Western Illinois University

We've become accustomed to daily tallies of new COVID-19 statistics in the news. But one researcher at Western Illinois University argues absolute numbers and percentages tend to give a misleading picture when comparing different communities.

Western Illinois University

Terrorism is often a family affair. That's according to the director of the Homeland Security Research Program at Western Illinois University.

Rich Egger

As part of our statewide “Enrollment Exodus” collaboration, WNIJ’s Peter Medlin spoke with Tri States Public Radio News Director Rich Egger. They talked about Egger’s reporting on Western Illinois University and how enrollment decline affects every part of their community.

AP Photo/Nati Harnik / Associated Press

People have been leaving rural midwestern areas for decades. And it’s not just population loss. Often fresh food sellers move away too. There might be hope, though.

MACOMB, Ill. (AP) - The president of Western Illinois University is resigning at the end of June after eight years in the post.

Royce Elliott

May 6, 2018

This story details the athletic facets of a life not usually associated with baseball diamonds, basketball courts, and football fields.

Comedian Royce Elliott was known, throughout a long and storied career on stage and radio, as “America’s Funniest Clean Comedian.”

Western Illinois University

Western Illinois University President Jack Thomas is a finalist for the same job at an Alabama school. Tuskegee University says Thomas is one of two finalists for the school’s president position. He studied English as an undergraduate at Alabama A&M University and earned a doctorate from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

The historically black college in east Alabama says the other finalist is Lilly McNair, the vice president for academic affairs at Wagner College.

The board of trustees at Western Illinois University has voted to keep costs for the 2018-2019 school year at current levels.

WIU Contact Talks Continue

Dec 26, 2017
Judd McCullum / Flickr

Western Illinois University teachers and staff are still in mediation with the administration regarding a new contract.  They’re working under terms of the previous contract, which expired over the summer. 

Western’s president said he hopes the two sides “will arrive at an equitable and mutually beneficial resolution.” That statement sparked some teachers and administrators to offer up a few comments to Western’s Board of Trustees. Illinois Public Radio’s Rich Egger reports.


Western Illinois University officials say the school's water bottle refilling stations have kept more than 1 million plastic bottles out of landfills.

Illinois spent $14 million on planning for state universities' construction projects that have been mothballed.

WIU / Facebook

Summer music camps are a staple at universities and institutes across the country. Most of them focus on large ensembles playing large works. But Western Illinois Univeristy’s School of Music is trying something different and going small. Illinois Public Radio's Jonathan Ahl explains.

Officials of Western Illinois University thanked a Quad Cities couple Thursday for the latest in a long line of gifts. It'll pay for scholarships and promote small businesses and Mexican culture. 

The coats of around 20 animal species go from brown in the summer to white in the winter.  Researchers are studying whether climate change is causing those animals to adapt.

College students and faculty in western Illinois will get more travel abroad opportunities because of a U.S. Department of Education grant.  Western Illinois University officials say the grant of over $400,000 dollars will benefit their school and also Spoon River College in Canton.  WIU officials are directing the grant, which covers three years of academic travel.

Western Illinois University is giving students and natural resource professionals a chance to flock to a community along the Mississippi River to learn more about the migration and health of ducks.  The school says the program is offered at its Kibbe Life Science Station in Warsaw. 

A Western Illinois University administrator said the school has enough money to make it through the Spring semester. But he's not saying much about the contingency plan WIU is developing in case the ongoing shortfall of state funding continues.

WIU Prepares for More Financial Uncertainty

Apr 3, 2017
WIU / Instagram

Western Illinois University says it has enough money to make it through the Spring semester. But that is not stopping the administration from developing contingency plans in case the ongoing shortfall of state funding continues. Illinois Public Radio’s Rich Egger reports.               

Western Illinois University wants to do more to help the Quad Cities area create new  businesses and expand existing companies. In January, the university opened its second Small Business Development Center on its riverfront campus in Moline. WIU also opened a new, International Trade Center.

There are 9,469 students enrolled at Western Illinois University this spring semester. It's the first time this century Western's student body has dropped below 10,000.

Despite uncertain state funding, Western Illinois University will keep tuition rates the same next year for incoming students.  University President Jack Thomas says holding the line on tuition is the right thing to do.

Western Illinois University will receive an extra boost of financial support from the state.  But it still falls far short of what the school would normally expect during a budget year.  Western was already receiving $36.5 million from the state’s stop-gap funding measure.  

Flickr Creative Commons/Tax Credits

The Illinois Board of Higher Education has approved $17 million in emergency funding to help three financially-strapped state universities through the end of the year.  Under the agreement Western Illinois University gets $8.4 million, Eastern Illinois University receives about $5.6 million and Chicago State University gets around $3 million.  The funding can only be used to pay down costs incurred this year.

Many state lawmakers in Illinois are in campaign mode right now.  And that means nothing is being done about the state budget.  Lawmakers and the Governor agreed to a stop-gap spending measure at the end of June.  It will keep state government services running until early January.

In a few years, companies hiring mechanical engineers will have more applicants. Michelle O'Neill reports this morning in Moline, Western Illinois University's President, Jack Thomas, announced it will offer a degree in Mechanical Engineering in January.

Facebook/Illinois State University

Illinois State University says its fall enrollment is up and the school has its largest freshman class in decades.  The announcement comes as some state universities brace for the possibility of enrollment declines due to Illinois' budget crisis and a lack of state university funding.


The debate over Genetically Modified Organisms, or GMOs, can get pretty heated.  But a long-time seller of non-GMO grain says he won’t get worked up over the issue. Illinois Public Radio's Rich Egger reports.

Stop-Gap Budget Won’t Reverse Western’s Layoffs

Jul 1, 2016

Public universities in Illinois are getting some financial relief as part of the state’s new stop-gap spending measure.  That will help the schools, but they still face a great deal of uncertainty.

Some Western Illinois University employees were required to take unpaid days off in Fiscal Year 2016, and they will have to take more in the new fiscal year as the school tries to cope with a drastic decrease in state aid.

Western Illinois University students and faculty scientists are spending the summer doing research related to how Zika virus spreads from mosquitoes to humans.  The Vector Biology Program at Western is led by Assistant Professor of Biology Catherine Miller-Hunt. It will soon begin studying how the Zika virus gets into human cells and looking for ways to stop it.