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Western Illinois University

WIU

The WIU administration blames the uncertainty caused by the two year state budget impasse for this year's drop in enrollment.

WATCH-LISTEN: State Budget Forum - Macomb

Aug 30, 2017

NPR Illinois and Tri States Public Radio host the seventh Illinois Issues Forum on the state's financial health and the lasting impacts of the two-year-long state budget impasse.

The Solar Eclipse in the Tri States

Aug 21, 2017
Rich Egger

More than 90% of the sun was covered by the moon at the height of Monday's solar eclipse in the tri states.  Overcast skies generally obscured the eclipse, though occasional breaks in the clouds gave people glimpses of the phenomenon. 

The State of Western Illinois University

Aug 17, 2017
Rich Egger

The President of Western Illinois University said it's time to put apprehension behind and move forward with enthusiasm and optimism. Dr. Jack Thomas made the remark during Thursday morning's State of the University speech, held just a few days before the new school year begins.

TSPR's Emily Boyer

Western Illinois University has renewed the teaching contracts of more than 100 associate faculty members for the upcoming school year.

Western Illinois University’s received $6.8 million from the state this month. President Jack Thomas said all of the money went to the university's first priority, which is paying employees.

Rich Egger

The Macomb and Western Illinois University communities gathered to celebrate the life of Gil Belles.  Belles, 76, was killed in late May when his car was hit by an Amtrak train.

Courtesy WIU

The budget approved by Illinois lawmakers provides Western Illinois University with funding for last fiscal year and the current fiscal year. Now university leaders will decide how to proceed.

Rich Egger (file photo)

The Illinois House passed a spending plan along with a tax hike and revenue plan as politicians try to end the two year budget stalemate.  Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) is one of the Republicans who broke ranks with their party and joined Democrats in supporting the measures.

A few dozen faculty members from Western Illinois University gathered on the steps of Sherman Hall for a group photo on Friday, the eve of Illinois entering a third fiscal year without a state budget. The gathering was organized in an effort to show solidarity and support for the union's  Unit B faculty.

"A Beautiful Implosion" of Higgins Hall

Jul 1, 2017
Jonathan Ahl

It cost Western Illinois University $7.3 million to build Higgins Hall, a residence hall that opened in the fall of 1967.  The university said it would cost around $48 million today to renovate it into a "like-new" facility, so instead the building was imploded Saturday morning during an event that drew hundreds of people to the Macomb campus.

Rich Egger

Members of the Western Illinois University Board of Trustees said President Jack Thomas has done "an admirable job" of steering the university through difficult times brought on by the unprecedented state budget impasse. 

Jonathan Ahl

Many universities and music festivals attract young musicians to spend part of their summer playing in a big orchestra. But Western Illinois University’s School of Music is trying something different and going small.

Rich Egger

State spending on public higher education in Illinois has dropped precipitously during the past two years as the state has operated without a budget.  But the president of Western Illinois University said the school will not allow itself to be bogged down by the budget stalemate.

Rich Egger

Western Illinois University is taking a wait-and-see approach to renewing the contracts of some of its professors for the fall semester. The decision follows the Illinois Legislature adjourning the spring legislative session without passing a state budget. Illinois is wrapping up the second fiscal year without a comprehensive spending plan.

Emily Boyer

Gil Belles, age 76, professor emeritus of Western Illinois University's Recreation, Park, and Tourism Administration (RPTA) department, was killed when his car collided with an Amtrak train.

Rich Egger

Higher education has been among the areas feeling the pain from the state budget impasse in Illinois as funding has been cut.  It has forced some schools to reduce classes, lay off employees, and, in some cases, close for several days. 

College professors across Illinois will step away from their classrooms to rally in Springfield on Thursday, April 27. The event called Teach Out for Illinois Higher Education is in response to the state budget stalemate.

Tim Rains/National Park Service/Wikimedia Commons

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.

Rich Egger

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.

Rich Egger

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner's budget proposal this year recommends funding higher education at 85% of what the state provided in fiscal year 2015.  State Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) said that's not enough.

TSPR's Emily Boyer

Western Illinois University is an economic driver in the region by employing  hundreds of people and bringing in thousands of students to the campuses in Macomb and the Quad Cities. The University also strives to grow the local economy by lending a helping hand to entrepreneurs and small business owners through its Small Business Development Center.

Rich Egger

On a beautiful, sunny, late February Sunday, I worked with my parents to put up a basketball net for my son, Jack's, ninth birthday. I knew this was a gift Jack would use daily. And sure, enough, the morning after his birthday, he was out back, shooting baskets at 6:39 a.m.

Rich Egger

Western Illinois University Women's Basketball Coach J.D. Gravina is elated. Many coaches go a whole career without making it to the NCAA tournament. He's made it in just his sixth year at Western, which is his first Division I head coaching job.

Rich Egger

Western Illinois University is continuing to urge state lawmakers to approve a new state budget that adequately funds higher education.

Courtesy photo

Only around 200 institutions in the world can boast of being an All Steinway School. The School of Music at Western Illinois University intends to join that select group.

Emily Boyer/Tri States Public Radio

During a trip to Macomb, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) called out her home state and the federal government for not making college more affordable.

TSPR Emily Boyer

A federal appeals court has blocked President Trump's executive order banning immigrants from seven Muslim majority countries from entering the U.S. The administration is expected to issue a revised travel ban soon.  In the meantime, many colleges and universities are standing by international students.

TSPR

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.

The White House

Presidents' Day is celebrated in the U.S. to honor the people who've held the nation's highest public office.  Tri States Public Radio talked to a couple historians about the 35th president, Democrat John F. Kennedy, because this year marks the centennial of Kennedy's birth (May 29, 1917).

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