University of Illinois

University of Illinois

9 laid off in UI facilities department

URBANA – Layoffs have struck again in the Facilities and Services department at the University of Illinois' Urbana campus.

The belt tightening at the university, which is owed more than $400 million by the state, means that nine workers lost their jobs last week.

"Thirteen people received layoff notices in November 2009, but they were extended in December and January, because we had enough work for them," Urbana campus spokeswoman Robin Kaler said. "Last Friday, we had to let nine of them go."

Weigh in on the University of Illinois budget review

From Monday's print edition, in a story by Julie Wurth and Paul Wood:

URBANA — Small schools and colleges are bracing for budget reviews as the University of Illinois looks for ways to streamline its programs and cut administrative costs.

UI's bond rating off watch list, but outlook is 'negative'

Illinois' fiscal troubles prompted investment services to downgrade the state's bond rating last year, ranking it second worst in the country after California.

The fallout affected state universities, with Moody's Investment Service lowering its bond rating to A3 (upper-medium grade, low credit risk) for Eastern Illinois, Western Illinois, Southern Illinois and Illinois State universities and placing those schools on its "watch list" for further downgrades.

UI is paying flood of bills by using its rainy day account

URBANA – If you've ever been overdrawn, or tried to stretch a paycheck over too many bills, consider adding a few zeroes to the equation.

Suppose your bank balance, and your bills, reached into the hundreds of millions of dollars. And then a big chunk of your income evaporated.

The University of Illinois faces a cash-flow crisis that any homeowner – maybe a really rich homeowner – can identify with.

The state owes the UI about $475 million for services rendered over the past seven months.

Firefighting course offers less-than-relaxing spring break option

CHAMPAIGN – Tired of the beach routine? If you're looking for new ways to spend spring break, how about learning to fight wildland fires?

The University of Illinois Fire Service Institute is offering such a course during spring break – March 22 to 26 – and it culminates in "a hands-on wildland firefighting exercise."

The class is open to anyone 18 years old or older and in good physical condition. Fee for the five-day course is $600 and is limited to the first 24 enrollments.

Should flight school be grounded? Probe will ask

A budget team asked to review the University of Illinois Institute of Aviation will consider, among other things, whether the school might partner with Parkland College's pilot-training ground school, or whether it should be discontinued altogether.

The team was directed to examine "the extent to which the resources dedicated to the Institute of Aviation enhance our institution and its mission," according to a letter from Interim Chancellor Robert Easter and Richard Wheeler, acting vice chancellor for academic affairs.

UI prof to address climate panel

URBANA – Don Wuebbles, a University of Illinois professor of atmospheric sciences and expert on the impacts of climate change, will give presentations on global warming at meetings of the Urbana Sustainability Climate Advisory Commission set for 7 to 9 p.m. Feb. 24 and again March 11 at the Urbana Civic Center, 108 E. Water St., U.

Letters focus on four programs at UI

Four letters from top administrators at the University of Illinois ask blunt questions about the future of four programs:

Flight school
The project team for the Institute of Aviation is asked to examine whether Human Factors bachelors and masters degree programs remain viable, since these faculty members have been moved to other units.
“Should the Institute of Aviation be discontinued?” the letter asks.

First areas targeted in UI budget review; no decisions made

URBANA — The future of the Institute of Aviation and a vice chancellor’s position expanded under former Chancellor Richard Herman are among the first areas targeted in the University of Illinois budget-review process.

Teams of faculty and administrators will also take a look at scholarships — including $1 million in athletic scholarships paid with general campus funds — and try to identify $10 million in savings in information technology services on campus.

Sierra Leone's nutrition woes highlighted during UI group's trip

Working out of a university in Sierra Leone that was co-founded by the University of Illinois, UI students and faculty learned a lot about the impoverished West African nation's nutrition – and lack thereof.

"The people of Sierra Leone, especially those in rural areas, do not have a good diet," says Paul McNamara, an associate professor of agricultural and consumer economics making his second trip to help the country and university in January.