University of Illinois

Darrell Hoemann / Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting

University of Illinois Trustees have unanimously approved freezing tuition rates for the second straight year for in-state freshman. 

Tuition and fees will go up by less than 0.1 percent on the Urbana campus, and remain flat in Springfield and Chicago. 

Room and board rates will increase by $300 or less on all three campuses.

Trustees approved tuition rates even as they learned the school has covered $671 million in expenses because of the lack of a state budget.

Jeff Bossert / Illinois Public Media

Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says it’s too early to say who could come away with the GOP nomination for President.  

The Democrat and Senate Minority Whip says with the Iowa Caucuses two weeks away, he believes even most Republicans couldn’t yet answer that question.

Durbin says in his experience, voters need to wait until early March, after a few primaries and caucuses, to get a true sense of who’s leading. 

But the Senator admits surprise with Donald Trump’s high polling numbers.

"Money" By Flickr User Pictures of Money / (CC BY 2.0)

University of Illinois President Timothy says he agrees with some of the concerns about excessive spending at public universities raised by an aide to Governor Bruce Rauner.

Timothy Killeen was among those to respond last week to the memo from Deputy Chief of Staff Richard Goldberg.

Killeen says the university has taken steps to enhance the experience for the student -- including an administrative hiring freeze on the administration, and other measure to make sure the U of I is ‘fiscally prudent.’

Dial-A-Carol / Dial A Carol website

In a world where you can pick up your mobile device and hear just about any song, any time, a group of University of Illinois students is carrying on a tradition that’s definitely old-school. 

In 1960, a secretary at the U of I had a big idea, and the students living in Snyder Hall took her up on it. Anyone, anywhere, anytime, could pick up a phone and students would deliver some holiday cheer. Dial-A-Carol was born.

Today, Dial-A-Carol is still going strong. In fact, it’s bigger than ever. They’ve already blown past last year’s record-breaking 6,800-plus calls.

A recent report from the University of Illinois’ Institute of Government and Public Affairs suggests changes to the state’s budgeting process that could help prevent future disasters.

Richard Dye, one of the authors of the report, says the prolonged budget crisis has overshadowed the underling practices that created it. 

“Once we get into a crisis as deep as we are, then we’re pedaling as fast as we can and we don’t think about little process-based things that may make it a little nicer easier or clearer three and five years down the road,” Dye said.

U Of I Band Performs In Macy’s Parade

Nov 26, 2015
News At Illinois / YouTube

An Illinois marching band will make an appearance in this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.

Almost 400 students in the University of Illinois marching band will perform in today’s parade.

The U of I band is one of 12 marching in the parade this year. The Marching Illini was selected as the last marching band to perform.

Mariah Carey is scheduled to perform immediately after the band.

Jeff Bossert / WUIS

The man credited as the "father of accessibility" at the University of Illinois has died. 

Tim Nugent passed away Wednesday morning at the age of 92. The news was confirmed by the U of I’s College of Applied Health Sciences and Savoy United Methodist Church.

In the late 1940’s, Nugent advocated on the Urbana campus for wheelchair-accessible buses, curb cuts, and other amenities that those with disabilities now take for granted. Many of his ideas have been adopted nationally.

U Of I Athletic Director Fired, Gets $2.5M Buyout

Nov 10, 2015
Jeff Bossert / WILL

The University of Illinois fired athletic director Mike Thomas yesterday.

The school also released the final report from U of I’s investigation into the mistreatment of football and women’s basketball players.

Urbana campus Interim Chancellor Barbara Wilson says the report found no wrongdoing by Thomas. But she says “a change in leadership was needed in order to move forward.''

Senior Associate Athletic Director Paul Kowalczyk will take Thomas’s place as interim athletic director.

Kowalczyk says he approached the surprise promotion with sadness.

State of Illinois

A state ethics panel says three University of Illinois faculty violated Illinois ethics laws when they used their campus email addresses to discuss political activity with a congressional candidate in 2013.

The Illinois Executive Ethics Commission ruled that three tenured professors should not have used their email addresses at work for political activity --- in this case, discussing campaign work for unsuccessful congressional candidate George Gollin, another faculty member previously cited for the same violation.

University of Illinois /

The University of Illinois will perform background checks on every new hire, beginning in October.

The school's board of trustees voted to approve the policy yesterday at its meeting in Urbana.

Board member Pat Fitzgerald, a former federal prosecutor, says the background checks aren't meant to preclude applicants with a criminal record.