University of Illinois

Illini basketball player Smith to sit out season

CHAMPAIGN – Illinois basketball coach Bruce Weber announced today that Jamar Smith will sit out the upcoming basketball season.

Smith, a 21-year-old junior, pleaded guilty in May to a felony charge of aggravated driving under the influence. The Peoria Richwoods graduate was the driver in a February car accident that hospitalized teammate Brian Carlwell with a severe concussion. Under a plea agreement, Smith was sentenced to 15 days in jail and two years of probation.

PTI, Blackwater pact terminated

URBANA – A pact between the University of Illinois Police Training Institute and a controversial military contractor was canceled by the university last week.

UI Chancellor Richard Herman, in a letter to Blackwater officials dated Aug. 15, notified them of immediate termination of the "memorandum of agreement."

UI convocation speakers urge students to get involved, enjoy college years

CHAMPAIGN – Where will you be at the end of four years?

That's just one of many questions University of Illinois Chancellor Richard Herman asked of thousands of freshmen students on Monday.

Researcher to take over as head of department

CHAMPAIGN – Randall Westgren has been appointed head of the Department of Business Administration in the University of Illinois College of Business, effective Aug. 15.

He will succeed Huseyin Leblebici, who has held that position for seven years. Leblebici plans to continue teaching and research in the business college.

UI plan for hotel, restaurant, conference center gets OK

CHAMPAIGN – A plat for a new hotel, restaurant and conference center in the University of Illinois Research Park has received the backing of the Champaign Plan Commission.

Plan commission members voted 4-0 Wednesday to endorse the preliminary/final plat, which now goes to the city council for consideration at its Sept. 4 meeting. The plat creates separate lots and dedication areas for sidewalks.

UI business school students must now pick major

CHAMPAIGN – Students in the University of Illinois Department of Business Administration will have to declare a major, beginning this fall.

No longer will the simple phrase "business administration" appear on their transcripts.

Chickens in mass migration to new $3.2 million farm

URBANA – For years, Chet Utterback has known his chickens stood squarely in the way of Division of Intercollegiate Athletics plans to extend its turf on South Farms.

This week, Utterback, manager of the University of Illinois poultry research farm, supervised the move of thousands of chickens to a new $3.2 million farm on Race Street south of Curtis Road. The move was motivated by the campaign to put an outdoor tennis facility where the farm now stands – and it was enabled by DIA's financial contributions and cooperation.

UI's demolition clock ticks for old barn, home

CHAMPAIGN – Don Maxwell's old barn and home still stand near the corner of South First Street and Old Church Road, but the clock's ticking.

"They're tearing down the machine shed and the corn crib," said Maxwell, who lost his farmland in 2003 when he finally struck a deal with the University of Illinois, which used eminent domain powers to get it.

Yahoo to open C-U office in September

CHAMPAIGN – Yahoo plans to hire "upwards of 100 people" from the Motorola software design center in Champaign and have an office up and running in a month or so, a Yahoo vice president said today.

"We've got offers in people's hands," said Kevin Timmons, vice president of operations for the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company. "We're currently looking at several options in the community for places to set down roots. This has to happen soon because we hope to be up and running in September."

UI seeks 10 teams for technology workshop

CHAMPAIGN – The Technology Entrepreneur Center at the University of Illinois is looking for 10 teams from early stage, technology based companies to take part in a special 31/2-day workshop on campus.

The UI will host the Advanced "Invention to Venture" Workshop Sept. 9-12 at the EnterpriseWorks building, 60 Ha-zelwood Drive, C. It's a follow-up to the daylong "Invention to Venture" workshop held last February on campus.

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