Susan J. Koch
University of Illinois Springfield
July 1, 2011
Dear Members of the University of Illinois Springfield community,
I am delighted to be starting my first day today as Chancellor of UIS and Vice President of the University of Illinois. My husband Dennis and I have so appreciated the welcoming messages we have received from so many members of the UIS and Springfield community since my appointment was announced. I very much appreciate your good wishes and am looking forward to our work together.
I am grateful to University of Illinois President Michael Hogan and to the University of Illinois Board of Trustees for the confidence they have placed in me. I appreciate the work of my predecessor, Richard Ringeisen, whose leadership has positioned UIS well, and I am grateful to Harry Berman, who has done an outstanding job as Interim Chancellor for the past eight months and who has worked so diligently with me for the past several weeks to insure a smooth leadership transition.
Though I have only spent a few days on campus, I have already experienced for myself what others have told me: that there is a wealth of talent and an extraordinary commitment to excellence among faculty, staff and students at UIS. A group of community leaders dreamed of this institution five decades ago and, since then, the University of Illinois Springfield has become a valuable asset for Springfield and for the state of Illinois. I am confident that, despite significant challenges, our university has a brilliant future ahead.
Starting today and for several months to come, I’ll be listening. Please don’t be surprised (or alarmed) when I drop by your building or office or join you at a table in the cafeteria, at a concert, a lecture or an athletic event. I’d like to meet as many members of our community as possible so that I can hear your ideas, thoughts and suggestions. I understand that success comes with fruitful consultation and with thoughtful leadership, not only from administration, but from faculty and staff as well.
My great-grandfather was a coal miner at Cherry, Illinois and Dennis’ family goes back for generations on the Midwestern farm. We are thrilled to be back home and proud to be among the newest members of the University of Illinois family.
Have a great summer. It is good to be here.