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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - Astronaut and University of Illinois graduate Michael Hopkins will deliver the commencement address at his alma mater's spring graduation next month.
Hopkins recently returned from a 166-day stay aboard the International Space Station. He says in a statement released by the university that he'll be every bit as nervous delivering his speech as he was for his first walk in space.
 
Hopkins graduated from Illinois in 1991 with a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering. He was also a member of the school's football team.
The Richland, Mo., native was accepted into NASA's astronaut training program in 2011 after trying without success for almost 12 years.
 
The spring commencement ceremony will be May 17 in Memorial Stadium in Champaign.
   
 
Published in Local News

A report being released today says Illinois' plan to save 160-billion dollars ultimately won't make much of a dent in the state's growing deficits.  The University of Illinois' Institute for Government and Public Affairs study says changes to the state's major public pension systems will eliminate their unfunded liability over the next 25 years, but the state's deficit will increase to $13 billion during that time.  Institute researchers projected a $14 billion deficit - a $1 billion difference - if the state had not implemented pension reform.  Institute Director Chris Mooney says the study was released as campaigns for the 2014 general election begin to heat up in order to make sure the state's fiscal crisis is addressed.

Published in Local News
Tuesday, 21 January 2014 02:22

Pension reform won't do much to curb IL debt

   A report being released Tuesday says Illinois' plan to save $160 billion ultimately won't make much of a dent in the state's growing deficits.  

   The University of Illinois' Institute for Government and Public Affairs study says changes to the state's major public pension systems will eliminate their unfunded liability over the next 25 years, but the state's deficit will increase to $13 billion during that time.  Institute researchers projected a $14 billion deficit - a $1 billion difference - if the state had not implemented pension reform.  

   Institute Director Chris Mooney says the study was released as campaigns for the 2014 general election begin to heat up in order to make sure the state's fiscal crisis is talked about.

Published in Local News
URBANA, Ill. (AP) - A University of Illinois graduate who is an astronaut on the International Space Station is going to take a walk in space.
 
The Champaign News-Gazette reports that Mike Hopkins will go with another American astronaut on what NASA calls an urgent spacewalk to fix a broken cooling line. The first walk will take about six hours and NASA has scheduled another one for Monday and a third to take place next week, possibly on Christmas Day.
 
Hopkins is a 1991 engineering graduate who was also a co-captain of the Illini football team. He has been on the space station for about seven months in what is his first space flight.
 
Published in Local News
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - The University of Illinois is preparing to go smoke-free.
The (Champaign) News-Gazette reports the state's flagship campus in Champaign-Urbana will ban smoking starting January 1. That's not sitting well with some tailgaters who say they want to light up.
Chris Roegge puffed on a cigar during the Illini's last home game and says he thinks the new ban is "kind of silly" and questioned how the school will enforce the new policy.
Champaign resident Dan Tappendorf said "political correctness has gone too far."
The campus already bans smoking inside buildings and within 25 feet of a building entrance.
A school spokeswoman says the smoking ban had been set to begin in November, but administrators decided to delay the change because "we didn't want to hit people right before finals."
 
Published in Local News

 

The Institute of International Education says the University of Illinois at Champaign is the second-most popular destination for international students, behind only the University of Southern California.

Hundreds of thousands of Chinese students have helped push the number of foreign students studying in America to all-time highs. Similarly, more U.S. students than ever are studying abroad.

The findings come in a report being released Monday that was conducted by the nonprofit group working with the State Department.  Purdue University in Indiana was ranked third.

 
Published in Local News

   URBANA, Ill. (AP) - The growing number of professors at the University of Illinois who don't have tenure want somebody besides their students to listen to them.

   The Champaign News-Gazette reports adjunct faculty, instructors, lecturers and others who don't have tenure are hoping the school will take steps that would give them more job stability. Some are even assessing the need for a faculty union in Urbana.

   Tenured faculty say their non-tenured colleagues deserve a stronger voice in what happens on campus.

   Administrators in the school's provost office have been reviewing issues that are specific to non-tenured instructors. A spokeswoman says the goal is to have some policies in place sometime during this academic year.

 
Published in Local News

U.S. News and World Reports has published its annual ranking of the best colleges and universities in the country. Princeton is number one among universities and Williams ranks tops among colleges. The publication followed a new formula this year that put more emphasis on student graduation rates, a school's reputation among its peers, and faculty resources. Locally, Washington University was selected to the number-14 spot, the University of Illinois at number-41, Missouri at 97 and just out of the top-100 is Saint Louis University ranked at 101.

Published in Local News
Wednesday, 04 September 2013 10:19

Anheuser-Busch InBev is the toast of Champaign

In Champaign, this Bud lab's for you! The world's largest brewer has announced it is headed to school.  Anheuser-Busch InBev is opening a data analytics center called "Bud Lab" at the University of Illinois Research Park in Champaign. The company says the lab will study "assortment optimization" along with social media and market trends and other "large-scale data initiatives."  So far, the facility has several interns, most of whom have backgrounds in statistics and industrial engineering. Officials say that future student workers will most likely be those studying math, business and computer science.

Published in Local News

   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - An expert in term limits says a Republican governor candidate's proposal to overhaul the Illinois Legislature is better structured than past failed bids.

   University of Illinois Professor Chris Mooney says Bruce Rauner's petition drive to limit lawmakers to eight years in office is savvy in its three-pronged approach. The Winnetka venture capitalist's proposal would not only limit the length of terms but also cut the size of the Senate and make it harder to override a governor's veto.

   Those elements could help the proposal overcome a state Supreme Court ruling that struck down a 1994 initiative because it didn't make "structural and procedural" changes to the Legislature.

   But the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform says it is concerned that Rauner's petition drive could unfairly boost his separate governor's campaign.

 
Published in Local News
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