Illinois State University

RYAN DENHAM / WGLT

A child welfare expert at Illinois State University said she’s encouraged by the latest attempts to better fund and reform the state’s troubled Department of Children and Family Services.

Susan Stephens

Northern Illinois University officials say the school spent more than $180,000 for outside legal counsel to handle an investigation by the state Office of the Executive Inspector General into hiring at NIU.

NIU officials say the cost of outside legal counsel reflects 320 total hours worked by nine people in the outside firm. That calculates to more than $560 per hour.

ISU Recommending No Tuition Increase Next Year

Mar 30, 2017

Illinois State University recommends no tuition increase for next year.

ISU missed out on more than 80 million dollars in state funding over the last two budget years. University President Larry Dietz says even after that, the institution is stable. 

"...but it has been these three banner years that have really helped us in terms of the overall enrollment and the overall enrollment really drives the fiscal part of any university anymore." 

Illinois State University is asking the public to weigh in on the institution's future.

The (Bloomington) Pantagraph reports the school is asking for community input on the challenges ISU is facing and what the university should look like in 15 to 20 years. People are invited to complete a survey online by Feb. 24.

The university is updating its strategic plan. It's the fourth update since the plan was first approved in 2000.

It's a mixed bag of news about enrollment from state schools in Illinois this week.

Northern Illinois University President Doug Baker says enrollment is down 5.5%, putting the school at 19,015 students university-wide. Baker tells the campus community that the largest decline is in the freshman class. Numbers from NIU show there are 457 fewer freshman compared to last year; that's a drop of 20.2%. Smaller declines took place among transfer and graduate students. 

  Illinois wind farms will bring more than 6 billion dollars to the state economy over their lifespan.  That’s according to a new study by Illinois State University.  Researchers factored in property taxes, jobs, and payment to land owners.  David Loomis, Director of the Center for Renewable Energy, says jobs are particularly affected.  

"During the construction phase, there's a lot of activity and people get employed.  There are about 2,500 jobs that are supported during that construction phase.  And about 226 long term jobs coming during operational phase," he says.   

soarboards.com

Illinois State University is banning hoverboards from campus housing and dining facilities.  The school says they're instituting the ban due to worries about them overheating and catching fire, and concerns the scooters could be dangerous if students are riding them in hallways and other public areas.  

ISU joins other schools in Illinois and across the country that have banned the devices in campus buildings

Students must remove hoverboards from prohibited areas by Feb. 10.  They will still be allowed on public sidewalks on ISU's campus.

WGLT

Some officials at public universities in Illinois are at least floating the idea of taking legal action against the governor and the Illinois legislature over the absence of a state budget.

Illinois State University President Larry Dietz says it's not likely that will happen, but admitted some educators are considering going to court.

"Some of the institutions are looking at this as a possibility, though we don't think it's a high probability," Dietz said.

ISU Athletic Officials Among Dead In Plane Crash

Apr 7, 2015
ISU

McLean County officials confirm seven people died when a Cessna 414 crashed into a field sometime overnight northeast of Bloomington. Sheriff Jon Sandage says air traffic controllers in Peoria lost radar contact with the private plane around 12:15 AM. About three hours later, a Bloomington police officer discovered the wreckage just north of Route 9 east of the city. Sandage says rescue workers feared all were dead.

"At approximately 4:15 this morning, McLean County coroner's office personnel arrived and pronounced all seven occupants of the plane deceased."