University of Illinois at Springfield

University of Illinois at Springfield
Motto Leadership Lived
Type Liberal Arts College
Established 1969
Endowment US$12.1 million[1]
Chancellor Susan J. Koch
President Timothy L. Killeen
Academic staff
832 [2][3]
Students 5,431[4]
Undergraduates 3,437[5] (27 major degree programs)
Postgraduates 1,994[5] (20 master's degree options and a doctorate in public administration)
Location Springfield, Illinois, 62703-5407, U.S.
Campus Rural
Colors Deep Navy and White
Athletics 16 varsity teams
Mascot Prairie Stars
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division IIGreat Lakes Valley Conference

The University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS) is a public university in Springfield, Illinois, United States. The university was established in 1969 as Sangamon State University by the Illinois General Assembly and became a part of the University of Illinois system on July 1, 1995. As a public liberal arts college, and the newest campus in the University of Illinois system, UIS is a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges. UIS is also part of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the American Council on Education. The campus' main repository, Brookens Library, holds a collection of nearly 800,000 books and serials- in addition to accessible resources at the University of Illinois at Chicago and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campuses.

The University of Illinois at Springfield serves roughly 5,700 students in 27 undergraduate degree programs, 20 master's degree programs, and a doctorate in Public Administration. The university was once one of the two upper-division and graduate universities in Illinois, but now accepts freshmen, transfer and graduate students.


Sangamon State University

In 1967, the Illinois General Assembly created a Board of Regents to operate Illinois State University and Northern Illinois University, as well as a third unnamed institution in Springfield. In 1969, Governor Richard Ogilvie signed into law a bill officially creating Sangamon State University. It originally operated as an "upper-division" university—that is, a university that offers only the last two years of undergraduate education, as well as graduate work. The first classes were held on September 28, 1970 at First Methodist Church in downtown Springfield. In October, SSU began offering classes in the current campus location near Lake Springfield.

Sangamon State aimed to be a "truly pioneering segment of public education" through a spirit of openness, innovation and adaptability.[6]

The school grew steadily over the years. Its first permanent building, Brookens Library, was dedicated in 1976, and its Public Affairs Center and first dormitories opened in 1980.

Transition to the University of Illinois System

In 1995, Governor Jim Edgar signed a bill which abolished the Board of Regents and merged SSU with the University of Illinois system. On July 1, SSU officially became the University of Illinois at Springfield. Naomi Lynn, the last president of SSU, became the first chancellor of UIS.

Establishment of a four-year general education program

In 2001, it admitted freshmen for the first time in an honors program called the "Capital Scholars." On September 8, 2005 the University of Illinois Board of Trustees approved a new general education curriculum, making UIS a full-fledged four-year university for the first time. Freshman were slated to be admitted under the general education curriculum beginning in fall, 2006.[7]


The University of Illinois at Springfield is located six miles southeast of Springfield, occupying 740 acres of prairie land adjacent to Lake Springfield and Lincoln Land Community College.[6] In 1841, the land was acquired by [Thomas Strawbridge Jr.], a prosperous saddler and harness maker in Springfield. The Thomas Strawbridge homestead, constructed around 1845, still stands on the south edge of the University of Illinois at Springfield campus and is currently being restored.

Today, there are three easily identifiable areas on campus: Legacy Campus, SSU Permanent Construction, and the University of Illinois era.

SSU permanent construction

The first permanent construction on campus, Brookens Library and the Public Affairs Center, was completed in Fall of 1972.[6] These buildings were the first part of a master plan that called for an "urban campus" surrounded by restored prairie land, free of all vehicular traffic and easily navigable by pedestrians. All permanent campus buildings would be located within a "ring road", now known as University Drive. The Public Affairs Center also houses Sangamon Auditorium, a 2,018 seat concert hall and performing arts center built in 1981. It occupies the entire second level of the Public Affairs Center.



UIS is classified in the US News and World Report rankings as a "Regional University", which is a school that provides "a full range of undergraduate programs . . . some master's level programs . . . [but] few, if any, doctoral programs." In the 2014 US News "Best Colleges" rankings, UIS ranked #8 in Top Public Schools (Midwest region) and #36 in Regional Universities (Midwest).[8] ("National Universities" within Illinois, such as UIUC, NIU, ISU, and SIUC, are not ranked against UIS and other Regional Universities.)

Online degrees

The University of Illinois at Springfield has been offering online courses and degrees since 1999. The Sloan Consortium has recognized UIS with the 2007 award for Excellence in Institution-Wide Online Teaching and Learning[9] and the 2008 Ralph E. Gomory Award for Quality Online Education.[10] The Society for New Communications Research, in 2008, also recognized UIS with their Award for Excellence in Online Reputation Management.[11] Each year since 2001, the Sloan Consortium has offered one award for "Most Outstanding Achievement by an Individual in Online Learning" - the 2002 award was given to Professor Emeritus Ray Schroeder, the 2003 award was given to Visiting Research Professor Burks Oakley, and the 2006 award was given to the UIS James J. Stukel Distinguished Professor, Karen Swan. UIS also ranked 11th among online universities in the U.S. on Guide to Online Schools' 2013 Online College Rankings.[12]


The UIS Computer Science Department has been recognized by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyberdefense Education. The goal of the program is to reduce vulnerability in the national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in Information Assurance (IA) and producing a growing number of professionals with IA expertise in various disciplines. Students attending the designated schools are eligible to apply for scholarships and grants through the Department of Defense Information Assurance Scholarship Program and the Federal Cyber Service Scholarship for Service Program.

Student life

Student newspaper

The UIS Journal is the weekly student newspaper of the University. Its circulation is 2,000 per week.[13]


Main article: UIS Prairie Stars
Official athletics logo.

UIS athletic teams are known as the Prairie Stars, and compete in the NCAA Division II's Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC). UIS joined the GLVC in October 2008 and became a full-fledged Division II member on Aug. 1, 2010. The Prairie Stars were formerly members of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the American Midwest Conference (AMC). Women's sports include basketball, cross country, cheerleading, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field and volleyball; men's sports include baseball, basketball, cheerleading, golf, soccer, track & field and tennis.

Notable alumni

Notable faculty

See also


  1. "University of Illinois-Springfield | University of Illinois Springfield | Best College | US News". Retrieved 2015-07-18.
  3. Chris Dettro (2011-07-13). "UIS employees to get raises - News - The State Journal-Register - Springfield, IL". Retrieved 2015-07-18.
  4. "UIS News: UIS reports highest enrollment in history". 2014-09-09. Retrieved 2015-07-18.
  5. 1 2 "UIS Enrollment". Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  6. 1 2 3 "History of SSU-UIS: 1970-1971 – About - University of Illinois Springfield - UIS". 1969-09-01. Retrieved 2015-07-18.
  7. "UIS Chronology | Archives and Illinois Regional Archives Depository". Retrieved 2015-07-18.
  8. "Regional Universities (Midwest) Rankings".
  9. Archived June 13, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. Archived June 19, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. Archived November 21, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  12. "2013 Online College Rankings". Guide To Online Schools. Archived from the original on March 26, 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  13. About UIS Journal, UIS Journal, University of Illinois - Springfield. Retrieved 10 March 2007.
  14. "Cheri Bustos". The Washington Post. 25 December 2012. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  15. 1 2 NNDB. "University of Illinois at Springfield". Retrieved 2007-11-30.
  16. "Timothy Davlin". University of Illinois. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  17. Illinois Secretary of State's Office. "Vince DeMuzio" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-02-16. Retrieved 2007-11-30.
  18. "Karen A. Hasara". The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  19. "Al Lewis (columnist)". The Denver Post. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  20. "Milton J. Nieuwsma". The Society of Midland Authors. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  21. University of Illinois at Springfield. "UIS alum named White House press secretary by President Bush". Retrieved 2007-11-30.
  22. "Phillip S. Paludan". The World Company. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  23. "Paul Simon (politician)". Illinois Issues. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
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Coordinates: 39°43′44″N 89°37′03″W / 39.728941°N 89.617581°W / 39.728941; -89.617581

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