University of Illinois

Memorial Stadium
Asolsma1988/wikimedia commons

University of Illinois media professor Jay Rosenstein has been a longtime critic of the amount of money spent on athletics on the Urbana campus.

Now he’s published a series of articles that show that millions of taxpayer dollars are spent on U of I athletics each year, despite longtime claims to the contrary.

In a normal year, Kevin Bradley, a professor of weed science at the University of Missouri, would have spent his summer testing new ways to control a troublesome little plant called water hemp.

This has not been a normal year.

Joseph Brumleve/University of Illinois

Actor and University of Illinois alumnus Nick Offerman will deliver this year’s commencement address to graduates on the Urbana campus this Saturday.  The ceremony starts at 9:30am at Memorial Stadium.

The Quad, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Clay Gregory / flickr.com/claygregory (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Six of Illinois’ state universities have been put on notice for credit downgrades. It’s the latest knock on state government after more than 21 months without a full budget.

USFWS-Mountain Prairie

The decline of the monarch butterfly population has led researchers to look for reasons why. 

A popular theory is the loss of milkweed, the only plant on which monarch larvae feed.  But a study from the Illinois Natural History Survey at the University of Illinois indicates that's not the sole culprit.  

colonnade on UIS campus
University of Illinois Springfield

University of Illinois employees will receive a 2 percent raise in March after the school had to put pay increases on hold for the last two years.

Dusty Rhodes / NPR Illinois

For college students, December means cramming for final exams. Some schools try to help students keep studying by serving midnight breakfast in the dining halls. But at the University of Illinois, one student group puts their own twist on that tradition.

flickr/Domas Mituzas

If you missed it last month, the state marked an anniversary.  4 years since the launch of video gambling.  The machines you see in bars, restaurants, truck stops and other places have permeated the landscape since that time.  Springfield leads the state with the most machines, Decatur is also near the top. 

Overall, Illinois now has more video gambling terminals than Nevada.

University of Illinois Public Affairs

The University of Illinois has received a relatively glowing financial report from Moody's Investor Service, but it comes with warnings.

In a just-released report, Moody's analysts commend administrators for having years ago prepared to weather fiscal storms like the one higher education's facing now.

The state of Illinois may have the nation's worst credit rating. But its largest public university system -- the University of Illinois -- gets a far better grade.

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

This week, discussion of a recent ruling on negotiations between AFSCME and Governor Rauner.  Also, enrollment numbers released for the state's public universities, and reflecting on the death of Phyllis Schlafly.  Illinois Issues' Jamey Dunn and Ivan Moreno of the Associated Press join the panel.

ILGA.gov

A veto from Gov. Bruce Rauner means undocumented students attending the University of Illinois are not eligible for certain leadership roles.

Big decisions at the U of I are made by the school's Board of Trustees, most of whom are appointed by the governor.

But students at each of the three campuses -- in Chicago, Springfield, and Urbana -- elect one of their peers to serve as a student trustee (one of these student trustees, chosen on a rotating basis, gets voting rights, equal to the weight of the vote of a regular, appointed member).

University of Illinois administrators are warning employees that the state could retroactively increase their health insurance premiums. The university system recently held informational meetings at its three campuses in Chicago, Champaign-Urbana and Springfield.

Killeen: Hoping For "A Return To Normalcy"

Jul 6, 2016

University of Illinois President Tim Killeen says he expects state leaders to adopt a full-year’s budget, once funding from a new stopgap measure runs out.

For more than a year, officials at the University of Illinois have been creating and polishing up a strategic plan meant to guide the institution for the next decade. And just as it was about to be approved last week, a student spoke up asking for a significant change.

“First, I really should say, I really don’t like the word diversity, and I don’t think we need to diversify.”


Shannon O'Brien / University of Illinois at Springfield

It’s not often that students get to shape university policy, but that’s just what happened today at a meeting of the University of Illinois' Board of Trustees. Thanks to a change in the university’s strategic plan proposed by a student member of the U-I Board of Trustees, University of Illinois officials are being encouraged to think about race in a new way.

Ben Woloszyn

About eight years ago, Rebecca Ginsburg established the Education Justice Project -- a program that provides prisoners at the Danville Correctional Center with upper level college courses, workshops and other educational services. Ginsburg is a professor of education policy at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, and today, she’s making her second visit to the White House to participate in a roundtable discussion on criminal justice reform.

Layoffs On The Table For The University Of Illinois

Apr 20, 2016
University of Illinois Library

In a memo, Associate Provost for Human Resources Elyne Cole indicates that some jobs – including some in Civil Service --- could be cut, effective at the start of the fall semester. 

Chassy’s payments stayed out of the public eye primarily through a mechanism under fire in states across the nation: The use of private university foundations to discreetly accept donations that would be public record if given directly to the university. In this case, it was the University of Illinois Foundation that administered the Monsanto payments. DISCLOSURE: The University of Illinois Foundation (UIF) administers the gift funds of NPR Illinois.

Killeen: U of I Is "Fiscally Prudent"

Jan 18, 2016
Timothy Killeen headshot
University of Illinois System

University of Illinois President Timothy Killeen says he agrees with some of the concerns about excessive spending at public universities raised by an aide to Governor Bruce Rauner.

Illinois has not funded its colleges or universities for the past five months. It's easy to overlook that fact, because professors have continued to teach, athletes have continued to compete, and students have continued to learn. But around the state, college administrators are saying they've burned through their financial reserves.

U Of I AD Fired, Will Get $2.5M Buyout

Nov 9, 2015
illinois Public Media

University of Illinois Interim Urbana Chancellor Barbara Wilson says the decision to fire athletic director Mike Thomas came after a law firm’s release of a final report into abuse allegations within the football and women’s basketball programs.

University of Illinois Public Affairs

Illinois' elementary and high schools are operating as normal; funding for education was the only spending spared from Governor Bruce Rauner's veto pen. But universities are another story. They haven't gotten a dollar from the state since July.

Collectively, Illinois' public universities educate some 200,000 students a year. Now, the campuses are "on the brink of serious operational damage."

http://cropsci.illinois.edu

The University of Illinois plans to reduce off-campus crop research and may shut down several agricultural centers as part of a cost-cutting move tied to flagging state support.
 
The budget cuts will affect the Brownstown Agronomy Research Center near Vandalia; the Dixon Springs Agricultural Center in southern Illinois; the St. Charles Horticulture Research Center west of Chicago; and the Northern Illinois Agronomy Research Center near DeKalb.
 

Univ. of Illinois

A former University of Illinois graduate student is suing the school's board of trustees and others, claiming administrators retaliated against her after she accused a visiting researcher of sexual harassment. 

uillinois.edu

The University of Illinois is grappling with a requirement of the Affordable Care Act that takes effect in 2016.

Effective January 1st, the university will have to offer health insurance to ALL employees working 30 hours a week or more.  That will include some 23-hundred so-called contingent or temporary employees who don’t qualify for the healthcare that other state workers receive.

University of Illinois

Illinois has fired football coach Tim Beckman one week before the start of the season, citing preliminary results of an investigation into allegations of player mistreatment and inappropriate behavior.  

Athletic director Mike Thomas said Friday that the timing is unfortunate, but ``it was in the best interests of student-athletes to act now rather than when a final report is issued and publicly released.'' He says that could happen during the season.  

fightingillini.com

The University of Illinois will name the new court at the State Farm Center after longtime Illini coach Lou Henson.  

The university announced the move Monday, saying the Lou Henson Court will bear the 83-year-old former coach's signature.  

Henson is the winningest coach in the history of the University of Illinois. He won 423 games in 21 seasons. This year, he was named to the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame and is due to be inducted in November.  

Henson is also battling what he has called pre-leukemia and is undergoing chemotherapy.  

The University of Illinois is getting by with no new state funding, as the budget impasse continues in Springfield. U of I President Timothy Killeen says they can continue this way for a few more weeks --- but after that, there could be trouble.

Univ. of Illinois

It’s been nearly a week since Phyllis Wise abruptly stepped down as chancellor of the University of Illinois’ Urbana campus. She cited "external issues" that have “distracted us from the important tasks at hand.”

The day after Wise resigned, the U of I released hundreds of emails in response to Freedom of Information requests. Many of the emails were sent to and from Wise's personal email accounts. They revealed that she also encouraged others to use their private emails, in an effort to skirt FOIA law.

The University of Illinois’ Urbana campus chancellor and athletic director don’t expect any personnel changes in the women’s basketball program – after a law firm hired by the university found no evidence of racial discrimination or player abuse.

A Chicago firm said the claims of a racially hostile environment… in a lawsuit filed by seven former players… are unsupported.

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