Higher Education

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SIU

SIU President Randy Dunn says there are challenges ahead – but he has big plans for the system.

Chapin Rose, the Republican state senator from Mahoment, says he's filing a measure designed to launch major changes in higher education.

The WIU administration blames the uncertainty caused by the two year state budget impasse for this year's drop in enrollment.

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Eastern Illinois University data show that enrollment for the fall semester is down by about 5 percent but it's the school's lowest decline from fall-to-fall in six years.

The college year has started again, and for many students, that means anxiety over debt is here again, too.

The Institute for College Access and Success found the class of 2015 in Illinois graduated with an average debt of 26-thousand-dollars.

People
Kiera Ellis

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth says further investment in higher education could mean big things for innovation and growth in the future.

The new state budget will fund Illinois colleges and universities at the level of funding they received in 2015 … minus 10 percent. But there’s one area of higher education that got a boost.

Illinois has tapped nearly $700 million in existing funds to make the first payment to colleges and universities they've received in seven months.

Comptroller Susana Mendoza announced the payment Thursday.

A DeKalb County Board member is suing the Northern Illinois University Board of Trustees over President Doug Baker’s severance package.

Higher Education and money
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The state's budget impasse may soon affect more than just overall funding for higher education.


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.

Northern Illinois University President Doug Baker will step down on June 30, the end of the current academic year. 

He made the announcement at the beginning of the NIU Board of Trustees meeting, which had scheduled a closed session on its agenda to review “Presidential Employment.”  After a marathon closed session, Trustees emerged to announce their transition plan. Executive Vice President and Provost Lisa Freeman will serve as interim president, but will not pursue the position permanently. On July 1st, Freeman becomes NIU's first female president.

The Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs says the state is reducing fees and giving more investment choices to people saving money for college in the state's 529 college savings plans.

Northeastern Illinois University will lay off workers to cope with an Illinois budget impasse that has reduced state funding.

The university announced Tuesday it will eliminate about 180 full-time jobs in the coming weeks.

With the Illinois legislative session scheduled to end on Wednesday, lawmakers were busy trying to deal with some measures still needing action.

Eastern Illinois University is taking aggressive measures to recruit new high school students to its campus.

Higher education has been among the areas feeling the state budget impasse as funding has been cut.  It has forced some schools to reduce classes, lay off employees and, in some cases, close for several days. 

But a review of enrollment indicates small and mid-sized public universities are taking a double hit.   

Northern Illinois University officials say there will be 150 staff position reductions as the school tries to cut expenses.

Illinois state senators are debating whether to impose more regulations on student loan servicers.

The legislation would require the companies to get a state license to operate in Illinois.

Higher Education and money
WSIU / WSIU

Just days after Moody's warned of a potential credit downgrade for Illinois' public universities, Standard & Poor's took action to lower the credit of a couple - and placed three on a negative watch list.

Faculty members at the University of Illinois Springfield have voted to authorize a strike.

People
Brad Palmer, WSIU Radio

Governor Bruce Rauner brought his campaign tour to southern Illinois Wednesday.

Speaking to a group of supporters and workers at Aisin Manufacturing in Marion, the governor says Illinois government is broken and his turnaround agenda items are needed to fix it.

SIU
Jennifer Fuller, WSIU

A procedural move stymied plans to allow SIU Carbondale to borrow from SIU Edwardsville Thursday, but leaders say the idea isn’t dead.

House Democrats are working on a proposal to fund fiscally starving social services and higher education.

The more than 750 million dollar plan uses money sitting in unused special state funds, directing dollars towards state colleges and universities as well as MAP grants.

Last week, when Southern Illinois University revealed that its main campus in Carbondale needs to borrow money from its Edwardsville location, the news seemed shocking. Who knew SIU was in such dire straits? It wasn’t the kind of news any school would want to broadcast.

The University of Illinois is proposing a financial aid package designed to keep students at Illinois schools.

The U of I's "Invest in Illinoisans" plan would provide 170 million dollars a year in aid to undergrads and hopefully stem the tide of kids heading to other states.

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.

An Illinois House committee has cleared a proposal that would require public universities to admit first-time freshman applicants who finish with a GPA in the top 10 percent of their high school's graduating class.

The News-Gazette reports the House Higher Education Committee passed the bill Wednesday despite opposition from the University of Illinois and the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

A state representative from Chicago is trying to bring the spirit of Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign to Illinois. His idea? Free tuition at Illinois' public universities.

Democrat Will Guzzardi knows Illinois will not be providing free college tuition anytime soon.

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