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New alumni center on campus opens doors with activities

URBANA – Four chairs in a foyer – that was the extent of the reception area in the old University of Illinois Alumni Association offices.

Now visitors can head to an alumni lounge to sip cocktails and watch a Fighting Illini game on a flat-screen television. Or have a seat on a couch beside a fireplace in the library and flip through a yearbook.


Students who found temporary home at UI back in New Orleans

Just an hour from New Orleans, Kevin Causley had to stop.

It was mid-January, and Causley was headed back to the city he had fled last fall in a torrent of floods, gunfire and fear.


The fight of her life

Last spring was a time of such promise for Erica Van Zuidam, a beautiful, athletic young woman finishing her first year of college.

But in a few short hours, she went from being a normal college student, hanging out at the pool with her friends, to fighting for her life. Bacterial meningitis, sometimes called the dorm disease, nearly killed her. It took her hands and feet.

It formed an even tighter bond between her already close-knit family, who found something to laugh at through some of the worst times of their lives.

Erica's faith in God, her positive attitude and her determination to be independent again have led her from her hospital bed through therapy to preparing to return to the University of Illinois this fall.


Bill in U.S. House challenges NCAA rule

WASHINGTON – A House bill introduced Thursday would allow the University of Illinois to sue the NCAA and seek damages for lost revenue if barred from hosting a championship game.

The legislation proposes to limit the NCAA's ability to apply sanctions on colleges or universities because of team name, symbol, emblem or mascot, according to a news release issued by one of the bill's sponsors, U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson, R-Urbana.


Engineering, education deans named

URBANA – The University of Illinois has picked two scholars to head its engineering and education schools.

Ilesanmi Adesida, who has been interim dean of the UI College of Engineering, was named dean of that college. Mary Kalantzis, a professor of education and former dean at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, was named dean of the UI College of Education.


Tree stumps used to look at parasite risks

How ecological changes, like deforestation or climate change, affect the spread of parasites and diseases is a growing question with recent worldwide outbreaks of maladies such as West Nile virus and bird flu.

Now, University of Illinois researchers are showing that something as simple as a count of tree stumps in a logged region can predict the spread of parasites in the monkey population there and, perhaps, to the human residents.


UI would get funding boost

SPRINGFIELD – The House is expected to vote today on a $48.6 billion state operating budget that will give the University of Illinois its first increase in state support in five years, expand Amtrak service through Champaign-Urbana, hire more corrections officers, increase funding for education and establish a new grant program to help middle-income students pay for college.

"This is a budget that reflects the state of Illinois," said state Sen. Donne Trotter, chief budget negotiator for the Senate Democrats.


UI trustees consider remaining options on Chief

Has Chief Illiniwek danced his last dance at the University of Illinois?

The NCAA on Friday announced the UI cannot host championship events unless it gets rid of its American Indian symbol. But the university has yet to decide the exact fate of the 80-year-old symbol.


NCAA upholds Chief restrictions

The University of Illinois will not be allowed to host NCAA championship events unless it eliminates its symbol Chief Illiniwek.

Leaders of the NCAA today announced they were upholding the association's previous decision to restrict the use of American Indian mascots, imagery and symbols at NCAA championships.


Grad workers, officials begin contract talks

URBANA – After he turned 25, David Morris had to strike out on his own to find health insurance.

No longer covered under his father's health care plan, the University of Illinois graduate student turned to the UI for coverage.