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higher education

The University of Illinois Springfield is the latest state school to see an enrollment decline, part a recent    trend for the campus.  

SIU employees will get a pay raise, and the university's Board of Trustees unanimously approved a formal budget during Thursday's meeting in Edwardsville.

As of Thursday, Northern Illinois University is one step closer to having a permanent president.

Northern Illinois University’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved Dr. Lisa Freeman as their candidate for university president. She's been serving in an "acting" capacity since the resignation of Doug Baker in 2017. Trustees praised Dr. Freeman for her past year of leadership in a time of declining enrollment and budgetary realignment.  Former state representative and current board trustee Bob Pritchard says her leadership will be invaluable.

Winners and Losers As Illinois Universities Report Fall Enrollment

Sep 13, 2018

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 government wants to keep kids from leaving the state for college. Its latest effort is a website and app that allows students and their parents to compare in-state schools.

Fall enrollment at SIU-Carbondale is down nearly 12-percent, but school officials say they are seeing some positive signs for the future.

Ten-day numbers released Tuesday show enrollment stands at 12,817 students.

One of Springfield’s top Republican negotiators on higher education said freeing up more money for financial aid might look easy compared to the coming debate over a new funding formula for state universities.

The Higher Education Working Group started meeting last fall to identify ways to reform higher education in Illinois.  And the group continues to meet even after lawmakers adjourned their 2018 legislative session.

SIU President Randy Dunn avoided suspension Thursday, as trustees were split four-to-four on whether to place him on administrative leave.

Rich Egger

Student enrollment dropped 9.1% this spring at Western Illinois University compared to spring of last year.

Al Bowman, a former president of Illinois State University, has been tapped to lead the Illinois Board of Higher Education. His appointment comes as higher education institutions have seen their budgets slashed and enrollment decline, so it’s hard to know whether to congratulate him.

“You know, I’ve been getting that from people,” Bowman laughs.

He is going into his new job eyes wide open. Illinois ranked number two in the nation for net loss of college students.

Rich Egger

A University of Illinois researcher said the state's two-year budget crisis has hurt the state's public universities and community colleges.

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.

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.

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.

Northern Illinois University President Resigns

Jun 15, 2017
Jenna Dooley

Northern Illinois University President Doug Baker will step down on June 30, the end of the current fiscal year. He made the announcement at the beginning of the NIU Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, which had scheduled a closed session on its agenda to review "Presidential Employment."

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. 

Professors at University of Illinois Springfield Go on Strike

May 3, 2017
NPR Illinois WUIS

Nearly 170 tenure and tenure-track professors at the University of Illinois Springfield went on strike Tuesday.

The school and the UIS United Faculty union have been  trying to work out a contract for 20 months. While salaries have been part of the discussion, the sticking points include issues of promotion and tenure. 

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.

siu.edu

The Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees last week pushed off a major financial decision.

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.

Illinois' budget impasse has prompted another "doomsday scenario" at Southern Illinois University – which could be voted on as early as next week.

Emily Boyer/Tri States Public Radio

During a trip to Macomb, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) called out her home state and the federal government for not making college more affordable.

TSPR

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.

Kristofor Husted/Harvest Public Media

Liz Graznak runs an organic farm in Jamestown, Missouri, which she calls Happy Hollow Farm. She sells her vegetables to local restaurants, in CSA boxes, and at the farmer’s market.  But eight years ago, after falling in love with the idea of growing her own local produce, the farm she runs today looked like a near-impossible dream.

Low-income university students had until early March this year to fill out a form that allowed them to take advantage of Illinois' primary financial aid program.

Incoming and continuing college students can't wait that long if they hope to receive a "MAP grant" for the next school year.

That form, known as the FAFSA (short for the Free Application For Federal Student Aid) came out early this year, at the start of October, Which means the deadline has moved up for everyone.

There's another reason to get the forms in quickly.

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.

During the recent state budget impasse, Illinois colleges and universities have been forced to scrape by without state funding, except for stop gap money designed to keep them open through the fall semester. But that may not satisfy accreditation agencies. James Applegate, director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education, says the Higher Learning Commission may just home in on the fact that Illinois schools are missing what schools in other states have: a solid budget.

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.

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