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Western Illinois University

Heather McIlvaine-Newsad

A couple of weeks ago, Gloria Delany-Barmann and I returned from a short trip to Puerto Rico.  We went to check up on our colleagues we've been working with the last couple of years and to take a few supplies and funds so generously donated by members of our community to those in need.  And yes, just in case you were wondering, it is possible to take a chainsaw as part of your checked baggage. 

Preserve Minima to Discourage Salary Inequities

Oct 26, 2017
Rich Egger

A recent report on Tri States Public Radio cited the current impasse in salary negotiations between the University Professionals of Illinois (UPI) and the Western Illinois University (WIU) administration.  According to the report, there are several issues that have stood in the way of an agreement.  Among other issues, the administration asks to reduce compensation, increase furlough days, and eliminate the current contract use of "minima."

TSPR Emily Boyer

Illinois' public colleges and universities have weathered the two year budget impasse and are once again expecting routine state aid payments. As the schools look ahead, they're working to secure their financial footing and publicly rebound from the ordeal.

Rich Egger

Western Illinois University's strategic plan, Higher Values in Higher Education, states, "Western Illinois University's highest priority is to increase faculty and staff salaries to meet and exceed the mean of peer institutions."  Faculty members reminded the school's Board of Trustees of that goal during the Board's most recent meeting.

TSPR's Emily Boyer

UPDATE: The Macomb Police Department has made two arrests following a report of gun shots fired over the weekend near the campus of Western Illinois University.

Jonathan Ahl

Rock Hanson's name adorns the football field at Western Illinois University.  Now a statue of the Marine and coach looks out over the stadium.

TSPR

The Western Illinois University administration and the union representing teachers and staff are headed to mediation after almost a year of contract negotiations.  The university's contract with the University Professionals of Illinois (UPI) expired over the summer so both sides continue to operate under the old agreement.

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.

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