Higher Education

Democratic candidate for governor JB Pritzker unveiled his higher education plan Wednesday during a stop at Illinois State University, pledging to spend millions more on financial aid for low-income students and those considering out-of-state schools.

lllinois has historically ranked second in the nation when it comes to high school graduates leaving the state to go to college. But there's good news for a certain set of students who opt to stay.

 

New data released by the state Board of Higher Education shows Illinois is tops in the nation for getting students who start out at community college through to a bachelor's degree.

Western Illinois University has received $9.5 million from the state of Illinois for capital improvement projects. But, that's just a drop in the bucket of what it would take to address the backlog of deferred maintenance.

Illinois’ public universities have finished tallying up their student bodies for the new school year, and once again it’s a mix of winners and losers.

Illinois has moved to the top of its class in a national college transfer report.

Data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center shows the state is number one for bachelor's degree completion among community college students.

After years of declining enrollment, the latest numbers from Eastern Illinois University show that trend is reversing.

Predictions of a notable shift in enrollment in the Southern Illinois University system have come true this fall.

The University of Illinois Urbana campus is hoping a new free tuition program will help boost in-state enrollment.   But, officials don’t know how much of a boost the program will provide.

Lawmakers are summoning University of Illinois officials to Springfield to discuss a new public-private innovation center near downtown Chicago.

SIU Edwardsville
SIUE

Faculty and staff at SIU Edwardsville say they no longer have confidence in the university's board of trustees - and are asking the Illinois General Assembly to put pressure on the board when it comes to distributing state funds.

Jennifer Fuller/WSIU

State lawmakers say hours of testimony Monday on the SIU Carbondale campus will help as the group shapes the future of higher education funding in Illinois.

Rich Egger/TSPR

Western Illinois University laid out its plans for restructuring and realigning its academic offerings during a much anticipated news conference earlier this month.

The announcement comes less than a month after two dozen faculty received layoff notices. At that time, Western also eliminated 62 vacant or soon to be vacant positions.

Southeast Missouri State University's Board of Regents approved a contract extension for President Carlos Vargas.

The new three-year rolling contract runs through June 30th, 2021. The package does not include a salary increase or additional compensation.

Illinois lawmakers have reached an agreement on a new budget hours before the May 31st deadline.

State Senator Heather Steans, a Chicago Democrat, says the package is similar to what Governor Bruce Rauner proposed. She says the final product is a result of compromise.  

The founder of a faith-based college in southern Illinois says a lack of cooperation from the U.S. Department of Education contributed to the school's permanent closure.

Morthland College officials announced the institution's closure last week, citing a lack of funding.

Higher Education and money
WSIU / WSIU

SIU President Randy Dunn says an increase in funding for higher education included in the proposed state budget is a welcome addition for colleges and universities.

Illinois is one step closer to having a budget for next year — the state Senate approved a spending plan late Wednesday night.

It follows years of bitter partisan fighting over state taxes and spending. But the mood around this year’s budget is remarkably different.

State Senator Chapin Rose had what he thought was a no-brainer bill. All he wanted to do was help public universities connect with promising high school juniors by sharing basic data like standardized test scores. But just hours before presenting his bill in committee, he ran into FERPA — the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

It’s a federal law; there’s no easy way around it.

Facing significant budget challenges, the Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents will consider another major academic reorganization proposal.

A central Illinois lawmaker is working with Attorney General Lisa Madigan to protect student loan borrowers from losing professional licenses as they work to pay off their debt.

Alabama colleges are luring more Illinois high school seniors away from in-state universities partly through financial perks.

The Chicago Tribune reports that more than 1,600 Illinois students enrolled at the University of Alabama last fall, up from about 150 students a decade ago.

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SEMO

Some Southeast Missouri State University students will be able to bring their dogs, cats and small caged animals to campus starting in the fall.        

The university in Cape Girardeau announced a one-year pilot program Friday.

U of I Graduate Workers Strike Hinges On Tuition Waivers

Mar 7, 2018

Hundreds of classes have been canceled and dozens more relocated as a strike by graduate employees at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign continues into a second week. On Tuesday night, graduate workers occupied the office of university president Tim Killeen. Strikers have a variety of demands, but one of the most contentious points focuses on the future of tuition waivers — and whether some graduate workers will have to pay tuition while employed in academic positions on campus.


Wednesday marked day three of the graduate workers strike at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Gus Wood, co-president of the Graduate Employee Organization, or GEO, says the strike is gaining momentum and numbers.

U of I Logo
University of Illinois

The union representing graduate employees at the University of Illinois’ Urbana campus is going on strike.

A panel of state senators today heard budget requests from agencies representing colleges and universities, and lawmakers took the opportunity to ask why neighboring states are able to lure so many Illinois students away.

 

The answer is pretty simple: Other Big 10 schools offer financial considerations that Illinois' flagship campus can't match.

SIU's System CEO says Governor Bruce Rauner's proposal to shift pension and health insurance costs to universities still needs some clarification.
 
President Randy Dunn says the Governor's call to shift employee pension and health insurance costs from the state to universities is not insignificant. But he says the financial blow will be easier to absorb with the replacement funds Rauner included in the spending plan for next year.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIU President Randy Dunn about the effects of the first year of the Trump Administration.

Southeast Missouri State University is eliminating some jobs.

University President Carlos Vargas Tuesday announced the need to eliminate 35 to 40 vacant and currently filled staff positions over the next five months due to a nine percent reduction in state appropriations for FY18.

Teachers and some staff at Western Illinois University will begin the new year without a new contract.  They're in mediation with the administration and are working under terms of the previous contract, which expired over the summer.

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