University of Illinois

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New University of Illinois men’s basketball coach Brad Underwood says he’s honored to be taking over a program in a city he’s visited many times before.  The former coach at Oklahoma State spoke to reporters today at the State Farm Center after he was named the Illini’s 18th head coach over the weekend.  

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The University of Illinois says it will promise to reserve 85 percent of financial aid for Illinois residents if pending state funding legislation is approved.  

University President Tim Killeen called the "Invest in Illinois" measure an effort to keep Illinois high school graduates in state for college and stem a growing loss of students to out-of-state schools. The measure was introduced as an amendment to the funding legislation on Thursday.

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Enrollment in Illinois’ public universities and community colleges continues to decline. That’s according to figures released  by the state Board of Higher Education.  The three University of Illinois campuses and Governors State University all experienced slight gains in undergraduate enrollment over the past year, but all other public universities reported declines. 

The state's ongoing budget deadlock has spurred the University of Illinois to ask its departments to cut an average of about 2% from their budgets.  Interim Provost John Wilkin's office sent the budget guidelines this week to the school's academic units.

veterans.illinois.edu

University of Illinois veterans have organized a clothing drive for victims of a fire in Danville that killed one veteran and displaced others.  75-year-old David R. Singleton was killed in the fire at a veterans' group home Feb. 2.

What It Means To Be A Sanctuary City In Urbana

Feb 22, 2017
Jeff Bossert / Illinois Public Radio

On Tuesday, the Trump Administration released details on new policies to ramp up federal immigration detentions and deportations. Ahead of the move, Urbana joined hundreds of other cities in declaring itself a sanctuary city – meaning they’ll offer some protections to people in the country illegally. That could cost the city roughly $1 million in federal funds, based on recent executive orders from the president.

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An Illinois House committee has cleared a proposal that would require public universities to admit first-time freshman applicants who finish with a GPA in the top 10% of their high school's graduating class.  The House Higher Education Committee passed the bill despite opposition from the University of Illinois and the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

Supercomputers May Help Illinois Get 'Smart'

Feb 6, 2017
Tristan Schmurr / Flickr

Last week the state of Illinois announced a partnership with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications on the University of Illinois Urbana campus. NCSA will be helping the state advance so-called “Smart State” initiatives that will use data to make the state run more efficiently, and help improve cybersecurity.

Bill Gropp is NCSA’s acting director.  Illinois Public Radio’s Brian Moline spoke with Gropp about this partnership and how it developed.

A University of Illinois senior administrator says President Trump’s recent Executive Order halting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries could be harmful to the university’s mission.  Executive Vice-President Barb Wilson says the U of I needs what she calls “open doors” to fulfill its mission.

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CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois universities are speaking out against President Donald Trump's sweeping travel ban that has left some students and professors stranded abroad.

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign / Facebook

A longtime advocate of immigration reform applauds the University of Illinois’ revised language on protecting students who may be here illegally … as the Trump administration threatens to deport them.  Illinois Public Media’s Jeff Bossert has more:

 

 

Lawyer and U of I law professor Francis Boyle says altered language from President Tim Killeen essentially makes the U of I’s three campuses ‘sanctuaries’ without using that term.

U of I Reviewing State Paycheck Halt

Jan 27, 2017

A court filing by Illinois’ Attorney General seeks to halt state worker paychecks by the end of February, and not let them resume until there’s agreement on a state budget. But it’s not yet clear if Thursday’s action would extend to University of Illinois employees.  

An expanded background-checks policy has led the University of Illinois to withdraw 11 job offers across its three campuses over the past year.   From November 2015 to October 2016, the university conducted nearly 12,000 background checks.

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University of Illinois system trustees have endorsed a plan to increase enrollment at its three campuses by 15% over the next five years.  University of Illinois President Tim Killeen presented the plan to the Board of Trustees. The plan's goal would have more than 93,600 students enrolled at the school's campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield. 

Ray Cunningham / Flickr/Creative Commons

Governor Bruce Rauner says the people he’s been talking to about serving as University of Illinois trustees are “incredible” and “extraordinary”. But he says he can’t give out their names just yet.

The terms of three U of I trustees are expiring this month. Rauner has said he wants to take the university to a new level, once the state budget dispute is settled. And he says he hopes to have an announcement soon on new trustees who can help him do that.

unendlich-viel-energie.de / Renewable Energies Agency

The greenhouse at the University of Illinois Energy Farm will soon be receiving environmentally friendly heat during winter months.  A new "biomass boiler" from Germany will be replacing the greenhouse's currently used propane gas. 

Facebook/University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois System is considering extending a freeze on its base tuition for in-state freshmen to a third consecutive year.  The proposed in-state tuition freeze for the system's universities in Chicago, Springfield and Urbana-Champaign was reviewed by the Board of Trustees' Audit, Budget, Finance and Facilities Committee. It will be considered by the full board on Jan. 19.

A preliminary report on college enrollment in Illinois shows a decline at all sectors of higher education.

Public universities, community colleges and private colleges — all three categories showed a drop in enrollment, according to a report from the Illinois Board of Higher Education. Illinois State University and the three University of Illinois campuses showed slight upticks; all other public schools declined by an average of almost 3 percent compared to last year.   Private non-profit schools showed less of a decline, with an overall decrease of about 2 percent.

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.

Facebook/University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The president of the University of Illinois says its three campuses cannot legally serve as sanctuaries for immigrant students illegally living in the country despite pressure to do so.

sarah-ji / Flickr/Creative Commons

URBANA, Ill. (AP) - Faculty at the University of Illinois' flagship campus have given Chancellor Robert Jones a petition asking that the school become a sanctuary for immigrant students illegally living in the country.

The petition signed by more than 2,300 people was given to Jones on Monday. Jones has said he wants to study the legalities before taking a position.

Members of the campus' Senate also on Monday approved a resolution calling on the school to commit to maintaining what the measure called a climate "free from hostility."

quinntheislander / pixabay/Creative Commons

URBANA, Ill. (AP) - The University of Illinois says an index that measures economic growth across the state fell in November.

The university's Institute of Government and Public Affairs said Thursday that its Flash Index fell from 104.3 to 104.1. Any reading above 100 indicates the economy is growing while a reading below 100 shows contraction. November's drop was the third straight monthly decrease in the index.

 The institute said corporate and sales tax receipts were down in November for reasons that are not completely clear.

A University of Illinois working group will study legal ramifications of making the campus a sanctuary for students living in the U.S. without legal permission.

Esparta Palma / Flickr/Creative Commons

URBANA, Ill. (AP) - The University of Illinois is strengthening its ties with Mexico through new academic and research partnerships. 

University President Tim Killeen signed agreements during a trip to Mexico last week. He says they are part of the university's efforts to diversify international student enrollment and increase its global impact. 

 One agreement would send doctoral students funded by the Mexican government to the system's three universities. In a separate partnership, researchers in Illinois will team with the Department of Health in Mexico City to study diabetes and obesity. Both are major health problems in Mexico.

Researchers Boost Soybean Crop Yield By Removing Leaves

Nov 23, 2016
United Soybean Board / Flickr

Researchers at the University of Illinois have found that reducing the number of leaves on soybean plants can increase crop yield by eight percent.  In replicated trials on the Urbana campus, researchers removed up to one third of the emerging leaves on soybeans to boost yield.

Project lead Praveen Kumar, professor of civil and environmental engineering at the U of I,  says producing more food without using more land is vital.

“We are probably maxed out in terms of available arable lands, so we really need a different strategy to increase productivity.”

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Eight state lawmakers have filed legislation that would guarantee the University of Illinois multi-year funding in exchange for limits on tuition increases and other benchmarks.  The Democrats and Republicans filed the bill as university trustees met in Chicago and passed a resolution supporting it.

University of Illinois President Timothy Killeen is again pushing a plan for the state to agree to a multi-year budget for the school in exchange for controls on tuition increases and other benchmarks.  Killeen previously discussed the idea as a way to provide financial stability as the state continues to struggle with its budget crisis. 

The University of Illinois' Krannert Art Museum plans an exhibition of medieval manuscripts starting this month.  The museum says the exhibit "Making and Breaking Medieval Manuscripts" will display primarily books from the 13th through 16th centuries originally adorned with hand-drawn illustrations. In many cases those illustrations remain but some are missing those pages.

Climatologists say the average statewide temperature in Illinois last month was the seventh warmest October on record.  Illinois State Water Survey reports the average temperature for October was 59.8 degrees, 5.4 degrees above normal. 

The chancellor of the University of Illinois has ordered a study on the institution's diversity efforts.  The university already spends millions each year on scholarships, recruitment efforts and other programs to diversify its student body and create a welcoming climate for people of all backgrounds.

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