WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Western Illinois University

Rich Egger

Almost everything the Western Illinois University Board of Trustees discussed during a closed door meeting on June 28, 2018 must be made public, according to the Illinois Attorney General's office, which found [.pdf] the Board violated the state's Open Meetings Act (OMA).

Rich Egger

More members of the public are asking the decision-makers at Western Illinois University to restore funding to its public radio station. Half-a-dozen people used the public comment period during the September 28 Board of Trustees meeting to address the administration's plan to end appropriated funding for Tri States Public Radio on March 1, 2019.

Rich Egger

Tri States Public Radio filed a Freedom of Information Act request with Western Illinois University, hoping to gain more insight about how the administration came to the decision to zero-out appropriated funding for TSPR beginning March 1, 2019.

Panoramic photo by Rich Egger

Western Illinois University began its 25th Annual Founders' Day celebration Monday afternoon with Lana Myers ringing a bell from the front steps of Sherman Hall.

Emily Boyer

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.

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.

TSPR

Student enrollment at Western Illinois University this fall is down 10% from last year with a total student enrollment of 8,502 for both the Macomb and Quad Cities campuses.

Rich Egger

The Western Illinois University Board of Trustees said in June it was working to finalize a new contract with WIU President Jack Thomas. The two sides now have agreed to continue operating under the terms reached when Dr. Thomas was named president seven years ago.

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.

TSPR

Western Illinois University is still trying to secure its financial footing due to the two-year state budget impasse and declining student enrollment. President Jack Thomas has said repeatedly that everything is on the table when it comes to making cost saving measures. But it turns out there is one exception:  the furlough program.

Rich Egger

The Western Illinois University administration and Board of Trustees caught an earful Friday morning about the decision to zero out funding for Tri States Public Radio.  But the comments did not persuade them to change course.

The same day that Western Illinois University President Jack Thomas and the Board of Trustees announced that Tri States Public Radio will "become a self-funded department within the University structure and will be responsible for generating its revenue needs, including personnel expenditures, effective March 1, 2019," the lead story on the WIU website lauded the accomplishments of its nationally award winning Broadcasting and Journalism students.   What??!!??   

TSPR's Emily Boyer

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner brought his re-election campaign to the McDonough County Republican headquarters, where he said he wants to make more state  funding available for higher education.

After his State of the University speech, Western Illinois University President Jack Thomas told reporters, "We have made cuts and we will have to continue to make those cuts and we will do the necessary things that we have to do."

Another Year of Change Ahead for WIU

Aug 16, 2018
TSPR Emily Boyer

Western Illinois University’s president used his State of the University address during Thursday's University Assembly to say this will be a year of change at the institution.

TSPR Emily Boyer

The newest building at Western Illinois University isn't located on the main campus in Macomb but rather at the school's golf course.

Rich Egger

The new school year begins August 20 at Western Illinois University -- less than two weeks from now.  But there is still no contract in place for President Jack Thomas (see editor's note below for update).

Rich Egger

Western Illinois University announced in June plans to lay off two dozen faculty members and eliminate another 62 positions that are either vacant or soon to become vacant.  Tri States Public Radio previously reported a breakdown of the faculty layoffs. But, we're just now learning more about the 62 positions slated for elimination.  The data comes from Western's response to a Freedom of Information Act request.

TSPR's Rich Egger

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

Rich Egger

Western Illinois University has seen a sharp drop in student enrollment in recent years, which means less money coming in through tuition and fees.  That, combined with decreases in state financial support – especially during the two-year state budget impasse – hurt the university's finances, leading to layoffs, furloughs, and an early retirement program.

Rich Egger

Leaders at Western Illinois University said they will unveil details about the school's realignment plans on July 16.  They said everything is being evaluated so it's too soon to discuss what might be included in the plans.

TSPR

A few details are emerging about the layoffs at Western Illinois University, which were authorized by the Board of Trustees during a special meeting late last week. A total of two dozen faculty members and two other employees in academic affairs are losing their jobs.

Rich Egger

Two dozen faculty members at Western Illinois University will lose their jobs as the university contends with declines in student enrollment and state financial support.  During a special meeting of Western's Board of Trustees on Thursday, Chair Cathy Early said the university is repositioning itself while remaining fiscally responsible.

Courtesy WIU

Western Illinois University continues to bend the ears of state leaders regarding a major construction project planned for the Macomb campus: the Center for Performing Arts.

The state of Illinois has a budget in place for next fiscal year, which will help public colleges and universities with their planning.  But the president of Western Illinois University said the state appropriation of $47.2 million for WIU falls short of what his school needs.

Rich Egger

Western Illinois University President Jack Thomas is completing his seventh year at the helm, yet he has never signed a contract with the school.  Instead the Board of Trustees has always signed a Letter of Employment with him. (see editor's note below for update)

Jonathan Ahl

The Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps trained at Western Illinois University for three weeks this spring. They are leaving for their summer tour with positive thoughts about Macomb, a community that wants them back next year.  

TSPR Emily Boyer

Western Illinois University will receive $47.2 million under the state's budget for Fiscal Year '19, which begins July 1, 2018.  That reflects a 2% funding increase for public higher education across the state.  WIU President Jack Thomas told Tri States Public Radio that the slight funding increase is helpful following several years of financial uncertainty including the two year state budget impasse. 

Tri States Public Radio

Faculty and staff at Western Illinois University have voted to ratify a new employment contract. Western's Board of Trustees is scheduled to consider the agreement during a special meeting Friday.

Western Illinois University's inaugural Business Leadership Symposium, hosted by the College of Business and Technology, featured an alumnus who has earned a reputation for fixing businesses. Bob Nardelli's new firm is XLR-8, LLC, Investment & Advisory Co, which he said follows three basic fundamentals when fixing businesses:

Pages