University of Illinois

The woman who ran the University of Illinois' largest campus after its chancellor abruptly resigned has been promoted to be the No. 2 administrator in the university system.  The university announced that Barbara Wilson will become executive vice president of the three-campus system. 

Facebook/Fighting Illini Football

University of Illinois trustees have approved a contract with football coach Lovie Smith that will pay him at least $21 million over six years.  Smith is a longtime NFL coach who was hired to replace Bill Cubit.  They approved initial terms for Smith after he was hired in March. The contract was backloaded to pay him $10 million in salary over his final two years. 

kerry nichol / Flickr/Creative Commons

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - The University of Illinois says fall enrollment is up but the number of incoming freshmen at the Chicago campus is down. The announcement Thursday followed news that freshman enrollment at Eastern Illinois University dropped sharply.

Several state universities have already announced enrollment declines related to Illinois' state-budget crisis.

Enrollment at the University of Illinois' Urbana-Champaign campus is up 1.8 percent to 44,087 and freshman enrollment is up slightly to a record 7,592. The Springfield campus reported a 1 percent enrollment increase to 3,483 and an 11.9 percent freshman boost to 300.

University of Illinois officials are re-evaluating the institution's international strategy because of uncertainty over the state budget, shelving a planned office in India.  Interim Provost Edward Feser says the hold on the India office freed up $107,500 for the 2016 fiscal year. 

Figures from the University of Illinois show that its faculty members have received job offers and have resigned to move elsewhere in increasing numbers over the past 12 months.  School officials say that over the past two years, uncertainty over the state budget and pension funding has led more faculty at the Urbana-Champaign campus to look for work outside Illinois. 

Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

The Jump Trading Simulation Center in Peoria hosted a meeting with U of I President Timothy Killeen, business and community leaders, along with state and federal lawmakers.

The stated objective of the meeting was to talk about potential opportunities to further existing partnerships that will in turn produce economic growth.

President Killeen says it was the largest delegation of U of I Officials ever to meet in Peoria. / Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources/ University of Nebraska-Lincoln

University of Illinois researchers say a new type of corn disease has been found in northern Illinois.  The university says bacterial leaf streak was found in a field in DeKalb County. 

The University of Illinois will use a multimillion-dollar federal grant to study the nation's electric grid and devise ways to respond to a potential attack.   The $18.7 million award from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency will let researchers create conditions that mimic a real electric grid. They then will test new technology and cybersecurity tools. 

Scientists at the University of Illinois say recent rainfall has increased soil moisture significantly in all parts of the state.  Jennie Atkins of the Prairie Research Institute at University of Illinois says Illinois received nearly 2 inches of rain from Aug. 11 to 14. 

...-Wink-... / Flickr/Creative Commons


URBANA, Ill. (AP) - The University of Illinois says it has received an $18.7 million federal grant to develop a way to test the United States' response to and recovery from any attack on the country's electric grid.

Flickr Creative Commons/ilovebutter

In the midst of a continuing state budget impasse, the University of Illinois has seen an increase in the number of faculty members leaving for other campuses. University President Timothy Killeen says there’s cause for concern, but there’s no crisis.  

McDuffie: "Volatile Time" for U of I Minority Students, Faculty

Jul 20, 2016
U of I Department of African-American Studies / Illinois Public Media

Robert J. Jones will be formally introduced to the University of Illinois Urbana campus this morning as its new chancellor, and as the first African-American to lead the U of I’s flagship campus. One U of I professor of African-American studies says he hopes Jones can help make the school more racially inclusive and democratic. 

 Professor Erik McDuffie says it’s been a 

University of Illinois

University of Illinois President Timothy Killeen has named Robert J. Jones to be the new chancellor for the University's Urbana campus, and vice-president of the three-campus U of I system.

The 65-year-old Jones is currently president of the Albany campus of the State University of New York. Pending approval by trustees on Thursday, he would take office as chancellor in Urbana on October 3rd.

The University of Illinois has partnered with Amazon to make the school's Illini Union Bookstore the first pickup location in the state.
The Amazon(at)Illinois location is scheduled to open by the end of October. Amazon customers will be able to have their purchases delivered to the store instead of shipped to their residences. Same-day pickup will be available for some customers on certain items.
Amazon is building its own space in the union. It will pay rent and have its own employees.

U of I employees could face higher health costs

Jul 15, 2016

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.

Katie Ross, who works in Human Resources for the U of I, says that the outcome of negotiations between Governor Bruce Rauner's administration and AFSCME-- Illinois' largest public employee union--could results in higher monthly premiums. If that happens, she says the state may take money from employees' paychecks  to cover increased premiums retroactively to July 1st of this year.  

VSmithUK / Flickr/Creative Commons

URBANA, Ill. (AP) - For the first time in six years summer enrollment at the University of Illinois' largest campus is down.

Enrollment at the Urbana-Champaign campus this summer is 11,214. That is down by 470 students, or about 4 percent.

Summer enrollment had climbed every year since 2011. That summer it was 9,258. In-state enrollment this summer is 5,616 while 3,407 foreign students are on campus. University officials did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press to discuss potential reasons for the enrollment decrease.

A beagle-rescue group has sued the University of Illinois over the university's refusal to disclose documents showing its treatment of research animals.   The Beagle Freedom Foundation backs legislation requiring research facilities to make animals finished with testing, such as beagles, available for adoption instead of euthanizing them. 

The University of Illinois is adding to its already large network of hundreds of security cameras.  The Champaign City Council voted to allow the university to install eight more cameras at two busy intersections near campus. The cameras will go up at Sixth and John streets and Fourth and Green streets in the next six months to a year.

One of the top administrators in the University of Illinois system is leaving for a similar job at a private university in New Jersey.  The University of Illinois says Vice President of Academic Affairs Christophe Pierre will leave Aug. 31 to become provost and vice president for academic affairs at Stevens Institute of Technology. The job is the No. 2 position at the New Jersey school.

Moody's Investors Service will review the credit worthiness of seven Illinois universities after downgrading the state's credit to two levels above "junk" status this week.   Moody's announced that "reviews for downgrade" will proceed on the University of Illinois, Illinois State University, Southern Illinois University, Northern Illinois University, Governors State University, Northeastern Illinois University and Eastern Illinois University.

University of Illinois President Timothy Killeen says that the prospect of another year with limited or no state funding makes him "gravely concerned" the school may have to lay off employees or cut course offerings.

U of I employees eligible for overtime pay

May 23, 2016

The University of Illinois is one of the state’s largest employers and one that will be affected by new overtime rules announced last week by the U.S. Department of Labor. Under the new rules, many salaried employees will be eligible for overtime pay for any time worked past 40 hours per week, if they make $47,500 or less.  That’s nearly double the current threshold.  

Big Ten Network

University of Illinois History Professor Adrian Burgos says baseball became a true passion early in life. And through his own family and love for the game, Burgos learned about the role Latinos have played since the sport’s inception. Burgos was born just blocks from New York’s Yankee Stadium… and after moving to Florida, he lived near Little Yankee Stadium, the team’s former spring training home. 

U of I Department of African-American Studies

 Swastikas spray-painted on three campus buildings.  A white groundskeeper tossing a noose on a worktable used by a black co-worker.  Chalk messages saying “Build the Wall” and “Trump Deportation Force” written on sidewalks in front of the building that houses the Department of Latina/Latino Studies. 

University of Illinois trustees will soon vote on a budget for the next fiscal year -  without knowing how much, if any, state funding to expect, due to the ongoing budget impasse in Springfield.

Police at the University of Illinois' Urbana-Champaign campus are investigating the appearance of three large swastikas in campus buildings.  Administrators say an employee has been fired over an apparently unrelated noose left on a table in a work area.

URBANA, Ill. (AP) - A faculty union at the University of Illinois' Champaign-Urbana campus plans a five-day strike after contract talks with the school Wednesday ended without a settlement. 

Shawn Gilmore is president of the Nontenure Faculty Coalition Local 6546. He says union members voted "overwhelmingly" Wednesday evening to authorize a five-day strike. The strike is to start Thursday with picketing is scheduled to start at 8 a.m. at the English Building. The union went on a two-day strike earlier this month.


Members of the union representing non-tenure-track faculty at the University of Illinois went on strike Tuesday morning, launching a two-day work stoppage.  Union President Shawn Gilmore says  there's been a lot of support from solidarity partners, as Local #6546 seeks a greater voice for its members and longer contracts.

The union is trying to push the administration towards a quicker agreement on a first-ever contract for non-tenured faculty at the Urbana campus.

Top administrators at the University of Illinois' Urbana-Champaign campus say they want to continue negotiating with non-tenured faculty members on a contract.

The University of Illinois College of Medicine in Peoria says it’s on track to accept students for its four-year program in 2017. 

UICOMP currently enrolls second, third and fourth year students after they’ve completed their first year at the campus in Champaign-Urbana. Pharmacology Professor Steve Lasley says UICOMP is finished planning for “phase one” that focuses on those first two years of medical school.