Friday, January 29, 2010

Political social media increasing

If you're on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube, chances are you've seen a political candidate's message. A new study shows the number of statewide candidates in Illinois who have an Internet presence is increasing, although the most popular method is to have a campaign Web site or blog.

Institute of Government and Public Affairs senior fellow Michael Cheney, a communications professor at the University of Illinois at Springfield, found that while participation in social media is going up, some candidates have no presence whatsoever.

The study was featured in a January 28, 2010, broadcast/article by the Illinois Radio Network.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100129-IRN-Political-Social-Media-Increasing.pdf

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Is taking a jab at House Speaker politically risky?

As the clock runs down on the primary election season, some candidates are making bold claims or hurling accusations against opponents.

Kent Redfield, a former political science professor at the University of Illinois at Springfield, said Democrats who seriously oppose House Speaker Michael Madigan won't get far.

"For those who think they are going to be independent, criticizing the Speaker, voting against the Speaker, that would be disastrous for the representative and bad for the district," Redfield explained. "Madigan has a long memory and keeps score when members cross him. It can be isolating and ineffective if you go directly against him."

Redfield's comments were featured in a January 29, 2010, article in the Chicago Daily Herald.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100129-CDH-Is-taking-a-jab-at-House-Speaker2.pdf

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UIS consultants recommend consolidation of 3 districts

No action was taken as citizens from Abingdon, Avon and Bushnell-Prairie City school districts met in a packed Avon High School gym to address the feasibility of at least two districts consolidating their school systems. However, the three University of Illinois-Springfield professors who conducted the Avon-initiated study recommended the consolidation of all three school districts.

“What you have now is the information to make that decision,” said professor William H. Phillips, who lead the study. “But we think this would be the greatest opportunity to educate your students.”

The UIS consultants were featured in a January 29, 2010, article in the Galesburg Register-Mail.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100129-GRM-Consultants-recommend-consolidation.pdf

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Local couple donates Lincoln artifact to UIS

An area family donates a piece of history to the University of Illinois Springfield.

Rick and Dona McGraw acquired a bronze cast of Abraham Lincoln's face when they bought the McDonald's restaurant in downtown Springfield. It's one of only 15 in the world and was taken just two months before the president's assassination.

"We are fast becoming one of the countries best public liberal arts universities," said UIS Chancellor Richard Ringeisen.

The story was featured in a WICS-TV 20 report on January, 28, 2010.

Watch the report online:
http://www.wics.com/newsroom/top_stories/videos/wics_vid_1421.shtml

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Race for lieutenant gov takes wacky, pricey turn

The open office has attracted six Democrats and six Republicans and has seen a record amount of money raised and spent.

"It's a very unusual situation," said Kent Redfield, a political science professor at the University of Illinois-Springfield, who confirmed the race is the most expensive in the office's history. "If we hadn't had the impeachment [of Rod Blagojevich], it would be a lower profile sort of thing."

Redfield's comments were featured in a January 28, 2010, article in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100128-SunTimes-Race-for-lieutenant-gov.pdf

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UIS' Sims getting better by the minutes

The new year has been good to University of Illinois Springfield Prairie Stars junior Justin Sims.

The 6-foot-6 reserve forward has made the most of his minutes during the past few men’s basketball games after a so-so December.

Sims has been a regular contributor off a bench that’s averaging 31 points per game. He is tied with teammate Ryan Thornton for fourth on the team in scoring at 8.6 points per game, and he’s third in rebounding with 4.3 per game.

“He’s getting more playing time and scoring the basketball for us,” UIS coach Kevin Gamble said.

Sims was featured in a January 28, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100128-SJR-UIS-Sims-getting-better.pdf

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

McGraw family donates Lincoln mask to UIS

A bronze cast of Abraham Lincoln — one of 15 taken from an early plaster casting of sculptor Clark Mills’ 1865 life mask of Lincoln — will have a new home among University of Illinois Springfield students.

The Rick and Dona McGraw family, owners of the local McDonald’s franchise, has donated the bronze to UIS, where it will be displayed in the information commons area adjacent to the lobby of Brookens Library.

The news was reported in a January 27, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100127-SJR-lincolnmask.pdf

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Jeans Day program is bad publicity for Brown

Dorothy Brown said Tuesday her campaign for Cook County Board president has moved past last week’s bad publicity surrounding her “Jeans Day” program, but political experts said the flap did serious damage to her candidacy.

According to Kent Redfield, professor emeritus of political science at UIS, “People are highlighting (the program) because it fits into what appears to be a larger pattern of soliciting donations from employees. There’s been a long tradition of elected officials essentially shaking down their employees for campaign contributions.”

Redfield's comments were featured in a January 27, 2010, article in the Medill Reports.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100126-MedillReport-JeansDay.pdf

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Primary fight taking over Illinois Democratic Party

Less than 14 months ago, Illinois Democrats were looking at a smooth road toward retaining total power in the next election.

Now, instead of entrenched incumbents in the state's two top offices, the Illinois Democratic Party goes into the campaign season with an unelected governor and an open Senate seat. The situation has spawned the rare spectacle of a sprawling primary fight within the ruling party.

"Rod Blagojevich isn't all of it by any stretch, but he's certainly some of it," Chris Mooney, professor of political science at UIS, said of the Democrats' lost cohesion.

Mooney's comments were featured in a January 27, 2010, article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100127-STLPostDispatch-Democrats.pdf

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Republicans are hungry for success in Illinois

Republicans hope Illinois primary voters won’t get election déjà vu in the battle for Rep. Bill Foster’s (D-Ill.) seat. But with the election a week away, history could be repeating itself as two GOP candidates battle it out for the party’s nomination.

Observers say Republicans are hungry for success in Illinois, and the party is getting better at
maneuvering its candidates through difficult primaries.

“This time around, in general, the Republicans are being more pragmatic than usual,” said Kent
Redfield
, professor emeritus of political science at UIS. “There certainly is still a big split among Republicans in terms of moderate and very conservative. But I think there’s a greater chance of papering it over this time.”

Redfield's observations were featured in a January 25, 2010, edition of The Hill.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100125-TheHill-election.pdf

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Congressional candidates not required to live in district

Under U.S. law, congressional candidates do not need to live within the district they wish to serve.

The Founding Fathers probably didn't make residency a Constitutional requirement for federal office because mobility was limited in the 18th century, said Kent Redfield, a political science professor emeritus at UIS, and district residency may have been taken for granted.

Redfield's comments were featured in the January 25, 2010, Daily Herald.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100125-DailyHerald-carpetbagging.pdf

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Hynes winning money race over Quinn

Incumbent Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn had less than half as much money as his Democratic opponent heading into the final weeks before the primary election, according to campaign finance records.

Quinn, the former lieutenant governor who has held the top spot less than a year, showed an incumbent’s fundraising power, collecting $3.1 million during the period to Dan Hynes’ $2.3 million, but Quinn started the six-month stretch with just $702,000 on hand.

“Quinn historically has been someone who has had a lot of trouble raising money and not a big interest in raising money,” UIS political science professor Kent Redfield said. “The difference is largely the head start that Hynes had.”

Redfield's comments were featured in a January 22, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100122-SJR-Hynesmoney.pdf

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Illinois politicians cashing big checks

After a year in which Illinois politicians passed landmark laws to rein in moneyed interests, candidates for governor are having no qualms about cashing big checks while they still can to keep their campaigns running.

Until 2012 limits are enforced, Illinois remains one of the few states where donors can give as much as they want to any candidate, as long as it is periodically disclosed.

"It is very difficult in a completely unregulated system to say unilaterally, 'I'm not going to raise money,'" says Kent Redfield, professor emeritus of political science at UIS.

And despite the economic recession that has sent unemployment to double digit levels, Redfield said there will always be a pile of cash for politicians.

Redfield's comments were featured in a January 24, 2010, article in the Daily Herald.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100124-DailyHerald-bigchecks.pdf

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Diversity Coalition reconvenes

After six years of inactivity, the Coalition to Promote Human Dignity and Diversity, dedicated to speaking out against bigotry, has reconvened in response to a cluster of incidents in 2009, including the hanging of nooses at city and state government workplaces.

“There was something different about last year, where people acted out acts of hatred quantitatively in a different way than had been occurring for quite a while within the city,” said Larry Golden, an emeritus professor at the University of Illinois Springfield, who is a member of the coalition.

The news was featured in a January 22, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100123-SJR-diversitycoalition.pdf

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Supreme Court rules against limits on corporate political spending

A Supreme Court ruling Thursday striking down limits on corporate political spending will be felt in election campaigns across the country this fall, especially in close Senate races like those predicted for Missouri and Illinois.

Illinois reform advocates say the ruling probably couldn't be used to challenge the new limits on state-level campaign donations that take effect next year because those limits apply only to donations of cash and services, not independent expenditures made on behalf of candidates.

But Kent Redfield, professor emeritus of political science at UIS and one of the proponents pushing the state to implement more limits, said the ruling could stymie future attempts by reformers to impose stronger restrictions in other areas.

Redfield's comments were featured in the January 22, 2010, St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100122-STLPostDispatch-Cash.pdf

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Stroger puts away $500,000

Cook County Board President Todd Stroger squirreled away $500,000 in two certificates of deposit at the Amalgamated Bank in Chicago last August, even as his opponents were gearing up to spend hundreds of thousands on TV ads and other campaign expenditures.

"It certainly looks like he is more interested in putting money away in the bank than running for office," said Kent Redfield, political science professor emeritus at UIS.

Redfield's comments were featured in the January 2, 2010, Daily Herald.

Download a PDF of the article: 20100121-DailyHerald-Stroger.pdf

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Money will give Senate candidates an advantage

Already a hotly-contested race, the campaign for President Barack Obama’s former U.S. Senate seat is expected to get uglier and more expensive following today’s Supreme Court ruling that corporations and unions can spend as much as they want to sway voters.

“Big money is going to interject itself into federal elections,” and people with money always have an advantage, according to Kent Redfield, a political science professor at UIS.

Redfield's comments were featured in a January 22, 2010, article in the Chicago Tribune.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100122-ChiTrib-SupremeCt.pdf

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Emiquon to host public lecture on mallards

A public lecture titled “Monitoring Mallard Movements in the Illinois River Valley and Beyond” will be hosted at the UIS Alfred O. and Barbara Cordwell Therkildsen Field Station at Emiquon on Tuesday, January 26 at 6:30.

The presenters of the lecture will be Danielle DeVito and Curt Kleist, waterfowl research technicians with the Illinois Natural History Survey, Forbes Biological Station in Havana.

The information about the lecture was published in the January 22, 2010, Galesburg Register-Mail.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100122-GalesburgRM-Mallards.pdf

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

UIS furlough days affect students

Students returned to the University of Illinois Springfield campus this week with questions about how the recently announced U of I furlough plan for faculty and staff might affect them.

Some faculty will be taking all four days on the same dates to raise awareness about the impact of the state budget on higher education, while other staff and faculty will try to minimize the affect of furloughs on students.

Additionally, on Wednesday, faculty and academic professionals were given the option of taking a temporary pay cut equivalent to what the university would save by them taking a furlough day, so that they have the option to continue working instead of taking time off.

Details about the furlough days and the state's debt to UIS were discussed in a January 21, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100120-SJR-furloughdays.pdf

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Ill. Democrats might worry after Mass. Republican win

Illinois will conduct primaries for Obama's old Senate seat and every statewide office in two weeks, right after an upset win for the Senate seat in Massachussettes by Republican Scott Brown.

Chris Mooney, professor of political science at UIS, said Illinois Democrats in general might have to worry about the image of partywide complacency and sense of entitlement that has hurt the party in Massachusetts.

Mooney's comments were featured in a January 21, 2010, article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100121-STLPostDispatch-elections.pdf

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UIS hosts alumni exhibition in VAG

A reception for the 2010 Biennial Alumni Art Exhibition at the University of Illinois Springfield begins at 5:30 p.m. today at the Visual Arts Gallery, Room 201 of the Health and Sciences Building. The biennial exhibit features the work at 10 UIS graduates and runs through Feb. 10.

The exhibition was featured in the January 21, 2010, State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100121-SJR-alumniexhibition.pdf

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

UIS is not one of GLVC schools to add football

The Great Lakes Valley Conference is expanding its sports program by adding football with the inaugural season slated for 2012.

The University of Illinois Springfield Prairie Stars, who are new to the GLVC and NCAA Division II, will not be among the league’s football-playing schools, however. UIS is “absolutely not” starting a football program, according to athletic director Rodger Jehlicka.

The story was published in the January 20, 2010, State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article: 20100120-SJR-football.pdf

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Illinois primary just around the corner

Illinois voters are less than two weeks away from a high-stakes election that will determine which candidates continue their quest for governor, U.S. Senate and a handful of other offices in the state.

However, many people don't realize an election is just around the corner or they've likely had very little time to learn about the candidates.

Kent Redfield, a professsor emeritus of political science at UIS, said voters tend not to focus much on political campaigns during the holiday season, which makes it hard for candidates to get their messages heard.

Redfield's comments were featured in a January 19, 2010, article in the St. Louis Beacon.

Download a PDF of the article: 20100119-STLBeacon-Primary.pdf

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Obama magic fading in Chicago

President Barack Obama's political magic is now giving way to sobering realities of time, distance and enormously elevated responsibilities a year after he took office, even in his hometown of Chicago.

"At the very least, it will become part of the keepsake box of the city, like having Oprah in town or being home to the 1893 World's Fair," said Chris Mooney, a political scientist at the University of Illinois' Springfield campus. "Every big city needs to be noticed now and then. Even if you're already the prom queen, it's nice to be complimented."

Mooney's comments were featured in a January 18, 2010, article in the Chicago Tribune.

Download a PDF of the article: 20100118-ChiTrib-ObamaChicago.pdf

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UIS Diversity Center director is keynote speaker for MLK celebration

Dr. Clarice Ford, director of the Diversity Center at UIS, was the keynote speaker for a Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration and parade held in Rome, Georgia, which was attended by approximately 1,500 people.

The march and celebration was the feature of a January 18, 2010, article on Rome Newswire.com.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100118-RomeNewsWire-MLKDay.pdf

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UIS community joins in MLK celebration downtown

The Ministerial Alliance of Springfield’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. observance service, held at Union Baptist Church, became the destination for the University of Illinois Springfield’s march in honor of King this year.

The march began at Second Street and Capitol Avenue, where UIS' Voices in Praise Choir performed in front of a statue of Martin Luther King Jr. before about 40 people walked toward Union Baptist Church, where the annual service was held.

The march and UIS' involvement in the celebration was featured in a January 19, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article: 20100118-SJR-MLKmarch.pdf

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Martin Luther King Jr. march, service planned

Clarice Ford, director of the Diversity Center at the University of Illinois Springfield, will be the keynote speaker Sunday for the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative March and Memorial Service.

The march will begin at 3 p.m. at Freedom Corner, the statue of Martin Luther King Jr. at Second Street and Capitol Avenue. The UIS Student Gospel Choir will sing at the statue and lead the singing as marchers proceed to Union Baptist Church, 1405 E. Monroe St., where the service will be held. The march is expected to last about 20 minutes.

The story was featured in a January 14, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
2010014-SJR-MLK-march.pdf

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Parents made sure UIS' Thornton got his shots

Ryan Thornton wrote down his basketball goals in a notebook when he was growing up.

For the University of Illinois Springfield Prairie Stars sharpshooter, there was more to it than simply recording words on paper.

“My dad got me a goal book when I was in grade school,” he said. “He said maybe get 2,500 shots up each day. I’d look at 2,500 shots and say I could do more, so I might get 3,000 or 3,200 shots up. In the summer I’d set a goal for myself that I want to have a basketball in my hand every day.”

Thornton's story was featured in a January, 14, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100114-SJR-Parents-made-sure-UIS%27-Thornton.pdf

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

UIS alumnus debuts novel

University of Illinois Springfield alumnus Laura Bynum's debut novel, “Veracity” (Pocket Books), was released last week. She returns to her Springfield hometown at 7 p.m. Wednesday for a book-signing at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 3111 S. Veterans Parkway.

Just a few years ago, Bynum was doing the “safe” thing — working in the corporate world, raising her daughters with second husband Eric, and ignoring the lifelong yet risky urge to write.

“I was really in a quandary,” she said. “I made decent money as a corporate department builder. I knew I could make money for my family. As an artist, it’s a crapshoot.”

Bynum's story was featured in a January 10, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100110-SJR-The-story-of-her-life.pdf

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Primary election favors incumbents

Illinois' Feb. 2 primary election comes so soon after the holiday season, it usually leads to uninformed choices by the voters and an advantage for incumbents, who have both name recognition and time to raise more funds than new candidates, according to political experts like Dr. Kent Redfield, professor emeritus of political science at UIS.

Redfield's comments were featured in an article about the fast-approaching primary election in a January 8, 2010, article in the Kankakee Daily Journal.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100108-KankakeeJournal-primary%20election.pdf

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UIS part of ILEAD U

UIS staff and faculty are largely involved in the development of a new library institute, called ILEAD (Illinois Libraries Explore, Apply and Discover) U: the 21st Century Technology Tools Institute for Illinois Library Staff.

The institute was the feature of a January 10, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100110-SJR-libraryinstitute.pdf

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Friday, January 8, 2010

Schillerstrom likely needs longer than one term to fix Ill. state government

Bob Schillerstrom, a Republican who is running for governor, plans for just one term if elected, saying that four years is all he needs to do the work.

But with Illinois is facing a $13 billion budget deficit, it will likely take longer than one term to fix the state's problems, according to Kent Redfield, professor emeritus of political science at UIS.

Redfield's comments were featured in a January 7, 2010, article in the Illinois Statehouse News.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100107-ILStatehouseNews-Schillerstrom.pdf

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Increased voter registration doesn't necessarily mean big turnout

Voter registration for the February primary is at an all-time high, but increased registration does not always mean increased turnout, according to Ron Michaelson, political science professor at UIS.

Michaelson's comments were featured in a January 7, 2010, article published by the Illinois Statehouse News.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100107-ILStatehouseNews-voters.pdf

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UIS uses Google Wave for education

UIS was among the first colleges to use Google Wave for online teaching since the preview version became available in September. The university was mentioned in an article about Google Wave and online learning published in the La Crosse Tribune on January 8, 2010.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100108-LaCrosseTrib-Googlewave.pdf

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Revealing the explosive heart of Eta Carinae

Using adaptive optics to remove atmospheric blurring, Gemini Observatory released an image showing previously hidden forensic secrets at the ballistic core of the Homunculus Nebula, part of the explosive Eta Carinae star system.

The new Gemini image was presented by John Martin of the University of Illinois Springfield who, along with an international team of researchers, obtained their data using the Near-Infrared Coronagraphic Imager (NICI) at the Gemini South telescope in Chile.

Martin's comments were feature in a January 6, 2010, U.S. News and World Report article.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100106-USNews-Revealing-the-Explosive-Heart.pdf

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Stars align for UIS big man Miranda

DeAndre Miranda has been on both sides of the fence.

The University of Illinois Springfield senior has experienced college life as a student athlete and just a student. After playing college basketball for three seasons, he spent the 2008-09 school year as a regular old full-time student and watching UIS Prairie Stars men’s basketball home games from the stands.

Sitting out for a year taught him a lesson.

“It kind of made me more humble since I had to be a regular student,” Miranda said.

Miranda was featured in a January 7, 2010, State Journal-Register report.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100107-SJR-Stars-align-for-UIS.pdf

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

U of I to enforce furlough days and hiring freeze

Most University of Illinois employees — including more than 460 at UIS — face furlough days this spring as part of the university system’s response to a growing appropriations shortfall.

The cost-cutting measures, including furloughs and a hiring freeze, are designed to trim $82 million from the U of I’s operating budget and ease a $436 million backlog of unpaid state appropriations to the university.

The news was featured in a January 6, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100106-SJR-furloughdays.pdf

The topic was also covered by other news outlets.

Download a PDF of an article from the Chicago Tribune: 20100106-ChiTrib-furloughdays.pdf

Download a PDF of an article from the Chicago Sun-Times: 20100106-ChiSunTimes-furloughdays.pdf

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Professor's work highlighted at national astronomy meeting

Dr. John Martin, professor of astronomy-physics at UIS, reported new observations of the Eta Carinae star system on January 4 at the national meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

His work was reported in the January 4, 2010, Science News.

Download the article about Martin and his research:
20100104-ScienceNews-Martin.pdf

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Monday, January 4, 2010

Political candidates use social media during campaigns

A year after Obama's historic election during which he utilized social media to build his support, candidates across the country - and throughout the Chicago suburbs - are following suit. Candidates running for federal, state and even county offices are campaigning via Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and e-mail.

If you don't have a Web site, people assume you aren't credible, according to Kent Redfield, political science professor emeritus at UIS.

Redfield's comments were featured in a January 2, 2010, article in the Chicago Daily Herald.

Download a PDF of the article: 20100102-DailyHerald-socialmedia.pdf

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