilities and projects. The goals of the program are to be responsive to high and emerging demand programs that lead to financial sustainability and, ultimately, mitigate the risk of reliance on state financial support. Eighteen proposals are receiving funding. A campus announcement on the specific proposals is forthcoming. 

Budget Reform

The budget reform project remains a high priority and continues on schedule for the Office of the Provost. In December 2016, we charged four work groups that evaluated 1) tuition attribution, 2) investment in public goods, 3) facilities and space and 4) technology services. We are modeling alternative scenarios based on the feedback received from the work groups. We will present the results to the budget reform steering committee and campus leadership this month and produce a white paper for campus feedback in early November 2017. The overarching goals in this integrated budget model are to provide improved transparency, accountability, and predictability, in addition to enhancing our ability to invest in interdisciplinary and cross-campus initiatives – a historical strength of the University of Illinois. The new budget model will be phased in during the next fiscal year.

The milestones for the budget reform project can be found here. Please contact Paul Ellinger with comments related to budgeting reform.

Community of Care Liaison Program

Faced with the growing number of students with mental health issues, the Office of the Provost and the Office of the Dean of Students (ODOS) charged a task force on promoting student mental health and emotional resilience in the summer of 2016. That task force’s February 2017 final report included several recommendations, many of which highlighted a need to facilitate communication between academic and student affairs units. As part of the response to these recommendations, the Community of Care Liaison Program was created. A partnership between student affairs and academic affairs, the program aims to foster communication and resource sharing. Community of Care liaisons work together to help students in distress and the faculty and staff working with these students.

The next training session is scheduled for mid-October. If you are interested in becoming a liaison or learning more about the program, please contact one of the Community of Care Program facilitators: ODOS Associate Dean Rhonda Kirts or Senior Assistant Dean Katherine Zilmer or Assistant Provost Kathy Martensen from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost.

Visit the Community of Care website to familiarize yourself with important information for different audiences, including a resource page specifically for faculty.

Awards and Honors

We invite you to visit the Spotlight page on the Provost’s Office website to read about some of the recent awards and other honors of our faculty.

Have you recently won an award? We’d like to know! To notify our office of a recent award or honor, please use this online form or email

Other Resources

Campus Strategic Plan • Campus Academic Calendar • Campus News

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