URBANA — There's a new team in town, and apparently they're not afraid to be on camera.
A 2- 1/2 minute video emailed to University of Illinois students Monday features new coaches, administrators and professors on campus, complete with a leader in dark shades, dramatic theme music and a tongue-in-cheek strut across the Quad.
The video opens with the new provost, Ilesanmi Adesida, walking into his office wearing an orange shirt that says "New Provost," followed by Athletic Director Mike Thomas in front of the Red Grange statue, with a shirt reading "New Athletic Director."
Others featured — all wearing "New (something)" shirts — include police Chief Jeff Christensen stepping out of a police car, Vice Chancellor for Research Peter Schiffer examining the Blue Waters supercomputer, the "Jupiter Quartet" (New ... Quartet ... In ... Residence) crossing the street Abbey Road-style, and men's head basketball Coach John Groce attempting a behind-the-back three-pointer, with women's coach Matt Bollant looking on. (Be sure to watch the credits.)
Here's the link: http://go.illinois.edu/FallGreeting2012
The idea is to show freshmen who might be anxious about being away from home that they're not the only ones getting accustomed to campus, said spokeswoman Robin Kaler.
"Everybody had a first day. We all made it through, even some of the people who are going to be leaders," she said.
A second (more serious) video was created for faculty and staff.
"We're at a point where we have a lot of new leaders, and we've been through some tough times," Kaler said. "We want to let people know that we're ready to look forward, we have a great team assembled, and we want to get to work."
The final scene (spoiler alert) shows the team assembled before Chancellor Phyllis Wise, who is starting her second year at the helm. Wearing a t-shirt that says "Newish Chancellor," she spins around in her chair, removes her shades and addresses the group: "We were all new once. Welcome to the Illinois family. Now let's get down to work."
Wise repeated that theme in her blog post Monday.
"There are many, many new faces as we start the year — and not just among our students, but also among our faculty, staff, and in our campus administration and athletic departments. Some, like Provost Adesida and Chief of Police Jeff Christensen are longtime members of the Illinois community — just assuming new leadership roles — while others are on campus for their first time. But, all of us were new to Illinois one time and were welcomed warmly into the Illinois family. That is a part of our great tradition."
The video cost mostly staff time to produce, aside from $75 for the T-shirts, Kaler said. It was directed by Chris Lukeman, manager of campus news station UI-7, and Anne Lukeman, videographer for the UI News Bureau, and produced by E. Todd Wilson and Chris Harris from public affairs.