Education

Education and learning

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

We’re learning a lot more about the workhorse of the world’s flower beds and planter boxes: the Petunia Genome Project is complete, with the help of researchers from Northern Illinois University.

NIU professors Tom Sims and Rick Johns were among the primary researchers in the four year project. Johns says mapping the petunia’s DNA involved 50 researchers from 10 countries.

Science used to be one scientist working in a lab with a few students but now international collaboration is the rule, not the exception.

U Of I Selects New Chancellor For Urbana Campus

Jul 20, 2016
University of Illinois

University of Illinois President Timothy Killeen has announced that Robert J. Jones will be the new chancellor for the University's Urbana campus and vice-president of the three-campus U of I system.

The 65-year-old Jones is president of the Albany campus of the State University of New York. Pending approval by trustees on Thursday, he will take office as chancellor in Urbana on October 3.

IBHE

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.

Young Girls Choose Extra 'School Day' For STEM And Art

Jun 27, 2016
Nicole Shenberger/WNIJ

On the first day of summer, instead of playing outside, a group of eleven 7-to-10-year-old girls got to go back to class for a morning.

MakerGirl, a group dedicated to getting young girls interested in Science and Technology, hosted an event at the Pearl City Elementary School in Stephenson County. The girls got to design their own key chain on a computer and watch it come to life on a 3D Printer. Tristen Carey, one of the participants, describes her favorite part of the event, “how science can be made into artwork”

Western Illinois University

  The President of Western Illinois University will keep his job for at least one more year.  

The Board of Trustees unanimously agreed to extend Dr. Jack Thomas' contract through the 2016-2017 fiscal year. 

Reading from a prepared statement during the board's quarterly meeting, Chairman Roger Clawson said trustees enthusiastically commend Thomas for the leadership he showed in difficult times.  Trustees also say they support his strategic vision for WIU.  

ufaniu.org

It's official. Northern Illinois University faculty members have formed a union. They were certified by the Illinois Labor Relations Board Monday.

NIU faculty members filed an intent to unionize in April: now they can get to work as the UFA -- the United Faculty Alliance of Northern Illinois University. It will represent more than 600 tenured and tenure track faculty members.

What Consolidation Means for Sub/Urban School Districts

Jun 13, 2016

Illinois has more than 8500 individual government entities – including a large number of community school districts, ranging from stand-alone elementary schools that feed into stand-alone high schools, or a completely centralized urban network of institutions.  This week, Chase Cavanaugh explores how the processes that play out in rural communities doesn’t necessarily apply in the cities.

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

The Northern Illinois University Anthropology and Theatre & Dance departments will be without a designated academic building for at least one more year.

The renovated NIU Stevens Building was supposed to be finished by this fall, but the state budget impasse delayed the project.

NIU spokesman Joe King says that, if the school gets funding by next month, the “best case scenario” would be that the construction will be done by fall 2017. But he says the longer it takes to pass a state budget, the longer those students don’t get those “first-rate facilities.”

The Streator Elementary District board is considering applying with the state for a waiver to pursue the shortened week.

Officials say it could result in more than $300,000 in savings.

The district faces declining enrollment and financial difficulties.

In fact, the district faces state intervention if it doesn’t resolve its budget issues.

Flickr user Brent Hoard "ECU School of Education Class Room" (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois Secretary of Education Beth Purvis is pushing Governor Bruce Rauner’s plan to make sure schools open on time this fall.

The Republican has called for sending an extra 100 million dollars to schools — the one area of the budget he has not held up in order to pass his legislative agenda.

In a conference call with reporters today, Purvis deflected questions about Rauner’s remarks this week, in which he described some Chicago Public Schools as “crumbling prisons.”

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