WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Western Illinois University

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).

Rich Egger

The street that goes through the heart of the Western Illinois University is in poor condition right now. All the traffic -- especially from buses and trucks - has been tough on the asphalt road so the city plans to remake Western Avenue during the summer months.

courtesy Heather McIlvaine-Newsad

One of the things I love about my job is the daily opportunity to interact with students.  In sitting and listening to them I am constantly amazed about how they make sense of their world.  Anthropologists call this method ethnography.  And while it is somewhat out of vogue and deemed by many to be something that anyone can do, there is much to be learned from the art of really listening and observing. 

The Arab student population has been growing at Western Illinois University in recent years even though Macomb can feel like a completely different world for those coming to WIU from the Middle East.

Rich Egger

The state of Illinois has gone 18 months without a budget.  And the stop gap spending plan is about to expire with no new deal in sight.

Western Illinois University

Over the course of 4 days in November, 144 of the best flutists in the world came to Chicago to audition for the second flute position with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. John McMurtery auditioned and was chosen to be one of five finalists.

Rich Egger

The Illinois Board of Higher Education agreed to provide additional financial support to three public universities.  The $20 million comes from the state's stop-gap funding measure.

Rich Egger

Time is winding down on Illinois' stop-gap spending measure, which expires in early January. But many state lawmakers are in campaign mode so nothing is being done to complete a full budget for Illinois.

Larry Dean, WIU Visual Production Center

When the night has come, And the land is dark, And the moon is the only light we'll see, No I won't be afraid, Oh I won't be afraid, Just as long as you stand, stand by me – Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me.”

A group of Western Illinois University alumni – many of them African-American – stood by one another and helped one another get through college more than five decades ago, a time when the campus was just beginning to diversify.

Rich Egger

A group of Western Illinois University students will have the city's ear as members of the Mayor's Roundtable of Student Leaders. 

The 93rd Illinois House District includes one public university and two community colleges.  Incumbent Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) believes she's served higher education well and she's running for a fourth term. Her Democratic opponent John Curtis believes the state should be doing a better job of supporting higher education and thinks he can help reverse course on the trend of declining state aid.

Rich Egger

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign surged in part because of his tuition-free college platform. Now one of Sanders' backers --- State Representative Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago) -- is bringing that plan to Illinois.

TSPR

Western Illinois University's fall student enrollment is down 6.5% compared to last year. Western welcomed more than 10,373 students to campus this fall. That’s 721 students fewer than last year.

Rich Egger

Western Illinois University President Jack Thomas said the state's stop-gap spending measure helped the university for the fall semester, but he cautioned it's not designed to get any of the state's public universities through the entire fiscal year. 

Tri States Public Radio

Illinois' ongoing budget impasse and recent funding cuts to Western Illinois University haven't hurt the enthusiasm of some new students as they begin their college education.

Three men have been arrested and charged with the theft of four letters from Western Illinois University’s grand entryway sign at the northeast corner of campus. The “I,L, and L” from Illinois and the “T” from University were removed from the sign.

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