University of Illinois http://wuis.org en U Of I: Illinois Pension Overhaul Had Costly Mistake http://wuis.org/post/u-i-illinois-pension-overhaul-had-costly-mistake <p>University of Illinois officials have worried for months that state pension reforms will push employees to retire early. But they say language inadvertently placed in pension law may provide even stronger<br />incentive.<br />&nbsp;<br />Avijit Ghosh is a senior adviser to university President Robert Easter. He said at a trustees' meeting Friday that the pension law passed last year would effectively take away a year of pension benefits from about 4,000 University of Illinois employees if they don't retire before July 1. Those pensions would be reduced by up to 35 percent.<br />&nbsp; Fri, 18 Apr 2014 20:38:47 +0000 Associated Press 23306 at http://wuis.org U Of I: Illinois Pension Overhaul Had Costly Mistake Expert Says State Of Illinois Needs Better Financial Planning http://wuis.org/post/expert-says-state-illinois-needs-better-financial-planning <p></p><p></p><p>Illinois is like most states when it comes to budget challenges.&nbsp; Leaders must decide how to use tax dollars to pay for a variety of services.&nbsp;</p><p>But Illinois ranks low when it comes to financial planning.&nbsp; Nancy Hudspeth says some changes are needed.&nbsp; She's the Associate Director of the Fiscal Futures Project at the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs.&nbsp;</p><p>Hudspeth wrote an article on the subject that appears below:</p><p align="center">&nbsp;</p> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 15:40:00 +0000 Sean Crawford 22107 at http://wuis.org Expert Says State Of Illinois Needs Better Financial Planning Sin Taxes Won't Solve Illinois' Budget Troubles http://wuis.org/post/sin-taxes-wont-solve-illinois-budget-troubles <p>When Illinois lawmakers are in need of more revenue, they often turn to sin. &nbsp;</p><p>Sin taxes, that is.&nbsp;</p><p>Those are taxes placed on items that can be considered undesirable, like cigarettes, alcohol or gambling. &nbsp;</p> Mon, 17 Mar 2014 11:15:00 +0000 Sean Crawford 20895 at http://wuis.org Sin Taxes Won't Solve Illinois' Budget Troubles GOP Candidates Face University of Illinois Admissions Question http://wuis.org/post/gop-candidates-face-university-illinois-admissions-question <p>The Republican contenders for governor are facing questions about their roles in a five-year-old admissions scandal at the University of Illinois. &nbsp;</p><p>The scandal involved some politicians using clout to get students enrolled. State Treasurer Dan Rutherford and state Sen. Kirk Dillard have acknowledged their names are on the list the University of Illinois maintained of lawmakers who called to check on applications. They were asked about it at a televised debate last week. &nbsp;</p> Wed, 12 Mar 2014 12:13:21 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse & Associated Press 20684 at http://wuis.org GOP Candidates Face University of Illinois Admissions Question Illinois Pays Penalty For Bad Fiscal Image http://wuis.org/post/illinois-pays-penalty-bad-fiscal-image <p>When it comes to finances, the State of Illinois has a poor reputation.&nbsp;&nbsp; New research shows how the state's negative perception is costing taxpayers.&nbsp;</p> Mon, 10 Mar 2014 12:19:00 +0000 Sean Crawford 20416 at http://wuis.org Illinois Pays Penalty For Bad Fiscal Image U of I Plans Presidential Search Panel http://wuis.org/post/u-i-plans-presidential-search-panel <p></p><p>The University of Illinois hopes to have a new president selected by January. &nbsp;</p><p>The (Champaign) News-Gazette reports a 19-member search committee will be appointed in May to recruit and review candidates to replace President Robert Easter. &nbsp;</p> Fri, 07 Mar 2014 20:44:44 +0000 Associated Press 20393 at http://wuis.org U of I Plans Presidential Search Panel Fifth Lawsuit Filed Against Illinois Pension Law http://wuis.org/post/fifth-lawsuit-filed-against-illinois-pension-law <p>A fifth lawsuit has been filed by state employees challenging Illinois' new pension law. &nbsp;<br />The lawsuit from current and former employees at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and Parkland Community College was filed in Champaign County Circuit Court Thursday. &nbsp;</p><p>It says the legislation passed by the General Assembly in December violates several provisions of the state constitution, which says retirement benefits should not be diminished or impaired and private property should not be ``taken or damaged for public use.'' &nbsp;</p> Fri, 07 Mar 2014 00:04:49 +0000 Associated Press 20335 at http://wuis.org Fifth Lawsuit Filed Against Illinois Pension Law University Of Illinois Trustees To Vote On Sex-Change Insurance http://wuis.org/post/university-illinois-trustees-vote-sex-change-insurance <p></p><p>University of Illinois trustees are expected to vote Thursday on adding coverage for sex-change operations to the health insurance plan used by many students at the flagship campus. &nbsp;</p><p>Many of the Urbana-Champaign campus' more than 40,000 students use the insurance and would see costs rise by 15 percent in the proposal is approved. Undergraduates would pay $291 a semester starting next fall. That's an increase of $37. &nbsp;</p><p>But university officials say most of that increase is due to the federal Affordable Care Act rather than adding sex-change coverage. &nbsp;</p> Thu, 06 Mar 2014 13:56:14 +0000 Bill Wheelhouse & Associated Press 20281 at http://wuis.org University Of Illinois Trustees To Vote On Sex-Change Insurance Slow Economic Growth Due To Harsh Winter Weather http://wuis.org/post/slow-economic-growth-due-harsh-winter-weather <p></p><p>Illinois' economic growth slowed in February and a University of Illinois economist says you can probably blame it on the weather.&nbsp;</p> Tue, 04 Mar 2014 15:56:28 +0000 Associated Press 20140 at http://wuis.org Slow Economic Growth Due To Harsh Winter Weather U Of I To Consider Pension Cut Offsets http://wuis.org/post/u-i-consider-pension-cut-offsets <p>University of Illinois President Robert Easter and other administrators will consider ways to help university employees make up for some of the money they will lose when state pension reforms begin June 1. &nbsp;</p><p>University trustees on Thursday directed Easter to assess the changes coming to the state pension system and options for preserving benefits that will be lost. The president is expected to make recommendations to the trustees before June. The board of trustees oversees the university's three campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield. &nbsp;</p> Thu, 23 Jan 2014 23:41:31 +0000 Associated Press 17522 at http://wuis.org U Of I To Consider Pension Cut Offsets Budget Gap To Increase Despite Pension Overhaul http://wuis.org/post/budget-gap-increase-despite-pension-overhaul <p>Illinois' pension overhaul is tied up in a court challenge.&nbsp; But even if it remains law, cuts to state employees' and public school teachers' retirement benefits will not solve the state's budget problem.&nbsp; That's the forecast from a report issued today by the University of Illinois' Institute for Government and Public Affairs. Amanda Vinicky spoke with the report's principle author, economist Richard Dye.</p><p></p> Tue, 21 Jan 2014 13:15:00 +0000 Amanda Vinicky 17328 at http://wuis.org Budget Gap To Increase Despite Pension Overhaul Former U Of I Band Director Pleads Guilty To Theft http://wuis.org/post/former-u-i-band-director-pleads-guilty-theft <p></p><p>The former director of bands at the University of Illinois has pleaded guilty to stealing musical instruments from the school and sentenced to a form of probation. &nbsp;</p><p>Robert Rumbelow pleaded guilty Tuesday in Champaign County Circuit Court to one count of felony theft. According to The News-Gazette (http://bit.ly/1doNcdP) he was sentenced to two years of conditional discharge. &nbsp;<br />Rumbelow declined comment through his attorney. &nbsp;</p> Wed, 15 Jan 2014 10:56:22 +0000 Associated Press 16955 at http://wuis.org Former U Of I Band Director Pleads Guilty To Theft U Of I Proposes Tuition Hike For Fall http://wuis.org/post/u-i-proposes-tuition-hike-fall <p>University of Illinois Trustees have been asked to increase tuition within the rate of inflation for next academic year.</p><p>At their meeting in Chicago next week, they’ll be asked to raise it by 1.7 % on the three campuses, the same increase approved for last fall.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; A Trustees committee recommended the plan Monday.&nbsp;</p><p>It would raise tuition for in-state students to about $12,000 at the Urbana-Champaign campus, nearly $10,600 in Chicago and around $9,400 in Springfield.&nbsp; Only incoming students would pay the higher rates.</p> Mon, 13 Jan 2014 22:57:00 +0000 Jeff Bossert 16867 at http://wuis.org U Of I Proposes Tuition Hike For Fall U Of I Athletic Director Could Get A Raise http://wuis.org/post/u-i-athletic-director-could-get-raise <p>University of Illinois trustees are considering giving Athletic Director Mike Thomas a raise and a contract extension. &nbsp;<br />Trustee James Montgomery said Thursday that under the proposal Thomas' base pay would be increased to $554,000 and extended by two years. Thomas was hired in 2011 on a five-year contract with a base salary of $475,000. &nbsp;</p><p>A trustees' committee will consider the proposal Thursday in Chicago. Any changes would eventually have to be approved by the full board of trustees that governs the university. &nbsp;</p> Thu, 09 Jan 2014 16:23:10 +0000 Associated Press 16581 at http://wuis.org U Of I Athletic Director Could Get A Raise Study: Cover Crops Can Ward Off Soybean Diseases http://wuis.org/post/study-cover-crops-can-ward-soybean-diseases <p style="margin-bottom: 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; font-family: 'PT Sans', sans-serif;">Midwest farmers who rely on healthy soybean harvests have one more reason to consider adding cereal rye into their crop rotation in 2014.</p> Wed, 08 Jan 2014 23:10:00 +0000 Peter Gray 16550 at http://wuis.org Study: Cover Crops Can Ward Off Soybean Diseases Film Has Clues About Alma Mater's Real Color http://wuis.org/post/film-has-clues-about-alma-maters-real-color <p>An 8-mm color film shot in the 1940's is offering some clues about the original color of a bronze statue that is a beloved landmark at the University of Illinois. &nbsp;</p><p>The 84-year-old Alma Mater statue of a robed woman flanked by figures celebrating ``Learning'' and ``Labor'' is being restored. A heavy buildup of blue-green patina has disguised its original color for decades. &nbsp;</p> Wed, 11 Dec 2013 22:57:00 +0000 Associated Press 14826 at http://wuis.org Film Has Clues About Alma Mater's Real Color UIC Faculty Vote To Strike http://wuis.org/post/uic-faculty-vote-strike <p>Unionized faculty members at the University of Illinois at Chicago have authorized a strike, even as contract negotiations continue. &nbsp;</p><p>The Chicago Sun-Times reports that despite the vote, no strike is imminent. &nbsp;</p><p>UIC United Faculty represents about 800 educators who've been negotiating with school administrators for 15 months.</p> Fri, 06 Dec 2013 12:54:42 +0000 Associated Press & Bill Wheelhouse 14436 at http://wuis.org UIC Faculty Vote To Strike Illini Football Coach To Return Next Season http://wuis.org/post/illini-football-coach-return-next-season <p></p> Mon, 02 Dec 2013 19:11:07 +0000 Associated Press 14160 at http://wuis.org Illini Football Coach To Return Next Season U Of I Football Staffer Faces Gun Charges http://wuis.org/post/u-i-football-staffer-faces-gun-charges <p>Authorities say University of Illinois football staff member and former player Matt Sinclair has been charged after allegedly pointing an unloaded handgun at a vehicle carrying other staff members.<br />&nbsp;<br />Champaign County State's Attorney Julia Rietz says Sinclair was arraigned Monday on two felony counts of unlawful use of a weapon. He was arrested Saturday after Illinois' game at Purdue.<br />&nbsp; Mon, 25 Nov 2013 21:02:24 +0000 Associated Press 13738 at http://wuis.org U Of I Football Staffer Faces Gun Charges Tenured Professor Removed At U Of I http://wuis.org/post/tenured-professor-removed-u-i <p>The University of Illinois Board of Trustees dismissed an engineering professor who had a 50-year career at the state's flagship school Thursday.&nbsp; Administrators say it's the first time a tenure decision went to the board.&nbsp;</p><p>Louis Wozniak was charged with harassing a student, improperly obtaining and publishing grades and sending an email to students that included a sexual reference. He apologized for that email the next day, though has claimed he did nothing wrong.</p><p>Wozniak was suspended with pay from his $85,000-a-year job in 2010 after the email.&nbsp;</p> Thu, 14 Nov 2013 21:56:14 +0000 Associated Press & Rachel Otwell 13043 at http://wuis.org Tenured Professor Removed At U Of I U Of I To Open China Office http://wuis.org/post/u-i-open-china-office <p>The University of Illinois plans to open an office in China later this year.<br />&nbsp;<br />Pradeep Khanna is associate chancellor for corporate international relations at<br />the school. Khanna tells The News-Gazette (http://bit.ly/1ahCsrT) that the<br />university plans to hire up to three employees for the new office in Shanghai.<br />&nbsp;<br />A delegation of University of Illinois alumni is traveling to Beijing and<br />Shanghai next week. The group of about 50 people will meet with alumni and visit<br />companies and universities that have partnerships with UI.<br />&nbsp; Fri, 01 Nov 2013 14:13:34 +0000 Associated Press 12153 at http://wuis.org U Of I To Open China Office U of I Faculty Without Tenure Want More Security http://wuis.org/post/u-i-faculty-without-tenure-want-more-security <p>The growing number of professors at the University of Illinois who don&#39;t have tenure want somebody besides their students to listen to them.<br />&nbsp;<br />The <a href="http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2013-10-06/nontenure-track-faculty-seek-voice-ui-campus.html">Champaign News-Gazette reports</a> adjunct faculty, instructors, lecturers and others who don&#39;t have tenure are hoping the school will take steps that would give them more job stability. Some are even assessing the need for a faculty union in Urbana.<br />&nbsp; Mon, 07 Oct 2013 10:12:04 +0000 Associated Press 10423 at http://wuis.org U of I Faculty Without Tenure Want More Security UIUC Student Killed Near Campus http://wuis.org/post/uiuc-student-killed-near-campus <p>Police in Urbana say a University of Illinois student has been killed in her apartment a few blocks north of the campus.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Lt. Bryant </span>Seraphin<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> <a href="http://bit.ly/18w8Rw0">tells</a> The (Champaign) News-Gazette </span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">that officers were called shortly after 11 a.m. to the apartment complex. The university police issued alerts to students and faculty, but the campus was not locked down.</span></p> Fri, 27 Sep 2013 20:15:33 +0000 The Associated Press 9820 at http://wuis.org UIS And Other Schools See Larger Freshman Classes http://wuis.org/post/uis-and-other-schools-see-larger-freshman-classes <p></p> Thu, 12 Sep 2013 21:45:00 +0000 Associated Press 8801 at http://wuis.org UIS And Other Schools See Larger Freshman Classes U Of I President Gets Pay Raise http://wuis.org/post/u-i-president-gets-pay-raise <p>The University of Illinois is giving President Bob Easter a $90,000 bonus and a pay raise. &nbsp;<br>University trustees approved the bonus and raise for Easter at their regular board meeting Thursday in Urbana. &nbsp;<br>The bonus is part of a new incentive-based compensation plan for Easter. The bonus was based on the three-campus university system reaching set goals for cost reduction, enrollment and other factors under Easter. &nbsp;<br>Easter's base pay will increase 2.75 percent to $462,375. Most university employees are getting 2.75 percent raises. &nbsp; Thu, 12 Sep 2013 20:02:03 +0000 Associated Press 8793 at http://wuis.org U Of I President Gets Pay Raise U of I President Wants Annual Raises For Employees http://wuis.org/post/u-i-president-wants-annual-raises-employees <p>The president of the University of Illinois says he hopes faculty and staff members will be able to get a raise next year. &nbsp;<br>Bob Easter made his comments Thursday ahead of the start of the school year, which kicks off Monday. &nbsp;<br>The Champaign News-Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/152WQuj ) Easter spoke during a meeting with faculty from the school's three campuses. He says it's his ``goal to have a salary program next year.'' &nbsp;<br>Many U of I employees got a 2.75 percent merit-based raise this year. &nbsp; Fri, 23 Aug 2013 17:59:09 +0000 Associated Press 7777 at http://wuis.org U of I President Wants Annual Raises For Employees U of I Outlines Master Plan http://wuis.org/post/u-i-outlines-master-plan <p>Administrators at the University of Illinois hope to hire 500 new faculty members in the next five to seven years, while spending $70 million to renovate classrooms. &nbsp;<br>That's according to the school's three-year master plan that was released Wednesday. &nbsp;<br>&nbsp;The (Champaign) News-Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/13nitLI ) the plan was created following nearly two years of planning. &nbsp;<br>The school also wants to increase scholarships and revise general education requirements to encourage students to take more classes in different academic departments. &nbsp; Thu, 15 Aug 2013 18:38:00 +0000 Associated Press 7346 at http://wuis.org U of I Outlines Master Plan Republicans Propose Tuition Tax Breaks http://wuis.org/post/republicans-propose-tuition-tax-breaks <p style="font-size: 16px; margin-bottom: 24px; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); font-family: Georgia, 'Bitstream Charter', serif;">With college tuition on the rise, Illinois House Republicans say they want to give working class families a break, and an incentive to go to a school in state.</p><p style="font-size: 16px; margin-bottom: 24px; color: rgb(68, 68, 68); font-family: Georgia, 'Bitstream Charter', serif;">&nbsp;</p> Thu, 13 Jun 2013 22:30:18 +0000 Amanda Vinicky 4252 at http://wuis.org Republicans Propose Tuition Tax Breaks Universities Agree To Pay Pension Tab http://wuis.org/post/universities-agree-pay-pension-tab <p></p><p>Illinois universities and community colleges have signed on to a deal that would have them pick up the cost of their employees' retirement benefits.&nbsp; It's part of lawmakers' ongoing efforts to reduce how much the state is spending on pensions.&nbsp;</p><p></p><p></p><p>Illinois has cut its spending on universities for years ... and even more reductions are expected next year.</p><p>School administrators say it's forced them to hike tuition, and to leave positions unfilled.</p> Thu, 16 May 2013 22:47:22 +0000 Amanda Vinicky 2801 at http://wuis.org Universities Agree To Pay Pension Tab Researcher Says Government Workers Underpaid http://wuis.org/post/researcher-says-government-workers-underpaid <p>Are government workers underpaid?&nbsp; <strong>Bob Bruno</strong> says his research shows in many cases, they are.&nbsp; He authored a study that found when comparing comparable jobs in the public and private sector, those who work for government, including teachers, get the short shrift.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Bruno is a professor of Labor and Employment Relations at the School of Labor and Employment Relations at the University of Illinois.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>He told WUIS' Sean Crawford the purpose of the study and how he went about the comparisons:</p> Wed, 08 May 2013 16:37:00 +0000 Sean Crawford 2326 at http://wuis.org Researcher Says Government Workers Underpaid