WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Western Illinois University

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.

TSPR's Emily Boyer

Western Illinois University is dealing with a high profile case of vandalism.  Five letters were stolen from Western’s grand entryway sign at the intersection of U.S. 67 and University Dr.

TSPR's Emily Boyer

As state financial support continues to decline for Illinois' public colleges and universities, Western Illinois University wants to bulk up another revenue stream.  But Illinois' budget uncertainty is making it difficult. 

Rich Egger

John Miller, President of the University Professionals of Illinois, Local 4100, said the six month spending plan passed by lawmakers and signed by the governor was poorly done and is not even a true budget. And he said it amounts to another cut for higher education.

TSPR

Western Illinois University sent lay off notices to more than 100 employees in April as part of a cost cutting measure to cope with a drastic decrease in state aid.  More than half of them will be asked to come back to work for the fall semester.          

TSPR

Some employees at Western Illinois University are raising money that could help their co-workers who were laid off or furloughed afford higher education.

Rich Egger

Western Illinois University will receive $31.4 million from the state's stop-gap funding measure, plus about $5.1 million to reimburse the university for the Monetary Award Program (MAP) funding it loaned to students for the spring semester.  But that still falls far short of what the university might normally expect from the state.

TSPR

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.

Downtown Macomb Transformed into a Public Art Gallery

Jun 20, 2016
Breanna Descourouez

Macomb has been known for its historic downtown square for years. Some new changes have been added to the scenery. 10 sculptures have been installed around downtown Macomb to give the town an updated look. Some of the sculptures even have a bit of a futuristic look to them.

Downtown Macomb Transformed into a Public Art Gallery

Jun 20, 2016
Breanna Descourouez

Macomb has been known for its historic downtown square for years. Some new changes have been added to the scenery. 10 sculptures have been installed around downtown Macomb to give the town an updated look. Some of the sculptures even have a bit of a futuristic look to them.

Downtown Macomb Transformed into a Public Art Gallery

Jun 20, 2016
Breanna Descourouez

Macomb has been known for its historic downtown square for years. Some new changes have been added to the scenery. 10 sculptures have been installed around downtown Macomb to give the town an updated look. Some of the sculptures even have a bit of a futuristic look to them.

Downtown Macomb Transformed into a Public Art Gallery

Jun 20, 2016
Breanna Descourouez

Macomb has been known for its historic downtown square for years. Some new changes have been added to the scenery. 10 sculptures have been installed around downtown Macomb to give the town an updated look. Some of the sculptures even have a bit of a futuristic look to them.

Rich Egger

The Western Illinois University Board of Trustees endorsed the efforts of school President Jack Thomas by unanimously agreeing to extend his contract. Dr. Thomas will remain president at least through the 2016-17 fiscal year, which begins July 1.  

TSPR

Just a few weeks remain in the fiscal year and Western Illinois University is preparing to wrap up the books without much financial support from the state.

The university received only about 30% of its regular state appropriations. When that round of funding was announced in April, there was hope more money would soon follow.  But, Illinois lawmakers wrapped up the spring legislative session without passing a state spending plan for this year or next.

TSPR

Western Illinois University’s administration wants to eliminate four academic majors due to declining student enrollment. Those majors are African American Studies, Philosophy, Religious Studies and Women’s Studies.

Rich Egger

Even though the school year is over at Western Illinois University, the Macomb community is still rallying for higher education funding.  About 50 people -- including Western faculty, staff and a few students -- gathered alongside members of the community for a demonstration that started in Chandler Park.

Rich Egger

Jerry Tyson has been cutting hair since 1955. And his single-chair barbershop – aptly named The Barbershop – has been providing  haircuts and shaves near downtown Macomb since the early 1980s.

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