University of Illinois

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.


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. / 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.”


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.

Facebook/University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois is planning to try again for full state funding in fiscal 2018, which it hasn't seen since 2015.  The university is also focusing on its efforts for a multiyear budget arrangement with Illinois. It plans to announce legislation next week that would provide five years of guaranteed funding in exchange of hitting certain educational benchmarks.

The University of Illinois says it will open a new center at the Urbana-Champaign campus that will be focused on business analytics.  The university says it is using a $5 million donation from the Deloitte Foundation to open the University of Illinois-Deloitte Foundation Center for Business Analytics. The foundation is the nonprofit arm of Deloitte, the consulting, audit and tax firm.


University of Illinois officials say they've seen more than 60 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease among students since the beginning of the semester.  Dr. Robert Palinkas says the rate has slowed, so the infections may have peaked.

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign / Facebook

Enrollment totals for this fall show the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign is the seventh-largest public university campus in the country with 44,880 students. Charles Tucker, vice provost for undergraduate education and innovation, said the campus has grown by about 1 percent annually for several decades, largely at the undergraduate level. 

University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford

The University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford is expanding and in 2017 will host its inaugural class of first-year medical students.

The University of Illinois says it has cut the number of its employees by 484 over the past 18 months, about 3% of the school's non-instructional workforce.  The university says most of the cuts were made through attrition as people left jobs, and that 202 of the positions were in the university system's central administration.

The U of I Professor Who Made Movies Talk

Oct 5, 2016
Courtesy of the University of Illinois Archives / Illinois Public Media

The voice of Al Jolson, from the soundtrack of the 1927 movie, The Jazz Singer, which marked the movies’ transition from a silent medium to one with sound. But the evolution of the technology behind sound movies was more complicated than The Jazz Singer would suggest ... complicated enough to include a University of Illinois professor among its many inventors. Today is the anniversary of his birth. Illinois Public Radio's Jim Meadows has more on Joseph Tykociner, and how a pioneer in the field of talking movies ended up on the sidelines.

Champaign Police Department

A Champaign teenager has been charged with murder in a weekend shooting at a party near the University of Illinois campus that killed one and injured three other people.  18-year-old Robbie Patton appeared by video from the Champaign County Jail and barely spoke as the charges against him were read. 

A warrant has been issued for a suspect in connection with last weekend’s fatal shooting in Champaign’s Campustown neighborhood.  18-year-old Robbie Patton of Champaign is wanted for murder and Aggravated Battery with a Firearm, for firing off shots during a fight outside a Campustown apartment building. 

Champaign County State's Attorney Julia Rietz says the fight that preceded the shooting Sunday near the University of Illinois campus appears to have begun after one woman spilled a drink on another at a party.  Police say the party was at an apartment in the Campustown area that runs through the middle of campus. The large party spilled out of the apartment.