State Representative Sandy Hamilton recently visited University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) Chancellor Janet Gooch to discuss a variety of higher education topics including enrollment, rankings, and the UIS “Innovation Hub” economic incubator in downtown Springfield.
“The University of Illinois system is our flagship for higher education in Illinois and I am pleased to learn that enrollment is up 6.4 percent over last year at UIS,” said Rep. Sandy Hamilton. “UIS has been ranked the top public regional university in Illinois for the fourth year in a row by U.S. News & World Report and top three best public regional university in the Midwest Region. We should all be very proud of their recognition!”
Rep. Hamilton and Dr. Gooch spoke about the downtown Springfield business incubator Innovate Springfield that is affiliated with UIS under an agreement aimed at expanding economic growth, entrepreneurship opportunities and social progress in the capital city. Innovate Springfield was the first hub of the Illinois Innovation Network (IIN), an initiative led by the U of I System to accelerate statewide job creation and economic development through groundbreaking research and innovation.
The UIS Innovation work has begun already with the Innovation Hub planning to move into their renovated space in downtown Springfield in late 2024 or early 2025. Innovate Springfield, will be a cornerstone of our expanded downtown presence. Since becoming a university-led incubator in August 2018, Innovate Springfield has grown tremendously.
“I am impressed with Dr. Gooch’s commitment to collaborate with local leaders to provide opportunities for students and build on the UIS role as an economic engine for our state and region,” added Rep. Hamilton. “The UIS graduate internship program is well-known for the quality of research staff we hire in the General Assembly to assist members with drafting legislation and provide support the many legislative committees.”
Janet L. Gooch became chancellor of the University of Illinois Springfield on July 1st of this year and now leads a university that serves more than 4,000 students, with 201 full-time faculty, 500 full-time staff and an operating budget of $90.5 million. Chancellor Gooch was previously the executive vice president for academic affairs and provost at Truman State University and will concurrently serve as vice president for the University of Illinois System.