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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois' public universities are warning of serious perils if the state's temporary income tax increase is allowed to expire as scheduled in January.
 
Southern Illinois University President Glenn Poshard says institutions of higher education are anticipating a 30 percent decrease in funding next year because of an expected $1.5 billion reduction in state revenues.
 
Poshard told a Senate appropriations committee Thursday that budget cuts would mean larger class sizes, having more classes taught by adjunct professors instead of tenured faculty and an increase in tuition.
 
Western Illinois University President Jack Thomas says the state's backlog of bills has already created budget headaches for his institution.
 
Both presidents say increasing the state's minimum wage as Gov. Pat Quinn wants could heighten budget problems, requiring millions more to pay their student workforces.
Published in Local News
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A proposal to ban smoking on public college campuses is advancing in the Illinois Legislature.
 
The Springfield State Journal-Register reports the measure passed out of a House committee Wednesday by a 9-3 vote.
 
The state Senate approved the measure last year. It would ban smoking on all properties belonging to state-supported colleges and universities starting July 1.
 
State Rep. Ann William is sponsoring the proposal. The Chicago Democrat says the ban was crafted to reduce students' exposure to secondhand smoke.
 
Some Illinois universities already have enacted their own smoking rules. Illinois State University and the University of Illinois both have bans in place.
 
The measure now heads to the full House for further debate.
Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri's four-year public universities would be rewarded for good performance under legislation passed by the state Senate.
 
Under the bill, the 13 universities would get funding increases tied to certain performance standards.
 
The colleges would work with the Department of Higher Education to develop five goals. Three of those goals must be tied to graduation and retention rates as well as job placement in a field appropriate for a graduating student's degree level.
 
The legislation would apply only in years the state can afford to increase higher education funding and would expire in 2016.
 
A 2012 state law requires the development of a funding formula for Missouri's public universities.
 
Senators voted 33-0 to send the measure to the House on Thursday.
Published in Local News
MARYVILLE, Mo. (AP) - Northwest Missouri State says it plans to close what is commonly known as its Home Economics department after the spring semester.

The university says the Department of Family & Consumer Sciences department is the victim of budget cuts. The department has been an academic division at the university in Maryville since 1908, although the name changed several times.

Courses teaching skills such as merchandising, child and family studies, nutrition and diet will be taught in other departments.

The Maryville Daily Forum reports (http://bit.ly/13IBK9e ) only three of the six full-time staff members and one part-time employee will remain after this year.

Child and family studies is being downgraded to a minor, while merchandising will no longer be a degree program.

A banquet celebrating the department will be held next Tuesday.
Published in Local News

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