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Western Illinois University

A researcher believes tax breaks that states give to corporations prove to be detrimental in the long run.  "Here's the problem: somebody has to pay," said Timothy Collins, Assistant Director of the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University.

Western Illinois University is reducing certain employees' 12-month contracts to 10 or 11-months, some temporary employees won't be returning this fall, and a few other staff members have been let go. The changes went into effect Wednesday, July 1.

TSPR's Emily Boyer

Western Illinois University is preparing to cut $4 million out of its budget for the fiscal year that begins Wednesday, July 1, despite continued uncertainty in Springfield.

Budget Director Matt Bierman said the university plans save money by reducing operational costs, realigning a department, and through attrition.

Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

Western Illinois University's Center for Performing Arts might have to do without some amenities as the school aims to reduce the cost of the project.  The single construction bid that came in this spring was over budget. So the state ordered Western to scale back the building plans by about $6 million, which is about 10% of the total cost.  

TSPR'S Emily Boyer

Facility crews are dispatched to the Western Illinois University Union every time it rains.  "Any time that happens we just have extra labor. We go up there and we suck up the water and make sure it doesn't damage anything," said Scott Coker, Director of Facility Management.

WIU News3

Vandals used red spray paint to write racial slurs and a swastika on the side of a home in the 300 block of West Murray Street in Macomb and on the residents’ cars. Update: An arrest has been made.

A Welcoming & Inclusive Environment

Apr 22, 2015

On Thursday nights at 6:30, in the University Union’s Sandburg Lounge you’ll find full tables, laughter, students hugging, and Unity Executive Board members welcoming General Assembly members to our weekly meetings.

TSPR'S Emily Boyer

Western Illinois University plans to close a dormitory because of mounting deferred maintenance costs. The East Village was built in the mid 1960s to house families and graduate students.

The 36-unit complex is in need of about $1.7-million worth of repairs to fix leaking pipes and windows as well as upgrade bathrooms.

www.safetysign.com

All public colleges in Illinois are required to be smoke free by July 1 so Western Illinois University assembled a 20 person task force to update its smoking policy.  Smoking is currently prohibited inside buildings and within 50 feet of entrances at WIU.

WIU Promoting STEM Programs For Female Students

Apr 15, 2015
Frannie Smith TSPR

Some faculty members at Western Illinois University feel there's been a decline in female students studying STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).  So they're working to create an initiative with the College of Arts and Science to provide scholarships, mentoring opportunities, and travel grants to such students.

College Partnership To Benefit Honor Students

Mar 26, 2015
T.J. Carson

Students who graduate from Carl Sandburg College's honors program will now have an easier path to a four-year school. Honor students will be able to transfer directly from the two-year community college into Western Illinois University's Centennial Honors College.

Making Public Universities Private in Illinois

Mar 23, 2015
Rich Egger

Illinois State Senator Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) filed an amendment to a bill (SB 1565) that would ask Western Illinois and other public universities to plan to be privatized over the next six years.

In Praise of a Liberal Arts Education

Mar 19, 2015
Rich Egger

This is an open letter to State lawmakers Norine Hammond and John Sullivan:     

As an alumna and faculty member of Western Illinois University's College of Arts and Sciences, I ask you to consider my testament to the value of Western's liberal arts-based education. 

TSPR'S Emily Boyer

Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL) said he takes his responsibilities seriously, which is why he brought in a team to review his finances and make recommendations.

Schock has been in the spotlight lately because of reports questioning how his office spent taxpayer money.

College Presidents Fight Possible Funding Cuts

Mar 13, 2015
Mark and Allegra Jaroski-Biava
Flickr Creative Commons

Presidents of three public universities appeared before lawmakers to make their case on why their schools shouldn’t have to endure a 31% state funding cut, as Republican Governor Bruce Rauner has proposed.

Rich Egger

There are 145 fewer students studying at Western Illinois University this spring than there were last year. Enrollment fell from 10,821 in the spring of 2014 to 10,676 this spring. That’s a 1.3% drop.

Andy Borst, Director of Admissions, said students leave for a variety of reasons, but he does not believe it is because of dissatisfaction with Western. 

TSPR's Rich Egger

The university said more than two-dozen academic programs will be eliminated. There are a few pre-professional majors and graduate certificates on the list but the majority are minors. Another 17 programs were given a year's notice to show improved enrollment numbers and increased value or face elimination.

TSPR's Rich Egger

Western Illinois University is preparing to argue against Governor Bruce Rauner's  proposed cuts to the school’s budget. Rauner wants to slash state aid to Western by 31%, or $16.5 million from the school's $52.6 million state appropriation.  That would take Western back to funding levels not seen since 1985. 

Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects

Western Illinois University's Center for Performing Arts project is moving forward despite Governor Bruce Rauner's freeze on all non-essential state spending.

TSPR's Rich Egger

Funding for higher education fell slightly along with the drop in Illinois’ income tax rate at the beginning of the year.

TSPR's Emily Boyer

Part of Evelyn Sanguinetti’s job as Illinois’ Lieutenant Governor is to oversee the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council. The group works to create state policy to benefit rural residents.

In this role, the lieutenant governor can be a strong advocate for rural communities. It will be largely up to Sanguinetti to determine the priorities and goals for the council.

Tim Schroll/WIU

UPDATE (2/2/15, 5:25 p.m.): Western Illinois University has reinstated Nick Stewart as Editor-in-Chief for the Western Courier. The interim suspension was lifted late Monday afternoon.

TSPR's Emily Boyer

Western Illinois University’s School of Agriculture will see things from a new perspective thanks to some new technology.

Rich Egger

As you might guess, it costs money to upgrade technology on a college campus.

Rich Egger

The city is completing land acquisitions as part of the plan to improve West Adams Street from Lafayette to Johnson.

The Office of Public Safety at Western Illinois University won a body camera valued at about $900 at a police conference. Now the agency is deciding whether to outfit all its officers with a camera. 

Western Illinois University

The state will start seeking construction bids this month for a long-awaited project at Western Illinois University.

TSPR's Emily Boyer

Faculty and students of the School of Agriculture will be able to tend to their crops year around thanks to a new two-bay greenhouse.

New Super Chemical to Fight Super Weeds

Dec 18, 2014
Farmers first saw herbicide resistant Pigweeds, like the one pictured here, emerge in Georgia in the nineties.
(Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media)

Resistant pigweeds are a problem.

Pigweeds can grow up to seven feet tall and produce more than half a million seeds per plant, per season.

Rich Egger

Demonstrators marched through the Western Illinois University campus in Macomb to protest for rights they feel are being eroded.

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