University of Illinois

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.

UICOMP Research Findings On Display

Apr 13, 2016
markus spiske / Flickr/Creative Commons

Healthcare students, professionals and the public have a chance to survey the latest medical research being done in the Peoria area. 

The University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria is holding its fourth annual  Medical Research Day on campus Wednesday. UICOMP pharmacology professor Steve Lasley says the experience gives medical students a competitive edge in residency applications, but additionally,  it gives attendees a chance to witness the range of topics pertaining to local health outcomes.

The University of Illinois has announced a pair of settlements involving former female basketball players who sued the school and its former football coach, Tim Beckman.

IL Democrats Push Bill to Help Undocumented Students

Apr 6, 2016
Ray Cunningham / Flickr/Creative Commons

A state Senate panel has approved a measure that would let students with undocumented immigration status compete for financial aid at Illinois’ 4-year universities. 

 The student ACCESS bill made it through the Senate Higher Education Committee Tuesday.  Only Democrats backed the measure as it moved to the full Senate.

During a press conference earlier in the day, some students talked about their families’ struggles paying for school, since they aren’t eligible to receive federal aid. 

The University of Illinois Urbana campus has 57 faculty and students traveling in or near Brussels, Belgium and has confirmed that all of them are safe after this morning’s explosions in Brussels that left at least two dozen people dead. 

U of I faculty look to leave

Mar 17, 2016

University of Illinois administrators are warning legislators that leading faculty are already looking for positions elsewhere amid a 9-month state budget impasse.  

The University of Illinois is offering tips for students who may be spending spring break traveling to areas where the mosquito-borne Zika virus is prevalent.

Josh Whitman Introduced As U Of I Athletic Director

Feb 19, 2016
Rob McColley / Illinois Public Media

After more than 100 days without an athletic director, the University of Illinois Urbana campus has officially named Josh Whitman to the post.  Whitman is making the jump from NCAA Division III school Washington University in St. Louis, but he says there are more similarities than differences between the two levels.

"At the core of what we do is our students.  That will always be true," Whitman says.  "At a place like Washington University, we're able to recruit across the country, the same as we do at Illinois.  We're able to compete for conference and national championships.  I travel all over the country and meet with an incredibly affluent and successful group of alumni and donors.  So, there are a lot of similarities."



The 37-year-old Whitman was a four-year starter on the Illinois football team in the late 1990s and holds degrees in finance and law from the U of I. 

Whitman says his first official day on the job at Illinois will be March 21.  He replaces Mike Thomas, who was fired by the university in November after a series of incidents in the football and women’s basketball programs.

Whitman says he'll draw on his experience as athletic director at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse in trying to restore confidence in an athletic department that's been in turmoil.

"An approach that we took up there that I think will work here is that you want to show people incremental progress," he says.  "You want to be able to say 'we're going to do something,' and then you do it.  Over time the wheel starts to turn, and you start to pick up momentum.  Then people understand that this is going to get better."

Interim Chancellor Barbara Wilson says that Whitman has a five-year contract that will pay him $600,000 per year, plus incentives for both academic and athletic performance.

Wilson says she knew during their first interview that Whitman should be the new AD.

"Josh is really the full package," she said.  "To add to all of that, it's great to have an Illini.  That wasn't a criterion from the beginning, but it was what I could call icing on the cake.  If we could get all of the things we needed, plus someone who loved Illinois, that would be the best of all possible worlds."

A 9-foot-tall menorah at a University of Illinois Jewish student center has been damaged for a third time in less than a year. The center's rabbi believes school leaders haven't taken a strong enough stand against the vandalism.

U of I approves tuition rate freeze

Jan 21, 2016

University of Illinois Trustees have unanimously approved freezing tuition rates for the second straight year for in-state freshman.  

University of Illinois President Timothy Killeen is recommending that trustees freeze tuition for a second straight year for instate freshmen.

The University of Illinois plans to use money left over from a construction project to help build a new African-American cultural center.