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D1.Dossiers: Illinois State
University News:
November 21, 2020:
During a Zoom open house with prospective students, Prez Dietz calls the COVID-19 pandemic "the biggest challenge that I've had in my career" but notes it also highlighted important lessons in resilience, persistence and gratitude. Dietz, ISU's 19th president, acknowledges that while the pandemic did not "force" him to announce his retirement on Friday, it did cause him to reflect on his 50-year career in higher education -- which spans four institutions in three states. (link)
November 20, 2020:
President Dietz announced his retirement after serving as the university's 19th president since March 2014. During his tenure, ISU enjoyed record levels of fundraising, with gifts and commitments to the Redbirds Rising capital campaign exceeding $180M; had increased enrollment, high graduation and retention rates and low student loan default rates; created a cybersecurity degree program and new engineering program; and launched or completed infrastructure projects such as the Center for Civic Engagement and Service Learning, the Bone Student Center and Multicultural Center. Board of Trustees Chair Jones: “President Dietz’s remarkable tenure has spanned a half-century of rapid change, success, and challenge for higher education, and his vision and steadfast commitment have been the bedrock of his service. I know the Board of Trustees and the entire University community will join me in offering Dr. Dietz our deepest gratitude and congratulating him on more than five decades of stellar service to the field of higher education. His legacy will be one of enduring quality, leading with authenticity, and serving as a model of civility. (link)
November 20, 2020:
Redbird Rising: The Campaign for Illinois State exceeded its goal of raising $150M by June 30, with over 56K supporters contributing a total of $180.9M to the campaign. 240 endowments were created and campaign contributions will support scholarship, leadership and innovation across ISU's six colleges as well as Milner Library and the public radio station WGLT. Redbird Athletics received the largest estate commitment in university history while alumna Kim made the largest individual cash gift in ISU history to the College of Fine Arts and School of Art. President Dietz: “The trajectory of Redbirds Rising echoes that of Illinois State. We’ve gone from a small school on the prairie to a leader in higher education. When we set our sights on advancing the University’s mission together, we can create lasting change.” (link) and (link)
November 19, 2020:
To support the state's updated COVID-19 mitigation strategy, ISU will reduce capacity at the Student Fitness Center and Bone Student Center and will not hold public meetings or events on campus. Both men's and women's basketball teams will begin their seasons without fans in attendance. (link)
November 16, 2020:
After McClean County, Illinois, saw a spike in COVID-19 cases following the arrival of ISU and Illinois Wesleyan University students to campus, President Dietz announced plans to use salvia-based testing to allow the university to test "greater numbers of students, faculty and staff on a regular basis and provide faster turnaround time for results." The number of cases in McClean County rose from 776 on August 17, the first day of classes, to 3,025 on September 17. (link)
November 15, 2020:
Higher education funding in Illinois will likely face additional cuts when lawmakers balance the state budget after voters rejected Governor Pritzker's proposed ballot measure to establish a graduated-rate income tax. Pritzker: "There will be cuts, and they will be painful." SIU Paul Simon Public Policy Institute expert Jackson: "Right now there is no other option it appears--except, start cutting State spending rates. ... The Universities are the easiest place they can get what's called, discretionary spending cuts." (link)
November 5, 2020:
Here is the 5+ hour video recording of the November 5 Board of Trustees Annual retreat. (link)
November 2, 2020:
President Dietz announces the launch of biweekly messages highlighting campus' progress in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. Dietz: "We want the Redbird community to know we are doing more than listening to demands for change. We are doing our best to turn those into actionable items, and working collaboratively across campus to address them." Nearly 1,000 students, faculty, staff, and community members registered to take part in the Culturally Responsive Campus Community (CRCC) Conference on October 29-30. (link)
September 13, 2020:
Students and the Board of Trustees are asking for more updates from administrators on their progress addressing anti-Blackness on campus. Anti-Black ISU leader Dumas to the board: "Work like this takes time, we know. But it’s almost a year later, and we still need tangible plans projected for the years to come." Dumas presented a list of the group's demands, including conducting an official audit of relations between ISU Police and Black students, hiring additional Black mental health professionals at the student counseling center, and adding a policy to the university code of conduct to address hate speech. (link)
September 10, 2020:
President Dietz delivered this year's State of the University Address virtually. He thanked the many staff and faculty members who have made the school year possible and implored students to make wise decisions to stop the spread of COVID-19. Fall enrollment (20,720) is less than 1% lower than last year's total and larger than both 2015 and 2016 numbers. Thus far COVID-19 "supplies" have cost the school almost $8M, which coupled with a $12M hit on other revenues, leaves the budget $20M short in mid-September. More, including beating the Redbirds Rising fundraising campaign goal by $30M, raising $181M overall. (link)
September 9, 2020:
Plans for a new 1,200-bed on-campus housing complex, an expanded nursing simulation lab and improvements to Milner Library are on hold as the university faces an estimated $44.2M financial blow from COVID-19 over the next two fiscal years. The cybersecurity expansion at Julian Hall and Multicultural Center projects are moving ahead, however. (link)
September 4, 2020:
President Dietz announces that fall enrollment sits at 20,720, including 3,353 freshmen and 2,733 graduate students. Grad enrollment is up four percent year-over-year. Dietz: "We begin the 2020-2021 academic year in a world changed by COVID-19. Illinois State’s strong fall enrollment figures attest to the University’s commitment to providing an excellent educational experience and individualized attention, even during the most challenging circumstances." (link)
July 24, 2020:
Mathematics professor Akman was one of roughly a dozen faculty members to voice his concerns to the Board of Trustees over the "derisive treatment" of faculty and the absence of "meaningful safety measures" to protect those on campus, which will "likely burden ISU with massive liabilities, tarnished reputation, and low morale." On the flip side, marketing professor Beggs: "My department chair has been in constant contact, asking for our teaching preferences and any accommodations we needed. At the university level, I have received multiple emails asking faculty to serve on working groups related to these issues. It was frustrating that the criticism was the only voice being heard." (link)
April 25, 2020:
Illinois State will received north of $16.1M from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund as part of the coronavirus aid package with at least half of that money going directly to students. ISU spokesman Jome said the school's financial aid office is working on a system for students to apply for aid from this program.(link)
March 2, 2020:
President Dietz names Dr. Aondover Tarhule as the next vice president for Academic Affairs and Provost, effective July 1. Currently the vice provost and dean of the Graduate School at Binghamton, Tarhule will take over for Jan Murphy, who will retire this summer. (link)
February 19, 2020:
Professor Doris Houston will step into the newly created position of interim assistant to the president for diversity and inclusion, effective in July. In her current role she is chair of the President's Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council and interim director of the School of Social Work. (link)
September 12, 2019:
Artist and alumna Wonsook Kim (’75, M.A. ’76, M.F.A. ’78, honorary doctorate of arts ’19), and her husband, Thomas Clement, have made a $12M gift in support of the College of Fine Arts and the School of Art. In recognition of their generosity, the College of Fine Arts and the School of Art will forever be known as the Wonsook Kim College of Fine Arts and the Wonsook Kim School of Art. (link)
July 24, 2019:
Illinois State raised a school record $37.3M in private support during FY19, marking the fifth straight year of $21M+. That put the university past its $150M goal for the Redbirds Rising Campaign. 51K+ donors committed. (link); For FY18, the university raised $21.9M in private funding, including the best cash receipt ($16M+) ever. Highlights of the year: total endowment growth of 9.1% to $126.3M, 1,067 first-time alumni donors were among the 11K+ alumni to donate, and $8.6M raised in student support, with 62 new scholarships. (link)
D1.Dossiers: Illinois State
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