Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Business size may affect bounceback

Take a look at the quarterly reports of big U.S. companies and you may see overseas growth cushioning a domestic financial blow. Jeremy Hobson explores this and other disadvantages small businesses have in the face of recovery.

Ronald McNeil: And those companies with the international stretch are helped more and quicker as economies recover in the global marketplace.

That's Ronald McNeil, dean of the business school at the University of Illinois-Springfield. He says small businesses can benefit too, if they play their cards right. Perhaps by supplying goods and services to larger companies that already export their business overseas.

McNeil's comments were featured on American Public Media's Marketplace on March 30, 2010.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100330-Marketplace-business-size.pdf

Listen to the story online

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A self-sustaining economic expansion

Consumer confidence is up, and the upcoming jobs report is expected to be the most positive in many months.

Why can't these economists just admit that things are looking good? I asked Ronald McNeil, the dean of the business school at the University of Illinois, Springfield.

Ronald McNeil: When you're in the money, you can make mistakes and get away with it. The degrees of freedom are greater. But when you're not quite in the money -- caution, care, all of that goes into the mix.

McNeil's comments were featured in a March 30, 2010, report on American Public Media's Marketplace.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100330-Marketplace-self-sustaining-economic.pdf

Listen to the report online

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Nigerian-American UIS Student Denied Boarding by AA

A UIS student was set to represent his college and his country in the National Model U.N. in New York, but instead he was forced to return home alone after being denied boarding at the airport.

Alfred Komolafe, a political science major was questioned by police and the FBI after trying to board an American Airlines flight this weekend.

The university had purchased tickets for Komolafe and 15 other students months ago, with no indication of any problems until the group arrived at Lambert International in St. Louis.

Komolafe was interviewed by WICS-TV 20 for a report on March 30, 2010.

Watch the story on News Channel 20's website

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Illinois student not allowed to board plane at Lambert

A college student told News 4 he was not allowed to board a plane at Lambert International Airport. He said later he was investigated by the F.B.I.

Federal agents refuse to say why they questioned the man over the weekend. The student said he believes he was a victim of discrimination.

Alfred Komolafe spent months preparing for his trip to New York. He was planning to participate in the Mock United Nations delegation with 15 classmates from the University of Illinois-Springfield, but when he tried to get his boarding pass, he was detained.

Komolafe was interviewed by KMOV-TV St. Louis in a report that aired on March 30, 2010.

Watch the story on KMOV's website

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dems vs. GOP Ticket

In the race for governor voters can choose from Democratic Governor Pat Quinn of Chicago and newly selected Lt. Governor Candidate Sheila Simon of Carbondale. On the Republican side there's Senator Bill Brady and Lt. Governor Nominee Jason Plumber. Both men are from downstate and are considered very conservative.

"There's not a lot of contrast between the two candidates for governor and their running mates. Ideologically they're very close," said Kent Redfield, UIS professor emeritus of political science.

Redfield’s comments were featured in a WICS-TV 20 report on March 29, 2010.

Watch the story online on News Channel 20’s website

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Crowd enjoys season's first UIS Star Party

For the Fenstermacher family, star parties at the University of Illinois Springfield are a family tradition.

Scott and Lori Fenstermacher started bringing their two daughters, Jaina, 9, and Shelby, 6, to the events about three years ago. Now, they usually attend four or five star parties a year.

The Fenstermachers were among more than 100 people who were on hand Friday as the university’s first star party of 2010 began.

John Martin, assistant professor of astronomy/physics, gave the crowd a quick lesson in astronomy and the universe on the way to the top of Brookens library, where the observatory is located.

The star party was featured in a March 27, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100327-SJR-Crowd-enjoys-seasons-first.pdf

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Scholar unearths new past about Abraham Lincoln

Michael Burlingame says President Abraham Lincoln’s famous “Letter to Mrs. Bixby” may not have been written by Lincoln after all. The Lincoln scholar spoke Thursday at Knox College about his most recent publication, a two-volume biography, “Abraham Lincoln: A Life.” The book was the 2010 winner of the Abraham Lincoln Book Prize.

In his talk titled “What New Can Be Said About Abraham Lincoln?” Burlingame focused on the difficulties in finding information on Lincoln that has not already been uncovered and published.

“It’s easy to find letters that Lincoln wrote or received,” said Burlingame. “What’s really valuable and hard to find are letters about him. You have to do a lot of sifting through gravel, but if you’re willing to do that, you find a lot of information.”

Burlingame is the Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair of Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois Springfield. He was featured in a March 26, 2010, article in the Galesburg Register-Mail.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100326-GRM-Scholar-unearths-new-past.pdf

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UIS softball team picks up first GLVC win

The University of Illinois Springfield Prairie Stars earned their first Great Lakes Valley Conference win in school history Sunday, splitting a doubleheader with Drury University.

UIS beat Drury 9-6 in the first game and lost the second 7-2.

Brooke Carroll led UIS (4-12, 1-5 in GLVC) with three hits and three RBI in game one. Brittany Morgan added a pair of hits and three RBIs. Pitcher Alexandra Newbern earned her first win of the season, striking out two batters in her 4 2/3 innings.

The win was featured in a March 29, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100329-SJR-UIS-softball-team-win.pdf

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Illinois school budgets at the breaking point

State officials say 41 percent of school districts — 355 out of 869 — were spending into a deficit in 2009. The number is expected to go up to 44 percent in 2010.

On the revenue side, the recession has kept a lid on local tax caps at the same time that the state fell behind on aid payments, said William Phillips, an associate professor of educational leadership at the University of Illinois at Springfield. The governor has proposed big cuts for next year.

"So now they're getting hit with three different major funding sources being reduced and they are doing what they never wanted to do, which is drastically cutting their programs and staff," he said. "The bottom line is, districts are spending more than they're taking in."

Phillips' comments were featured in a March 25, 2010, article in the Chicago Tribune.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100325-Trib-Illinois-School-budgets.pdf

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Music Notes: UIS Chorus

The University of Illinois Springfield Chorus will perform at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Vachel Lindsay Home State Historic Site, 603 S. Fifth St.

Part of the “Let Us Be Bold With Our Songs” series, the array of pieces includes “Ahe Lau Makani (There is a Breath)” by Queen Liliuokalani, the last reigning monarch of Hawaii; “Fire, Fire,” a polyphonic English madrigal by Thomas Morley; “The Erie Canal,” an American folk song accompanied by piano and fiddle; “Oleana,” an American folk song accompanied by violin; and “Blackbird,” by the Beatles.

Director Sharon Graf will lead a brief discussion of the songs.

The performance was featured in a March 25, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100325-SJR-Music-Notes-UIS-Chorus.pdf

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Discussion of street gangs opens eyes to harsh reality

Jason Haynes painted a bleak picture Tuesday night at a University of Illinois Springfield alumni event at the UIS Peoria Center.

The lieutenant at the Federal Correctional Institution in Pekin talked about the prevalence of gangs inside the prison.

"Some of these guys look at going to prison as a rite of passage," said Haynes, who said gang membership is practically mandatory. "Some gangs call prison, college. They refer to their release date from 'college' as a graduation day."

"But it is what it is," said Tim Gleason, whose UIS criminal justice students attended the presentation that also included Detective Elizabeth Blair of the Peoria Police Department and Deputy Ronda Guyton of the Peoria County Sheriff's Department.

The alumni event was featured in a March 24, 2010, article in the Peoria Journal-Star.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100324-PJS-Breaking-circle-of-violence.pdf

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Slight increase in area gang activity

Gang activity in Peoria is slowly on the rise according to area law enforcement. Peoria police say, the fatal shooting of a teen last weekend occurred during an altercation between two men believed to be involved in gangs.

Tuesday night, dozens of area residents and students gathered at the University of Illinois Springfield in Peoria for a forum on gang activity.

Detective Elizabeth Blair and Lt. Jason Haynes of Pekin's Federal Correctional Institute in have studied gangs extensively.

"There's a number of them initially that you see that steal cars, they do the retail theft and then they move up to the more violent kinds," said Blair.

The UIS Peoria Center event was featured in a WEEK/WHOI-TV report on March 23, 2010.

Watch the story online on WEEK/WHOI's website

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Food Notes: Etiquette dinner

A “Dining for Success” dinner, allowing participants to brush up on table manners, will start at 5:30 p.m. April 9 at the Public Affairs Center restaurant at the University of Illinois Springfield. It is sponsored by the school’s Office of Alumni Relations.

The instructor will be Beth Reutter, coordinator of the hospitality management program at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and a corporate etiquette consultant

The cost is $10 for UIS students and $25 for others. Reservations can be made by April 2 at www.uiaa.org/uis/dining or by contacting the Office of Alumni Relations at 206-7395 or alumni@uis.edu.

The dinner was featured in a March 24, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100324-SJR-Food-Notes-etiquette-dinner.pdf

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Area Colleges: UIS sweeps Eureka in softball

The University of Illinois Springfield got to experience two kinds of victories in its sweep of Eureka on Tuesday.

The Prairie Stars took a 3-2, nine-inning win in the first game and then brought out the offense for a 13-4 victory.

In the opener, UIS scored what would be the winning run in the top of the ninth when Tina Buck drove in Brianne Moeller with a sacrifice fly. Moeller was also the winning pitcher, allowing just two earned runs and striking out five in nine innings.

The win was featured in a March 24, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100324-SJR-Area-Colleges-UIS-sweeps-softball.pdf

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

McFarland sign with UIS

Bill McFarland can now place all his concentration on his last season as an Edwardsville Tiger after signing a letter of intent to continue his college baseball career at the University of Illinois-Springfield.

As for picking UIS, a program in its infancy, it was something intriguing to McFarland. The Prairie Stars will jump start their baseball program in the Spring of 2011 as a member of the Great Lakes Valley Conference, taking SIUE’s slot after its move to Division I.

“What attracted me was obviously the coach and obviously the education,” McFarland said. “To get a degree from the University of Illinois is a heavy thing you can carry deep into your career and to get a chance to start traditions at a new school with everything new, it’s a good feeling.”

UIS head coach Brian Grunzke has a creditable resume, spending the 2009 season as the assistant coach at Northern Iowa, following two years as an assistant at Arkansas-Little Rock.

McFarland's choice was featured in a March 22, 2010, article in the Edwardsville Intelligencer.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100322-EINT-McFarland-signs-with-UIS.pdf

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Monday, March 22, 2010

UIS Students help out on spring break

A record number of UIS students returned after a 20 hour trip from Galveston, Texas Saturday night as part of Alternative Spring Break.

The volunteers spent 5 days helping to cleanup homes damaged by Hurricane Ike, which hit in 2008.

While that might not seem like an ideal way to spend spring break, they say the personal satisfaction of helping others was well worth it.

The trip was featured by WAND-TV during a report on March 21, 2010.

Watch the story online on WAND's website

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Pressure: Will the push for an income tax increase work?

Supporters of a tax increase have been undoubtedly banking on fallout sending teachers and parents banging on the doors of local lawmakers to demand a solution.

"I would think cutting education ... is a way to put greater pressure on people for a tax increase," says Charles Wheeler, a former veteran statehouse reporter and current University of Illinois at Springfield program director. "And the way these cuts are designed, whether intentionally or (not), puts added pressure on suburban legislators."

Wheeler's comments were featured in a March 20, 2010, edition of the Chicago Daily Herald.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100320-CDH-push-for-an-income-tax2.pdf

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Politics of health care will play out

Some political experts wonder how much voters care about the minutiae of lawmaking as well as larger GOP criticisms of the health care legislation.

Chris Mooney, a political science professor at the University of Illinois-Springfield, said he believes voters in November will be consumed by the desperate straits of Illinois' economy this year.

"Democrats could end up looking totally lame, or this might turn out to be something approaching the New Deal," he said. "But right now, the situation in Illinois is so dire that the health care debate seems rather esoteric."

Mooney's comments were featured in a March 20, 2010, article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100320-STL-Politics-of-health-care.pdf

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Illinois Issues available at Paris library

Illinois Issues, an award winning public affairs magazine, is now available at the Paris Carnegie Public Library.

Rep. Roger Eddy (R-Hutsonville) has partnered with the magazine’s Issues for Citizens campaign to promote public policy information and education via the public library system. In addition to Paris, Eddy is providing subscriptions to libraries in Lawrenceville and Robinson.

Illinois Issues is a not-for-profit magazine published at the University of Illinois Springfield, as part of the Center for State Policy and Leadership. Executive editor Dana Heupel noted recent articles have explored redistricting, wind power as an energy source and an analysis of the state’s retirement system.


The magazine was featured in a March 16, 2010, edition of the Paris, IL Beacon News.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100316-PBN-Illinois-Issues-available.pdf

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Area venues: Who's serving alcohol, and who's not?

The U of I at Springfield's Sangamon Auditorium keeps the drink factor fairly low-keyed, says Stephen Chrans, assistant vice chancellor for student affairs. Apart from sporting events and family matinees, the bar is usually open for business in the lobby area before shows and during intermissions.

Since that usually amounts to only a half-hour tops, the full bar service doesn't have time to allow patrons to over-indulge, says Chrans.

Chrans' comments were featured in a March 18, 2010, article in the Bloomington Pantagraph.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100318-BP-Who's-serving-alcohol.pdf

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Costello still opposes health care bill

U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Belleville, was still on record as of Thursday that he will vote no on the Senate version of the health care reform bill the House is set to vote on this weekend.

Kent Redfield, an expert on Illinois politics, said the only explanations for Costello's threat to vote no on the bill are either he is bargaining for something or he wants to be shown some respect.

"If people feel they are being ignored and taken for granted, then they like to be asked," said Redfield, a political science professor at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Redfield's comments were featured in a March 18, 2010, Belleville News-Democrat Article.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100318-BND-Costello-still-opposes.pdf

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Judge rejects fingerprint testing in Slover case presented by Downstate Innocence Project

Six weeks after the Downstate Illinois Innocence Project presented its arguments for testing a latent fingerprint as a step toward overturning the murder convictions of Michael Slover, Jeannette Slover and Michael Slover Junior, a judge ruled that the print is not suitable for testing.

At the hearing in the courtroom of Assistant Circuit Court Judge Timothy Steadman on Feb. 1, project attorney Peter Wise presented a fingerprint expert who stated that a latent fingerprint found on a Bruce-Findlay Bridge railing over Lake Shelbyville was suitable for identification.

The Downstate Illinois Innocence Project, based at the University of Illinois at Springfield, seeks exoneration for wrongfully convicted downstate inmates and works to reform the criminal justice system.

The Innocence Project was featured in a March 17, 2010, article in the Decatur Herald & Review.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100317-DH&R-Innocence-Project.pdf

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Brady has bunch of work to do to win, experts say

State Sen. Bill Brady squeaked by last month's six-way Republican gubernatorial primary as a relatively unknown statewide commodity known - if at all - for his downstate roots.

The strategy was successful; after all, he won. But now, experts say, Brady should be on to a new mission of endearing himself to upstate voters.

"He's an unknown factor," said Kent Redfield, a political scientist at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Redfield's comments were featured in a March 16, 2010, article in the Southtown Star.

Download a PDF of this article:
20100316-STS-Brady-has-bunch-of-work.pdf

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Moeller gives UIS first win of softball season

Brianne Moeller was a dual threat in leading the University of Illinois Springfield Prairie Stars to their first victory of the season in a doubleheader split with Southern Arkansas on Monday.

Moeller tossed a two-hit shutout in the Prairie Stars’ 1-0 victory over the Muleriders in Game 1. She finished with eight strikeouts and drove in the game’s only run with a first-inning triple that scored teammate Ashley Sanders.

UIS (1-7) lost the second game 2-1. The Muleriders scored the winning run on a squeeze bunt in the bottom of the seventh.

The win was featured in a March 16, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100316-SJR-Moeller-gives-UIS-first-win.pdf

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Monday, March 15, 2010

UIS students leave for volunteer spring break

A record number of UIS students and three advisers left Friday night for a week of volunteering in Galveston, Texas, helping with recovery efforts following Hurricane Ike. The hurricane washed over Galveston Island and Bolivar Peninsula on Sept. 13, 2008.

More than 300 college and university students from across the country will stay 20 to 25 in a room at Alamo Elementary School for the week. They will be bused to several sites to do a variety of work, said Kelly Thompson, director of the Volunteer and Civic Engagement Center at UIS.

“When you do service for an entire week with someone, you can see the change you’ve made in someone’s life,” said Jaleesa Earthely, a UIS junior from Bolingbrook who is making the trip. “That gives me joy.”

The story was featured in a March 13, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100313-SJR-UIS-students-leave-for-volunteer.pdf

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Area Colleges: Abeysinghe stands out in UIS tennis

Thiyumi Abbeysinghe defeated Southern Indiana’s Gretchen Cantwell 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 at No. 2 singles for the University of Illinois Springfield’s only win in a 5-1 non-conference match loss to USI Sunday.

The match, just like the men’s event, was halted due to inclement weather once the Screaming Eagles wrapped up their fifth win.

Abbeysinghe was featured in a March 15, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100315-SJR-Abeysinghe-stands-out.pdf

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Editorial: New chancellor deal must reflect times

The following is a portion of a State Journal-Register editorial published on March 12, 2010.

THE DUST-UP over University of Illinois Springfield Chancellor Richard Ringeisen’s retirement deal in the past week has been a vivid reminder of how starkly different economic times are now compared to a decade ago.

Ringeisen deserves credit for his request Wednesday that the U of I board of trustees revert to the terms of his original contract from 2001, scrapping the sweetened retirement package that would have paid Ringeisen more post-retirement salary and provided reimbursement for travel expenses.

IT'S UNFORTUNATE that public reaction to the retirement package — which would have paid Ringeisen his full current salary for 14 months, totaling about $319,000, plus reimbursement of travel between Springfield and his new home in South Carolina during his successor’s transition — became the main focus of Ringeisen’s retirement announcement. After all, it was under Ringeisen’s leadership that UIS became the institution it is today: a respected four-year university with a campus worthy of its U of I affiliation.

Download a PDF of the editorial:
20100312-Our-Opinion-New-chancellor.pdf

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Star Parties at UIS to begin at end of March

The University of Illinois Springfield’s Friday night Star Parties will begin Friday, March 26, and continue through April 30 (excluding April 9), weather permitting.

Star Parties are held from 8 to 10 p.m. in the UIS observatory.

Conducted by UIS assistant professor of astronomy and physics John Martin, the Star Parties will use three telescopes to view a number of celestial objects, including the planets Mars and Saturn, the Orion Nebula, and the moon, when visible. Other double stars and star clusters will also be viewed.

Star Parties were featured in a March 12, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of this article:
20100312-SJR-Star-Parties-at-UIS.pdf

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UIS students to spend spring break helping Hurricane Ike victims

A record number of students from the University of Illinois Springfield will spend their spring break volunteering in Galveston, Texas helping with recovery efforts following Hurricane Ike.

The 45 students and 3 advisers will leave Springfield on Friday, March 12 and return to campus on Sunday, March 20. The group will stay at a local elementary school in Galveston with other students from across the country, volunteering for eight and a half hours each day. The students will be primarily helping with rebuilding and refurbishing homes that were damaged by the storm. Volunteers will also be doing community outreach, visiting home-bound residents, helping to feed the homeless and assisting in other community-related activities.

University of Illinois Springfield student volunteer Jaleesa Earthly says that a program like this is valuable not only for the students involved, but for the university as well.

Click here for audio

The UIS students are taking on the project as part of the One Mission Initiative, a faith-based organization. The group’s mission is to bring volunteers to Galveston to not only provide much needed help, labor, and support to the community here, but to also provide love, hope and encouragement.

Earthly adds that a program like this will also benefit the citizens of Galveston as well.

Click here for audio

The UIS Alternative Spring Break student organization was formed last year, when students took their first trip to Mandeville, Louisiana to help build homes for Habitat for Humanity following Hurricane Katrina.

This report on Alternative Spring Break was filed by WTIM Radio in Taylorville published online on March 10, 2010.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100310-TDN-UIS-Alt-Spring-Break.pdf

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

UIS' Ringeisen to get original retirement deal

After a week of controversy that he said had “just gotten crazy,” University of Illinois Springfield chancellor Richard Ringeisen will take his original retirement deal.

Ringeisen’s resignation from UIS will take effect Oct. 31. He will receive a year’s administrative leave at his current salary of $273,500, instead of taking a consultant job that would have lasted 14 months and would have added about $45,500 to his post-resignation income.

The agreement, approved Wednesday by the University of Illinois board, is the arrangement described in then-President James Stukel’s January 2001 letter offering the UIS position to Ringeisen.

The decision was featured in a March 11, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100311-SJR-U-of-I-trustees-approv.pdf

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U of I trustees vote to pay outgoing chancellor $273K

The University of Illinois board of trustees voted Wednesday to give Richard Ringeisen, the retiring chancellor of the Springfield campus, a one-year paid administrative leave after he steps down Oct. 31.

The arrangement, in which Ringeisen will be paid $273,500 but not have any job responsibilities, is a change to what was proposed last week. Under the former deal, Ringeisen would have kept his salary for 14 months while serving as a consultant to the president.

Ringeisen, 65, asked for the change, said spokesman Tom Hardy.

The agreement was featured in a March 10, 2010, Chicago Tribune Breaking News article.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100310-Trib-u-of-i-trustees-vote.pdf

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UIS notebook: Class 2A boys supersectional draws largest TRAC crowd yet

The Class 2A boys basketball supersectional between Robinson and Decatur St. Teresa high schools Tuesday brought the largest crowd ever to The Recre­ation and Athletic Center on the University of Illinois Springfield campus.

A throng of 2,600 spectators, according to UIS athletic director Rodger Jehlicka, packed the stands of the four-year-old facility that holds nearly 3,000. Those in attendance saw Robinson and University of Illinois recruit Mey­ers Leonard win 81-60. That’s the fullest Jehlicka has ever seen TRAC.

About 1,100 spectators saw Springfield High edge Belleville Althoff 60-59 in overtime in a Class 3A girls basketball super­sectional game March 1 at TRAC. The NCAA Division II Great Lakes Valley Conference held its men’s and women’s basketball championships there last week­end.

The TRAC numbers were featured in a March 11, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100311-SJR-UIS-notebook-Class-2A-boy.pdf

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Tourist town: Springfield hopes to increase tourism

The Capital Area Sports Commission recently partnered for the first time with the University of Illinois Springfield to host the Great Lakes Valley Conference men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. The National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II conference brought more than 300 players, coaches and staff and at least $100,000 to Springfield last weekend. In addition to pre-conference preparations, the sports commission provided beverages for the teams and recruited volunteers to take tickets at the door.

“We’re hopeful that we’ll see other tournaments,” says Amy Beadle, SCVB sales manager. “We want to put our best foot forward, make the city look good, make UIS look good, and hopefully bring other sporting events.”

The partnership was featured in a March 11, 2010, article in the Illinois Times.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100311-ILTimes-Tourist-town.pdf

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UIS alumnus running as democratic state senate candidate

Josh Weger, a regional manager for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, announced his candidacy for state senate Tuesday.

He is running for the 55th Senate District seat currently held by Sen. Dale Righter, R-Mattoon.

Weger is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Springfield, where he received a bachelor’s in economics and a master’s in political science. Weger was a legislative aide to former Illinois Agriculture Director and State Rep. Chuck Hartke of Effingham.

Weger was featured in a March 9, 2010, article in the Mattoon Journal-Gazette and Charleston Times-Courier.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100309-JGTC-Democratic-senate-candidate.pdf

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Starry stroll at Lincoln Memorial Garden

Star gazers and animal enthusiasts get two for the price of free at Lincoln Memorial Garden March 12. Trek the trails with two UIS science professors and learn about the night sky and night animals. Dr. John Martin from the astronomy/physics program will have telescopes and teach about the nighttime sky. Biology department vertebrate biologist Dr. Matt Evans leads an owl-calling night hike and a presentation on nocturnal animals.

Star and Night Hike
Friday, Mar. 12, 7-9pm
Lincoln Memorial Garden
2301 East Lake Drive
529-1111
Free

The event was featured in a March 11, 2010, article in the Illinois Times.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100311-ILTimes-Starry-stroll.pdf

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Illinois recruit delivers thrills to 2,600 at UIS

Being the 7-foot center of attention has meant a lot of pushing, shoving and occasional verbal challenges for University of Illinois-bound Meyers Leonard this basketball season.

Tuesday night’s Class 2A supersectional at the University of Illinois Springfield was no exception, but the Robinson High School senior kept his cool for the most part.

But as the Robinson Maroons were pulling away from the Decatur St. Teresa Bulldogs for an eventual 81-60 victory, Leonard saw a chance to make a statement for the near-capacity crowd estimated at 2,600 at The Recreation and Athletic Center.

The event was featured in a March 10, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100310-SJR-Illinois-recruit-thrills-at-UIS.pdf

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Hasara: U of I board may scrutinize future work contracts

A University of Illinois trustee hinted Tuesday that the board in the future might scrutinize more closely employment agreements such as the one that called for University of Illinois Springfield Chancellor Richard Ringeisen to receive a year of paid leave after his retirement as chancellor.

“Given our financial situation, a lot of things will be done differently at the university,” said trustee Karen Hasara of Springfield. “That could be one of them.”

Ringeisen’s hiring deal in 2001 called for him to receive a year of paid administrative leave -- at his current salary of $273,500 -- when he left the chancellor’s office.

Hasara's comments were featured in a March 10, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100310-SJR-Hasara-U-of-I-board-might.pdf

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

IHSA 2A Boys Basketball sectional held at UIS

Meyers Leonard, a 7-foot University of Illinois basketball recruit, will be the featured attraction tonight when the University of Illinois Springfield serves as host for a Class 2A boys supersectional at The Recreation and Athletic Center.

The winner of the UIS Supersectional winner will play the winner of the Joliet Supersectional in the second game of the 2A state tournament at 8:15 p.m. Friday in Peoria.

Shuttle service

UIS will have overflow parking for tonight’s game and a shuttle from Lot B, which is located on the northeast corner of campus off University Drive. Shuttle service begins at 6 p.m. and continues after the game.

The game was featured in a March 9, 2010, report in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100309-SJR-Leonard-to-play-at-UIS-tonight.pdf

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Monday, March 8, 2010

Commish comes home: GLVC's Naumovich has come long way

Jim Naumovich, a Springfield native is now the face of the GLVC and has served as commissioner since 2000. He is back in his hometown this weekend for the GLVC basketball championships at the University of Illinois Springfield. The title games of the men’s and women’s conference tournament are today at The Recreation and Athletic Center.

Naumovich, the longest serving commissioner in conference history, oversees a 32-year-old league made up of 15 schools (soon to be 16 with the addition of William Jewell later this year) located in Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, Wisconsin and Illinois. The league sponsors 17 sports.

Naumovich was featured in a March 7, 2010, article in State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100307-SJR-Commish-comes-home-GLVC.pdf

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Science meeting tracks Emiquon progress

The notion that all science is “cold and hard” was debunked nicely at the Emiquon Science Meeting Thursday.

Doyn Kellerhals, a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Springfield, presented her research on the bacteria that decompose leaves of silver maple trees. Bacteria are very difficult to tell apart until they are examined at a DNA level.

She is learning that bacterial communities change as leaves break down. And different bacteria are at work in different habitats.

Kellerhals reminded the audience that the small things really do matter.

“I really like talking about the fish and the ducks, but this is where it all starts.”

Kellerhals was featured in a March 5, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100305-SJR-Emiquon-progress.pdf

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In Illinois, Race Is Set for Governor

A full month after votes were cast in a primary, the race for governor was at last set in Illinois Friday. The campaign will pit a conservative downstate Republican lawmaker against the sitting Democratic governor, who must overcome a dire state budget gap as well as memories of the ousted Democratic governor Rod R. Blagojevich.

“This may have been the more desirable outcome for Pat Quinn,” said Kent Redfield, a political scientist from the University of Illinois, Springfield.

Redfield's comments were featured in a March 5, 2010, article in the New York Times.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100305-NYT-In-Illinois-Race-Governor.pdf

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Friday, March 5, 2010

Leave with pay was part of Ringeisen's hiring deal

Richard Ringeisen’s contract when he was appointed chancellor of the University of Illinois Springfield in 2001 guaranteed him a year of paid administrative leave when he eventually left the chancellor’s office.

A letter sent in 2001 by then-U of I President James Stukel also envisioned that Ringeisen, who announced earlier this week he would retire as UIS chancellor on Oct. 31, could return to the ranks of tenured faculty members after that leave of absence.

When Ringeisen announced his retirement earlier this week, however, Ringeisen and U of I interim president Stanley Ikenberry agreed that, instead of a year’s paid leave, Ringeisen would serve as consultant for long-range planning and special assistant to the president for 14 months following his retirement.

Ringeisen was featured in a March 5, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100305-SJR-Leave-with-pay-Ringeisen.pdf

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UI-Springfield chancellor to spend next year as consultant

The chancellor of the University of Illinois-Springfield, who announced his resignation this week, will stay on an additional year as a special assistant, with his full chancellor’s salary.

Richard Ringeisen will resign as chancellor effective Oct. 31.

In a proposal to be discussed by the board of trustees next week, interim President Stanley Ikenberry will recommend that Ringeisen be appointed as chancellor emeritus.

Ringeisen was featured in a March 4, 2010, article in the Champaign News-Gazette.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100304-CNG-UI-Springfield-chancellor.pdf

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UIS wins national award for community service

The University of Illinois Springfield has been named to the 2009 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.

The Corporation for National and Community Service, which administers the annual Honor Roll award, recognized more than 700 colleges and universities for their impact on issues from poverty and homelessness to environmental justice.

According to the UIS Volunteer Center director Kelly Thompson, receiving this award shows how involved the university is involved with the community.

The award was featured in a report by WTIM radio in Taylorville on March 5, 2010.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100305-WTIM-Presidents-Honor-Roll.pdf

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Editorial: U of I board should rethink Ringeisen deal

The following is a portion of an editorial published in the March 5, 2010, edition of the State Journal-Register.

"IT'S A SWEET DEAL, no doubt, for a university president signing off from a lengthy career in higher education.

University of Illinois Springfield Chancellor Richard Ringeisen gets $273,000 after he retires to serve as an adviser to the president of the University of Illinois. He won’t have to live in Illinois to do the job, and he’ll even get reimbursed for flying back and forth between his new home in the Carolinas and the Land of Lincoln."

Download a PDF of the full editorial:
20100305-SJR-Our-Opinion-U-of-I-board.pdf

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Thursday, March 4, 2010

U. of I. Springfield chancellor to get salary for 14 months after leaving post

The retiring chancellor of University of Illinois' campus in Springfield will retain his $273,500 salary for 14 months after he leaves the post this fall, according to a retirement agreement released Wednesday.

Richard Ringeisen, 65, the UIS chancellor since 2001, is expected to step down Oct. 31. He would then serve as special assistant to the president and consultant for long-range planning through Dec. 31, 2011, before retiring from the university.

During nearly a decade as chancellor, Ringeisen is credited with significantly boosting the Springfield campus' profile and transforming it into a more traditional university.

Ringeisen was featured in a March 3, 2010, Chicago Tribune report.

Download a PDF of this article:
20100303-TRIB-UofI-Springfield-chancellor.pdf

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Ringeisen might retain salary after retiring

University of Illinois Springfield Chancellor Richard Ringeisen would make $273,500 annually as an adviser to the U of I president after his retirement this fall, under a proposal to be considered next week by the university board.

Under the agreement, Ringeisen would serve as consultant for long-range planning and special assistant to the president from Nov. 1 through 2011. His pay would be equal to his current salary as chancellor.

Ringeisen was featured in a March 4, 2010, report in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100304-SJR-Ringeisen-might-retain.pdf

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NCAA basketball comes to Springfield

This weekend, as Jim Naumovich returns to his hometown, he’ll bring the Great Lakes Valley Conference men’s and women’s basketball tournaments along with him.

Springfield native Naumovich is the commissioner of the GLVC, one of the country’s largest National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II conferences with 16 members in five Midwest states. The University of Illinois Springfield, which last fall joined teams like Saint Joseph’s College and Quincy University in the conference, will host the final four games of the two tournaments at The Recreation and Athletic Center on March 6 and 7.

Since the UIS Prairie Stars aren’t eligible to play in the GLVC tournament during their first year in the conference, the three-year-old TRAC will serve as a neutral location for advancing teams.

The tournament was featured in a March 4, 2010, article in the Illinois Times.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100304-ILTimes-NCAA-basketball-Springfield.pdf

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Democrats taking applications for Ill. lt. gov.

Illinois' Democratic voters picked a pawnbroker as their candidate for lieutenant governor, and that didn't exactly end well.

The Democrats' approach to the candidate selection process is unprecedented in Illinois, according to political analysts. The closest the state has come in recent history is in 2004, when Republican Senate candidate Jack Ryan left the race and the party's central committee replaced him with Alan Keyes, a conservative who didn't live in Illinois at the time, said Kent Redfield, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Illinois at Springfield. Keyes went on to lose to President Barack Obama.

Redfield's comments were featured in a March 3, 2010, Associated Press article published in the Belleville News Democrat.

Download the article as a PDF:
20100303-BND-dems-start-taking.pdf

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Local residents trying to reach relatives in Chile

Veronica Espina, a professor at UIS who grew up in Chile, also has ties to Santiago.

“I would say 90 percent of my family lives in Santiago. If it wasn’t for Facebook, I would be panicking,” Espina said. “I’ve heard from sisters, cousins and aunties, my family is well.”

Espina also has a few family members in Concepcion.

“I was really worried about them, but then I remembered that in February, people leave the city to vacation. They were someplace else, so they are OK,” Espina said.

Espina was featured in a March 2, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100302-Central-Illinoisans-Chile.pdf

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Ringeisen retiring as chancellor of University of Illinois Springfield

People take it for granted now that Springfield has a four-year university, University of Illinois Springfield chancellor Richard Ringeisen said Monday.

Ringeisen said that’s the proudest achievement he’ll take away when he steps down as UIS chancellor in October.

At times battling tears, Ringeisen, 65, on Monday announced his retirement after more than nine years at UIS.

“It sounds like a cliche, I guess, but I just feel it’s the right time,” Ringeisen said.

Ringeisen's retirement was featured in a March 2, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100302-Ringeisen-retiring-as-chancellor.pdf

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UIS Chancellor plans to retire in October

The chancellor at the University of Illinois' Springfield campus is stepping down after nine years on the job.

Richard D. Ringeisen, who is about to turn 66, said his retirement is effective Oct. 31.

He is the fifth CEO in the 40-year history of the school, known as Sangamon State University for 25 years, campus spokesman Derek Schnapp said.

Ringeisen told The News-Gazette that his proudest accomplishments came with the planning of the university as it moved into a four-year liberal arts college and NCAA sports program.

"We were a little uncertain who we were when I started," he said.

Ringeisen's comments were featured in a March 2, 2010, article in the Champaign News-Gazette.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100302-CNG-UIS-Chancellor-plans-to-retire.pdf

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Ringeisen to Retire

Richard Ringeisen has been chancellor of the University of Illinois Springfield since 2001. Enrollment has increased by 16 percent to nearly five thousand students this fall. New buildings including a recreation center and student dorm have gone up on campus and the school began taking freshman.

Ringeisen has announced that he's retiring. WUIS public radio's Amanda Vinicky spoke with him about why in a March 1, 2010 interview.

Listen to the report online:

PC Link | Mac Link

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UIS Chancellor announces retirement

With Illinois public universities facing drastic cuts as a result of the state’s record budget deficit, Richard Ringeisen, chancellor for the University of Illinois at Springfield, announced Monday that he would retire in October.

The smallest campus of the state’s flagship university is feeling the pinch as a result of the state’s $13 billion budget shortfall.

But the UIS head said the desire to spend more time with his family, not the state’s fiscal crisis, affected his decision to step away.

“The budget’s a danger... This is almost Biblical – The bad budget shall always be with us,” Ringeisen said. “We just have to make the proper moves to take care of it.”

Ringeisen's comments were featured in a Illinois Statehouse News article on March 2, 2010.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100301-ILSHN-uis-chancellor-announces.pdf

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A Conversation with the retiring UIS Chancellor

Podcast of Chancellor Ringeisen’s live interview about his retirement with Bob Murray on the WTAX Morning NewsWatch on March 2, 2010.

Listen online:
http:/www.wtax.com/play_window.php?audioType=Episode&audioId=4436277

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Monday, March 1, 2010

Fields set for GLVC Final Four at UIS

Two teams ranked in the NABC NCAA Division II national poll and the defending league champion have advanced to the semifinals of the Great Lakes Valley Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament set for Saturday at The Recreation and Athletic Center at the University of Illinois Springfield.

The semifinalists in the GLVC Women’s Basketball Tournament will take the court at TRAC prior to their male counterparts.

The tournament was featured in a March 1, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100301-Area-colleges-Basketball-UIS.pdf

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Service clubs losing members, but still fulfilling for many

Jonathan Isler, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Illinois Springfield, says he believes people are as committed as ever, but community service has taken different forms.

“People are still doing social things and are engaged and community-oriented,” Isler says. “They’re not more selfish or more narcissistic, but there’s this kind of rallying-around-the-wagons mentality in which people want to take care of family and friends first.”

Isler's comments were featured in a February 27, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100227-SJR-Social-clubs-losing-members.pdf

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Cyber security conference set in Springfield

A one-day conference on cyber defense and disaster recovery will be held Friday, March 12 at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

The event is hosted by the UIS Computer Science Department in cooperation with InfraGard Springfield. Breakout sessions in Conference Room C/D on the lower level of the Public Affairs Center will cover topics such as cyber threats, hacking, risk assessment and computer-forensic response.

The event was featured in a February 27, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100226-Cyber-security-conference.pdf

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B-N business community fueled Brady's campaign

If Bill Brady becomes the next governor of Illinois, he may have his peers in the Twin City business community to thank.

Brady’s early support from his peers and family is common, said Ron Michaelson, who led the state Board of Elections for 27 years and now teaches at the University of Illinois-Springfield. That strong base of cash was key to establishing Brady as a credible candidate to others, he said.

“He’s now got to establish stronger support and visibility in the six-county area (around Chicago) where a lot of the money is and where all of the votes are, quite frankly,” Michaelson said.

Michaelson's comments were featured in a February 26, 2010, edition of the Bloomington Pantagraph.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100226-B-N-business-Brady.pdf

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Human Trafficking prevails in Springfield

When you hear about "human trafficking", you might think it's something that happens only in third world countries. But, as many students at the University of Illinois at Springfield found out Wednesday afternoon, the problem is prevalent here as well.

As part of the university's "Engaged Citizenship Common Experience" speaker series (ECCE), the coordinator of the Illinois Rescue and Restore Coalition gave some shocking statistics.

Project Coordinator Lisa Fedina says her group's national hotline has been successful in identifying who, and where, these victims are, and in initiating the process of safely rescuing them.

The event was featured in a February 24, 2010, report by WICS-TV 20.

Read more and watch online:
http://www.wics.com/newsroom/top_stories/videos/wics_vid_1602.shtml

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