Monday, April 26, 2010

Review: Faith, ideals, humanity themes of 'The Runner Stumbles'

Although the UIS Theatre's production of "The Runner Stumbles" is set a full century ago, when Catholic Church rituals and practices were much more structured and Catholics were struggling to gain acceptance in America's predominantly Protestant culture, its themes and plot elements remain timely.

On one level, "Runner", which plays today, Sunday, and April 29-May 1 at the University of Illinois Springfield Studio Theatre, appears to present familiar, almost stereotyped, images of a tradition-bound, repressive Catholic Church and backward, suspicious small-town residents, blended with a traditional murder mystery. But on a deeper level it is about the eternal struggle to reconcile faith, reason, and emotion and aspire to high ideals without losing touch with one's humanity.

Directed by Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson, the two-act drama by Milan Stitt -- based on an actual court case -- takes place in a Michigan logging town in 1911, where the former Catholic parish pastor, Father Rivard (Dug Hall) is on trial for the murder of a young nun, Sister Rita (Ellyn Thorson) four years earlier.

The review was published in a April 24, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100424-SJR-Review-The-Runner-Stumbles.pdf

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

UIS play looks at questions of duty, faith

On its surface, “The Runner Stumbles” is a murder mystery about whether a priest killed a nun.

Milan Stitt’s play, which opens Friday in a production by UIS Theatre, digs much deeper than that, looking at questions of faith and duty, to oneself and God.

Director Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson, an assistant professor of theater at the University of Illinois Springfield, said the story has a timeless quality.

Based on a true story from rural Michigan in 1911, the story unfolds in flashbacks. It opens with Father Rivard (Dug Hall) in jail, accused of murdering Sister Rita (Ellyn Thorson).

The play was featured in a April 22, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100422-SJR-UIS-play-looks-at-duty-faith.pdf

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Professor starts fund to benefit UIS athletes

Barbara Hayler didn’t attend many University of Illinois Springfield women’s basketball games prior to the 2009-10 season, but following the team this season has compelled her to help student-athletes who have lost their athletic scholarships for the 2010-11 academic year.

Hayler, a Professor Emerita of Criminal Justice at UIS, has established the Help Honor Our Promises for Education Fund. Hayler is seeking donations to the Help HOPE fund, which would provide financial assistance to junior athletes who have had their scholarships terminated, regardless of sport, and help with academic costs.

The fund was featured in a April 21, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100421-SJR-Professor-starts-fund.pdf

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

All known and unknown nuclear powers should come under this fold

Dr. Baker Ahmed Siddiquee, Professor of Economics at UIS and an analyst on Arab World and Muslim countries in an interview with VOABangla Service urges upon all nuclear power to come under a single fold of pledging to secure their nuclear weapons.

In a round table discussion Professor Siddiquee says that he welcomes the initiatives of the U.S. President Barack Obama to hold this International Global Summit where the nations are required to reassure that their nuclear materials are secured and that they do not, in particular, fall into the hands of the terrorists organizations like the Al Qaida.

Siddiquee's comments were featured by Voice of America radio on April 12, 2010.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100412-VOA-Nuclear-Powers-Baker.pdf

Listen to the interview on the Voice of America website

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Richard Judd: Saving capitalism

The following column was written by Richard Judd, National City Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois Springfield. It was published in the State Journal-Register on April 7, 2010.

"For decades the U.S. was the epicenter of advanced technology production. No longer. In 2008 the U.S. exported $275 billion of such goods but imported more than $329 billion. Of those imports, $91 billion came from China. The U.S. depends on advanced technology, yet we are outsourcing production.

The state of global trade in 2010 is as precarious as global finance was before its 2008 collapse, largely because of a free-market approach to global trade and deregulation of the money industry."

Download a PDF of the full column:
20100407-SJR-Richard-Judd-Saving-capitalism.pdf

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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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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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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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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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Monday, March 22, 2010

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 12, 2010

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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Thursday, March 11, 2010

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 3, 2010

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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Monday, March 1, 2010

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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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Political litmus test: Democratic states spilling most red ink

The five states in the worst financial condition - Illinois, New York, Connecticut, California, and New Jersey - are all among the bluest of blue states.

UIS' Kent Redfield was interviewed for a February 25, 2010, article in Forbes.

Download a pdf of the article:

Forbes%20-%20Political%20litmus%20test.pdf

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

'Curious' collection: Springfield artist goes own way in UIS exhibit

One week before she is to open a solo exhibition at the University of Illinois Springfield, Felicia Olin is sitting in the living room of her Springfield home, surrounded by her work.

Some paintings are stacked against the fireplace mantel. Others are lined up beneath the television in the corner. More are on the landing of the stairs.

Liz Murphy Thomas, the director of the visual arts gallery and an assistant professor of art and digital media at UIS, said she tries to program a diverse array of exhibits each academic year at the gallery. That diversity includes local and national artists and both two- and three-dimensional work.

The article was published in a February 18, 2010, edition of the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100218-SJR-Curious-collection-UIS-exhibit.pdf

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Shimkus challenges climate-change research

The event was a rah-rah session for Sangamon County Republicans, but U.S. Rep. JOHN SHIMKUS, R-Collinsville, couldn’t let his time in front of a microphone pass without making clear his disdain for those who are sounding the climate-change alarm.

DENNIS RUEZ JR. is assistant professor and chair of the Department of Environmental Studies at the University of Illinois Springfield.

“Most people do not understand the difference between climate and weather,” he said. “Ice fishing in Illinois does not necessarily mean cooling climate; similarly, a hot summer does not necessarily mean warming climate. Additionally, southern Illinois ponds can’t be used as a climate proxy for the entire planet.

Reuz's comments were featured in a February 18, 2010, Bernard Schoenburg column in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100218-SJR-Bernard-Schoenburg-Shimkus.pdf

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No more private sessions, Senate president vows

After criticism from open-government advocates, Senate President John Cullerton pledged to avoid convening the Senate in private again as he did Wednesday to hear a budget briefing from a nationwide legislative association.

One longtime legislative expert said he'd never seen a similar instance of barring public access in four decades of watching the Senate.

"When it's a briefing about fiscal matters, I don't think there's a valid reason that it shouldn't be open," said Charles N. Wheeler III, director of the University of Illinois at Springfield's Public Affairs Reporting program and a former Sun-Times Statehouse bureau chief.

Wheeler's comments were featured in a February 18, 2010, edition of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100218-SunTimes-No-more-private-sessions.pdf

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Illinois-Springfield professor will address changing view of Lincoln

What turned out to be a mistaken assumption by a college professor back in 1984 led to revealing new information about Abraham Lincoln.

"I assumed everything that was important that Lincoln ever said or was said about him or his administration had long since been discovered by an army of Lincoln scholars and I could do my research by just consulting these published sources," said Michael Burlingame, who holds the Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Conclusions drawn from resources, particularly about former slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass and Lincoln, will be highlighted Monday in Pittsfield. Burlingame will be the featured speaker at a Lincoln symposium sponsored by the Abe Lincoln Project of Pike County and the Pittsfield Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.

Burlingame's appearance was featured in a February 16, 2010, article in the Quincy Herald Whig.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100216-QHW-Lincoln-symposium.pdf

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Burlingame wins 2010 Lincoln Prize

Michael Burlingame of the University of Illinois Springfield has won the 2010 Lincoln prize for his book, "Abraham Lincoln: A Life," published last year by John Hopkins University Press.

Burlingame, installed Thursday as holder of the Naomi Lynn Distinguished Chair of Lincoln Studies at UIS, will receive $50,000 and a replica of "Lincoln the Man," a bust by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. The prize, sponsored by Gettysburg College and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, will be awarded April 27 at the Union League in New York.

The feature on Burilngame was in the February 13, 2010, article in the Chicago Tribune and the State Journal-Register.

Download a pdf of the article.

Burlingame%20wins%202010%20Lincoln%20Prize.pdf

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Burlingame to be invested as new Lincoln Chair

While continuing his own original research on Abraham Lincoln, Michael Burlingame, the new holder of the Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois Springfield, said he expects his students to do the same.

Burlingame will be invested as the new Lincoln Chair in a ceremony at the Old State Capitol on Thursday evening, February 11.

Burlingame and his work were featured in a February 11, 2010, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100211-SJR-Burlingame.pdf

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Blagojevich wants all phone tapes played for jury

When his corruption trial begins in June, Rod Blagojevich, the former governor of Illinois,
wants jurors to be allowed to hear all of the audio recordings — some 500 hours’ worth — that federal authorities secretly made of his telephone conversations.

That prospect, political analysts say, was likely to cause queasiness for Illinois politicians, some of whom are thought to be heard on those audio recordings and might have hoped their comments would never become public.

Any association with Blagojevich could cast a candidate as part of the “corrupt Democratic machine,” said Kent Redfield, a professor emeritus of political science at UIS.

Redfield's comments on the subject were featured in a February 11, 2010, article in the New York Times.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100211-NYTimes-Blagotapes.pdf

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UIS is early adopter of Google Wave for online learning

When a preview version of Google Wave became available last September, some higher ed users dove right in to try the real-time collaboration tool. The University of Illinois Springfield’s Center for Online Learning, Research and Service (COLRS) is an early adopter.

Last semester, students taking “Internet in American Life” built a wave with peers at the Institute of Technology Sligo (Ireland). Ray Schroeder, director of COLRS and a co-teacher of the course, hopes to create a matrix where faculty can post their interest in creating a wave with people at other institutions.

UIS' use of Google Wave for online learning and teaching was mentioned in a February 2010 article in University Business.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100211-UBusiness-googlewave.pdf

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Controversy surrounds Cohen's withdrawal from lt. governor race

The controversy surrounding Scott Lee Cohen's nomination and subsequent withdrawal from the race for Illinois lieutenant governor has renewed the debate over whether the position is needed at all.

Kent Redfield, a professor emeritus of political science at UIS, said changing the way the nominee is selected is the ideal way to prevent a Cohen-like scenario from unfolding again.

Under current law, lieutenant governor nominees are selected independently of the candidate for governor, yet they run on a joint ticket in the general election. Running as a team in the primary election, Redfield said, would prevent it from being "just luck if the two
know each other and get along."

Redfield's comments were featured in a February 9, 2010, article in the Daily Herald.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100209-DailyHerald-Cohen.pdf

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Monday, February 8, 2010

Electic list of winners partly due to low voter turnout

The list of victors from the Illinois primary election is electic. With such a hodgepodge of candidates moving into the general election, some say the most revealing mentality of the electorate may belong to the voters who didn't show at the polls.

Illinois political historian Charles N. Wheeler III, a professor at UIS, said the low turnout was ironic considering the disgust many Illinoisans directed at officeholders following Blagojevich's arrest in late 2008.

Wheeler's comments were featured in a February 7, 2010, article in the Daily Herald.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100207-DailyHerald-voterpicks.pdf

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Brady already planning campaign against Quinn

Although the outcome of the Republican race for governor remains in flux, state Sen. Bill Brady headed out on the campaign trail Friday.

For now, Brady and Kirk Dillard are waiting for final ballots to roll in from absentee and provisional voters. If an official count in March shows the two still neck and neck, a recount process could be launched, forcing an even longer delay in determining who will represent the GOP in November, but that's not stopping Brady from plotting his run against Gov. Pat Quinn.

Chris Mooney, a professor of political science at UIS, said Brady is trying to define himself before Quinn gets a chance.

Mooney's comments were featured in a February 6, 2010, article in the Herald & Review.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100206-H%26R-Brady.pdf

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Illinois politics never dull

During the Illlinois primary election, by Wednesday evening, with 99 percent of precincts reporting, Bill Brady held a lead of only 406 votes out of 765,000 cast over Kirk Dillard for the Republicans.

Among the Democrats, current Gov. Pat Quinn was ahead of State Comptroller Dan Hynes by 8,090 votes.

The possibility of expensive, time-consuming recounts hovered over both parties.

“Whatever you say about Illinois politics, unfortunately it’s never dull,” said Kent Redfield, professor emeritus of political science at UIS.

Redfield's comments were featured in a Feburary 4, 2010, article in the New York Times about the state election.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100204-NYTimes-ILprimary.pdf

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Election recount could be costly and delayed

If Illinois decides on doing its first ever statewide election recount, the process won't begin for at least a month. No recount can be started until the election results — including early and absentee ballots — are finalized March 5.

The monetary cost of a recount shouldn't mean much to candidates who have raised and spent far more during their primary campaigns. But the political price of a fierce intraparty battle could be enough to give candidates pause, said Ron Michaelson, former director of the state board of election and a political science professor at the University of Illinois-Springfield.

Michaelson's comments were featured in a Feburary 4, 2010, article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Download a PDF of the article: 20100204-STLpostdispatch-recount.pdf

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Democrats might have reasons to worry this fall

The polls are now open in President Obama's home state of Illinois, which holds the nation's first primary in what is expected to be a tumultuous election year across the U.S.

Whatever the outcome of Tuesday's voting, Democrats might have to worry this fall about this "blue state" — where Democrats hold all statewide offices and control both chambers of the General Assembly, says Kent Redfield, professor emeritus of political science at UIS.

Redfield's comments were featured in a February 2010 article in the USA Today.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100202-USAToday-voters.pdf

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Democratic control could lead to redistricting

The contested primary races for governor among Democrats and Republicans could lead to national attention -- and money -- in the fall. If Democrats continue to control the legislature and the governor's office, they could draw new legislative districts for Congress and the General Assembly that could further marginalize Republicans.

"The governor's race is going to be a tough race and clearly there's a lot at stake with redistricting," said Christopher Mooney, a political science professor at UIS. "The national GOP might bring money into the governor's race, though they almost never do. Democrats have a natural advantage, but Republicans have Blagojevich to run on. Both sides have strong themes they can run on."

Mooney's comments were featured in a February 2, 2010, article in the American Chronicle.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100202-AmChronicle-elections.pdf

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TV ads won't necessarily help candidates

There are currently several high-profile political races going on in Illinois, and it may be difficult for any candidate to count on TV ads this weekend to put them over the top.

"There are candidates for a variety of offices on TV (and) plenty of commercials," said Christopher Mooney, a political science professor at the University of Illinois Springfield. "I've never seen this much clutter."

Mooney's comments were featured in the January 30, 2010, Chicago Tribune.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100130-ChiTrib-Mooney.pdf

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Wheeler: Illinois is becoming more Hispanic and Asian

In the January edition of Illinois Issues magazine, Charlie Wheeler, director of the Public Affairs Reporting Program at UIS, wrote that Illinois is becoming more Hispanic and Asian. The GOP should be concerned, Wheeler wrote, because “voters in burgeoning ethnic communities — particularly Latinos — tend to vote Democratic.

Wheeler's editorial and comments were featured in a January 31, 2010, column by Bernard Schoenburg in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the column:
20100131-SJR-Wheeler.pdf

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Republicans fight to get back control in Illinois

Six candidates are vying to fill the position of governor in a state that has generally rejected the national Republican Party’s hard-line positions. The GOP nominee will face the winner of a contentious Democratic primary battle between Gov. Pat Quinn, the former lieutenant governor who succeeded Blagojevich, and Comptroller Dan Hynes.

Debates between the contenders have put the state GOP’s internal conflict between conservatives and moderates on full display, especially regarding tax policy as Illinois struggles with a historic $12 billion budget deficit.

Kent Refield, professor emeritus of political science at UIS, weighed in on the primary elections in a January 31, 2010, article in the Decatur Herald & Review.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100131-H%26R-elections.pdf

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Most Illinois gubernatorial campaigns in debt

Seven of the eight active candidates for governor go into Tuesday's election with a substantial campaign debt, somewhat ironic given the fact that most of them are hammering past and current state leaders about overspending.

In some cases, it's just wealthy candidates self-funding their campaigns and calling it a loan. But the big loans to other candidates are another story, according to Kent Redfield, professor emeritus of political science at UIS.

Redfield's comments were featured in a January 31, 2010, article in the Champaign News-Gazette.

Download a PDF of the article:
20100131-NewsGazette-campaignfunds.pdf

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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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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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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

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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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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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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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

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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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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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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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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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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Friday, December 11, 2009

Professor weighs in on power company's proposed plan

Rocky Mountain Power in Salt Lake City wants to change the way it bills customers for the electricity they use, a decision it says will help lower costs and allow Utahns to better track their electricity usage and respond to changing prices, but that is receiving criticism from experts in the field.

Karl A. McDermott, a professor of business and government at UIS, was one expert who weighed in on the situation in a December 11, 2009, article in the Salt Lake Tribune.

Download a PDF of the article
20091211-SaltLakeTribune-utility.pdf

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Rate plan receives criticism from experts

Customers who buy their power from Duke Energy in South Carolina face a 9.2 percent price hike by February under a settlement agreement between the company and the Office of Regulatory Staff, the state agency charged with protecting the public interest in utility matters.

If South Carolina's Office of Regulatory Staff had employed the same average and peak method for cost allocation method as other states like Michigan, Duke's residential customers might not be facing such a steep rate hike at the same time manufacturers are set to get a decrease, according to Carl Peterson, a professor in the Center for Business and Regulation at the University of Illinois Springfield.

Comments from Peterson were featured in a December 11, 2009 article published in the (South Carolina) State.

Download a PDF of the article

20091211-State-Dukerateplan.pdf

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Quinn uses office to advantage with State of the State Address

In 2010, Gov. Pat Quinn will stand before legislators and lay out his vision for state government. His State of the State address could be a State of the Campaign address as well, some say, and criticize him for taking advantage of his office during the election.

But that's the kind of perk that comes with being governor, according to Chris Mooney, professor of political science at UIS.

Mooney's comments were featured in a December 3, 2009, article in the State Journal-Register about the topic.

Download a PDF of the article
20091203-SJR-Quinnstateaddress.pdf

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Cuomo took campaign cash from lawyers with matters before him

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s campaign fund took tens of thousands of dollars from law firms representing clients his office investigated or accused of wrongdoing, state records show.

If Cuomo were to reject lawyer donations to avoid any appearance of conflict, he could still raise enough for “a credible campaign,” said Ronald Michaelson, a former national chairman of the Council of Governmental Ethics Laws who teaches at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

“Even if he’s going to use the money in a gubernatorial race, he would still be the attorney general,” he said in an e- mail. “The perception of impropriety is obviously clear, and that’s reason enough to refuse the money.”

Michaelson's comments were featured in an November 23, 2009 Bloomberg.com article.

Download a PDF of the article:
20091123-Bloomberg-Cuomo.pdf

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Special Report: Why so few male elementary teachers?

Why are there so few male elementary teachers locally and across the nation?

"I think it has a lot to do with perceptions of what teachers do during the day, especially elementary school teachers," said Dr. Curby Alexander, UIS assistant professor of education.

Alexander is a former elementary teacher and says many men stay out of the classroom because they think being a teacher means being a babysitter.

Demetrius Davis wanted to go into criminal psychology, but spent a summer teaching kids how to read. Now he is one of only a handful of male UIS students studying to become an elementary school teacher.

The special report aired on News Channel at Nine on Fox Illinois (WRSP-TV) on November 18, 2009.

Watch the report online:
http://www.myfoxillinois.com/dpp/springfield/11192009_why_so_few_male_teachers

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dedication Day: 146th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address

On Thursday, the 146th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address will be honored with numerous events in Gettysburg.

Dr. Michael Burlingame will deliver the 48th Annual Fortenbaugh Memorial Lecture at 8 p.m. Burlingame is currently the Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Burlingame's lecture was featured in an November 18, 2009 article in The Gettysburg, PA Times.

Download a PDF of the article:
20091118-Getty-Dedication-Day.pdf

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Books of the Year: The Top Five

Dr. Michael Burlingame’s book “Abraham Lincoln: A Life” has been picked by The Atlantic Monthly magazine as one of the top five books of 2009. Burlingame is a professor of history at the University of Illinois Springfield and holds the Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies.

Read more online at:
http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200912/books2009

Download a PDF of the article:
20091116-Atlantic-Monthly-Books-2009.pdf

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Friday, November 13, 2009

U of I committee starts presidential search

The retiring president of the University of Illi­nois got a standing ovation at his final meeting of the school’s board of trustees.

Meeting in Springfield, the board also ap­pointed a 19-member committee, including for­mer Springfield Mayor Karen Hasara, to search for a new president. The committee will be chaired by trustee Pamela Strobel.

Also appointed to the committee from the Uni­versity of Illinois Springfield were:

* Faculty members Tih-Fen Ting, chair of the campus senate and associate professor of envi­ronmental studies, and James Patrick Hall, di­rector of the MBA program and vice chair of the campus senate.

* Student representative Charles Olivier, vice president of the Student Government Associa­tion. He is an undergraduate in accountancy and business administration.

The appointments were reported in an November 13, 2009 State Journal-Register article.

Download a PDF of the article:
20091113-SJR-U-of-I-committee.pdf

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Young characters walk fine line in UIS play

At the center of “The Shape of Things” is the line between art and life.

The Neil LaBute play, which opens Friday at UIS Theatre, begins with a literal interpretation of that divide when Adam, a college student and part-time museum security guard, finds Evelyn on the wrong side of a velvet rope guarding a statue.

Suffice to say that Evelyn’s can of spray paint was just a small indication of how dirty she’s willing to get smudging the line between art and life.

“In other words, how much should art be infused in our daily living?” director Eric Thibodeaux-Thompson said. “Is art something that should just be seen on the occasional weekend visit to the museum, and keep it over there, safe? Or should we live all our lives artistically?”

The play was featured in an November 12, 2009 article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article:
20091112-SJR-Young-characters-UIS-play.pdf

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Richard Judd: Small business recovery is lagging

If the economic recovery touted as taking place right now seems weak and prepared to relapse, what might be the causes of a relapse?

Unemployment has crept above 10 percent and may stubbornly stay there if not rise higher for some time to come.

Richard Judd is a National City Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois Springfield. Judd's comments were featured in an November 4, 2009 opinion article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article.
20091104-SJR-Richard-Judd-.pdf

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Friday, October 30, 2009

Best of Springfield 2009: Best Theatrical Production - Drama

BEST THEATRICAL PRODUCTION - DRAMA

As You Like It
University of Illinois at Springfield

Shakespeare’s tale of love, deception and cross-dressing has been performed many times, many ways, in many places. For the first time ever, UIS was the stage, and its students not-so-merely the players. Associate Professor of Theatre, Eric Thibodeaux-Thompson tells us that the show came about as schoolwork. “For the 2008-2009 school year, my idea was to offer, in tandem, a Shakespeare class and a Shakespeare production.” The class, “Playing Shakespeare,” was offered for the first time in the fall of 2008 and by spring, they were ready to take the stage, with Thibodeaux-Thompson encouraging his students to audition. “We had a total of 18 actors in 23 roles. Approximately 80 percent were students, with 20 percent community actors, faculty and alumni. I enjoy a mix of students and community actors. I was very proud in a lot of ways.”

The honor was given the the Illinois Times in an October 29, 2009 edition.

Download a PDF of the article.
20091029-ILTimes-Best%20of%20Springfield%202009.pdf

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Kathryn Rem: Better cooking through chemistry

“Let the magic begin,” announced Harshavardhan Bapat to a crowd of students as he stirred liquid nitrogen into a bowl of sugar and heavy cream.

With a temperature of -320 degrees F, the nitrogen turned into a white gas when poured, looking a bit like puffy Cumulus clouds.

Last week was National Chemistry Week. At the University of Illinois Springfield, the annual event was celebrated by the school’s Chemistry Club with a public demonstration of instant ice cream-making.

The story was featured in an October 28, 2009 article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article.
20091028-SJR-UIS-National-Chemistry-Week.pdf

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Sixty people naturalized at Springfield ceremony

Sixty people became new U.S. citizens during a ceremony at the Old State Captiol on Friday, October 23. The new citizens come from 29 different countries and more than half are from Asia.

Tih-Fen Ting says her heart swelled with pride as she took the oath to become an American citizen. Like many of her fellow immigrants Tih-Fen is educated. She holds a Ph.D. and teaches Environmental Science at UIS.

Ting was interviewed by reporter Gordon Graham of WAND-TV 17 in an October 23, 2009 report.

Watch the report online

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Friday, October 9, 2009

Sangamon Co. Sheriff lobbies for budget increase

The Sangamon County Sheriff is calling for a sales tax hike to fill a growing budget gap.

WAND-TV 17 reporter Gordan Graham interviewed UIS Public Administration Associate Professor Beverly Bunch about the growing trend across the country.

"At some point it comes down to what services we can afford," said Bunch.

The report aired on October 8, 2009.
Watch the full report online

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

UIS adding new undergrad degree program

The University of Illinois Springfield is adding a 23rd undergraduate degree program that is expected to attract 25 students next year.

The state Board of Higher Education approved the Management Information Systems bachelor’s degree for UIS at its meeting in Chicago on Tuesday.

The undergraduate major is designed to provide students with a balance of technical skills and business knowledge and to prepare them for employment in private and public sectors in a changing global economy.

The announcement was featured in an October 8, 2009 article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article.
20091008-SJR-UIS-adding-new-undergra.pdf

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Good police work, public awareness keys to anti-terrorism effort, experts say

Alert police work led to the arrest of an alleged would-be federal building bomber in Springfield Thursday.

Bruce Liebe, a retired Illinois State Police officer who teaches a class on terrorism as a law-enforcement challenge at the University of Illinois Springfield, agreed that Finton’s arrest shouldn’t prevent anyone fom going about their normal routine.

“But I think it definitely heightens the message that’s been put out by the FBI and other law enforcement that people need to remain diligent and observe … people or persons or things that may be out of place and report those to the appropriate authorities,” Liebe said.

Liebe's comments were featured in a September 25, 2009 article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article.
20090925-SJR-Good-police-work.pdf

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Gallery displays rarely seen art of critic, philosopher

The stunningly stark woodcut print “DEAD MAN, BLACK BIRD” displayed at the University of Illinois Springfield’s Visual Arts Gallery seems to bring to life artist ARTHUR C. DANTO’s preference for the black-and-white woodcut.

A world-renowned author, philosopher and artist, Danto used that art form to permit the “directest” statement with the greatest economy of means.

“ARTHUR C. DANTO: PRINTS” will be displayed from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays through Sept. 23 at the arts gallery at UIS.

The gallery was featured in an September 3, 2009, Tamara Browning column in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article.

20090902-SJR-ArtGallery.pdf

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Governor won't fire U of I trustees

After threatening for weeks to fire two University of Illinois trustees who refused to resign, Gov. Pat Quinn reversed course Wednesday and said he would keep them on the board.

Political scientist Kent Redfield of the University of Illinois at Springfield said the standoff between Quinn and the trustee holdouts became a distraction that could have been avoided. Demanding resignations in public without knowing that the trustees would comply "painted [Quinn] into a corner," Redfield said.

Redfield's comments were featured in an August 27, 2009, article in the Chicago Tribune.

Download a PDF of the article.
20090827-Quinntrustees.pdf

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Illinois governor reputation

Some lawmakers are labeling Gov. Pat Quinn as indecisive after pushing back deadlines involving the University of Illinois board of trustees.

Christopher Mooney, a political science professor at the University of Illinois at Springfield, said Quinn risks weakening himself by being seen as indecisive. Lawmakers, for instance, are less likely to concede to him in negotiations if they think he'll fold soon.

Mooney's comments on the topic were featured in the August 25, 2009, Associated Press article.

Download a PDF of the article
20090825-AP-Quinn.pdf

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Professor weighs in on large mammoth bone found

Comments from Dr. Dennis Ruez, professor of environmental studies at UIS, were featured in a WICS news story about the finding of a large mammoth bone in Illinois. Dr. Ruez says the find will be instrumental for research and learning and is important for Illinois.

Watch the video clip here:
http://www.wics.com/newsroom/top_stories/videos/wics_vid_233.shtml

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Furlough days a possibility for U of I

A message from University of Illinois President B. Joseph White and the chancellors at the three U of I campuses went out alerting staff and faculty that unpaid furlough days may be considered as a way to alleviate any budget deficits.

The topic was featured in a July 22, 2009, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the story
20090722-SJR-furlough%20days.pdf

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Burlingame announced as new Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies

Renowned Abraham Lincoln scholar Michael Burlingame has been named the Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies at UIS.

The announcement was the subject of a news story in the May 27, 2009, State Journal-Register.
Download a PDF of the article
20090527-SJR-Burlingame.pdf

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Matthew Holden was 38th Commencement Ceremony Speaker

Matthew Holden Jr., who has been designated as the first Wepner Distinguished Professor in Political Science at the University of Illinois at Springfield, was the Commencement Speaker at UIS’s 38th commencement ceremony.

The announcement about Holden was featured in the May 2, 2009, State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article
20090502-SJR-commencementspeaker.pdf

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Commencement in Photos

UIS celebrated Commencement on Saturday, May 16, 2009.

View a photo gallery of the Commencement Ceremony on the Web site of the State Journal-Register here.

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Monday, May 4, 2009

Chancellor explains his side of conflict with faculty

Richard Ringeisen, chancellor of the University of Illinois at Springfield, said long-standing tensions between the UIS administration and faculty led to recent events that included the resignations of three coaches and a no-confidence vote in him by some faculty members.

The subject was a part of an April 27, 2009, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article
20090427-SJR-facultyadminconflict.pdf

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Ray Schroeder keeps up on educational technology trends

Keeping up with the latest educational technology trends is a key part of Ray Schroeder's job. Schroeder is the founder and director of the UIS Center for Online Learning, Research and Service (formerly the Office of Technology-Enhanced Learning.)

Schroeder was the subject of an April 23, 2009, feature article on eCampusNews.

Download a PDF of the article.
20090423-eschoolnews-RaySchroeder.pdf

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Springfield upbeat at news of Governor's arrest

The mood in the capital city was for the most part upbeat when news of Governor Blagojevich's arrest broke on December 9.

UIS associate professor Marcel Yoder was among psychologists asked to explain the irreverent public reaction to such a serious situation. Yoder said that many people "have a tendency to believe the world is a just place. They'e glad the Governor is getting his comeuppance."

Yoder's comments appeared in a December 17, 2008, article in the State Journal-Register.

Download a pdf file
20081217-sjr-BallandChainParty.pdf

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Is Illinois really the most corrupt state?

Rod Blagojevich's addition to the state's rather long list of public officials to run afoul of the law has led to the observation that if Illinois isn't the most corrupt state, it's at least "one hell of a competitor." But it turns out that determining which state really holds that title isn't so easy.

In an article published in the December 18, 2008, Kansas City Star, Chris Mooney, UIS professor of Political Science, observes, "It's notoriously difficult to measure political corruption."

Download a pdf file of the article
20081218-KCS-IsIllinoistheMostCorrupt.pdf

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Redfield commentary: Citizens must blame themselves

Kent Redfield, UIS emeritus professor of Political Science, filed a commentary with CNN on Gov. Rod Blagojevich and how he reflects the apparent general consensus among Illinoisans that "politics is solely about power, winning, and personal gain."

Download a pdf file of Redfield's commentary, which appeared on Dec. 16, 2008.
20081216-CNN-CommentaryonIllinoisVoters.pdf

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Illinois citizens expect corrupt politics

A New York Times article recounting Illinois' long history of corrupt politicians speculates that Illinoisans have a wide-spread acceptance of less-than-ethical behavior by the people they elect to public office.

Kent Redfield, UIS professor emeritus of Political Science, observes in the article that, "There is this attitude among politicians, and frankly among citizens, that this is the way things are. Politics is for professionals."

Download a pdf file of the article, published on December 14, 2008.
20081214-NYT-InIllinoisaVirtualExpectation.pdf

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Senate contenders unsure how to proceed

There is no shortage of potential candidates interested in filling President-elect Obama's vacant Senate seat, but in the current situation no one is sure exactly how to pursue that interest.

Chris Mooney, UIS professor of Political Science, says it's his opinion that -- if the choice falls to (current) Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn -- the appointment won't go to anyone known to be under consideration by (current) Gov. Rod Blagojevich. "We're making this up as we go along," Mooney observed.

Mooney was interviewed for an Associated Press article that appeared on December 12, 2008.

Download a pdf file
20081212-AP-ContendersNotSure.pdf

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State's political culture fosters corruption

Even some of the most cynical observers of Illinois politics were shocked by the behavior that brought about Gov. Rod Blagojevich's arrest on federal corruption charges. But it was the extent of his brazenness that surprised people rather than the arrest itself; many point to Blagojevich as just an extreme example of the state's political culture.

In an article in the December 11, 2008, Christian Science Monitor, Kent Redfield, UIS professor emeritus of Political Science, says that Illinois tends to "treat politics as a business. It's not about public interest…It's about power and winning and jobs."

Download a pdf file of the article
20081211-CSM-CorruptionWindsThru.pdf

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Blagojevich arrest hinders ability to conduct state business

Though Governor Rod Blagojevich gives no sign of stepping down, his ability to fulfill his official duties is seriously in question.

Kent Redfield, UIS professor emeritus of Political Science, says that while Blagojevich is governor and can sign bills and issue executive orders, "Nothing he does will be taken on its merits. It will all be: How does this fit into (his) legal problems?"

Redfield's comments were part of an article published in the December 11, 2008, Peoria Journal Star.

Download a pdf file of the article
20081211-PJS-ArrestCripplesGovernor.pdf

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Corruption in state government isn't anything new

Governor Rod Blagojevich's arrest on federal corruption charges is just the latest chapter in Illinois' long history of political scandal.

Chris Mooney, UIS professor of Political Science, observed that "Government in Illinois isn't about political ideology or helping people. It's about which…brother-in-law are you going to get a job…because he helped you get into office."

Mooney's comments appeared in a December 10, 2008, posting in the Conservative Libertarian Outpost.

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20081210-CLO-JustWhatIsNewinIl.pdf

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Close ties to governor a liability

Illinois State Rep. Jay Hoffman has been among Gov. Rod Blagojevich's closest political allies and friends. But Hoffman, who serves as chair of the House Transportation Committee, may find he has less clout when the legislature reconvenes.

Kent Redfield, UIS professor emeritus of Political Science, notes that while the Governor's friendship had previously been a big asset, "now it's probably a liability."

Redfield's comments appeared in an article published December 10, 2008, in the Olympia, Washington, Olympian.

Download a pdf file of the article
20081210-Olympian-HoffmansClout.pdf

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Quinn, Blagojevich don't get along

Though Pat Quinn serves as Lt. Governor, it's no secret that he and Gov. Rod Blagojevich don't like each other. An article that appeared in the December 10, 2008, Huffington Post examined the reasons for this and speculated on Quinn's future should Blagojevich leave office.

In the article, Kent Redfield, professor emeritus of Political Science at UIS, noted that the Quinn-Blagojevich relationship was "a marriage of convenience…their experiences are very different, so they really didn't have a lot to talk about."

Download a pdf file of the article
20081210-HP-QuinnVBlagojevich.pdf

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Blagojevich re-election is a "sad commentary"

When Rod Blagojevich was first elected governor in 2002 he presented himself as a reformer; however by the time he was re-elected in 2006 the fact that his administration was under federal investigation was already widely known.

In an article that appeared in the December 9, 2008, Bloomington Pantagraph, Kent Redfield, UIS professor emeritus of Political Science, notes, "It's a pretty sad commentary that we elected him again."

Download a pdf file of the article
20081209-BP-HistoryRepeats.pdf

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Arrest reinforces image of state as corrupt

An Associated Press story filed on December 9, 2008, reports on the growing opinion that the arrest of Gov. Rod Blagojevich has only reinforced Illinois' image as among the most corrupt states in the nation.

In the article, Charles Wheeler III, director of Public Affairs Reporting at UIS, notes that Blagojevich's apparent brazenness "blows everything else out of the water."

Download a pdf file of the article
20081209-AP-ArrestReinforcesImage.pdf

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Wheeler: Blagovejich "most incompetent" governor

In an article contrasting the early promise of Gov. Rod Blagojevich with his subsequent performance and, finally, arrest on federal corruption charges, Charles Wheeler III, director of Public Affairs Reporting at UIS, assessed Blagojevich as "the most incompetent governor we've had in the last 50 years."

The Chicago Tribune article was published December 10, 2008.

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20081210-CT-BlagojevichsPromiseCrashes.pdf

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Redfield in NYT: Blagojevich may have tripped over ambition

Kent Redfield, UIS professor emeritus of Political Science, was among those asked to comment on Governor Rod Blagojevich's arrest on federal corruption charges for an article that ran in the December 10, 2008, New York Times.

Redfield noted that while Blagojevich "had clearly come into office believing he was destined for bigger things," he may have tripped up on his own ambition.

"The combination of arrogance and stupidity…is just stunning," said Redfield. "There's no feedback loop or reality check."

Download a pdf file of the article
20081210-NYT-BlagojevichArrest.pdf

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Barricaded workers are a symbol

The laid-off workers of now-defunct Republic Widows and Doors who have taken over the Chicago factory and are refusing to leave until they receive assurances of promised severance and vacation pay have put a face to the reality of hard economic times.

Kent Redfield, UIS professor emeritus of Political Science, noted in a Chicago Tribune article that, while the case is classic politics, "politicians who… have something to offer are rightly intervening.

"It becomes a metaphor for what's going on in the larger economy," Redfield said.

Download a pdf file of the article, published on December 8, 2008.
20081208-CT-WorkersareaMetaphor.pdf

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Monday, December 1, 2008

New search options gaining popularity

Established Internet search engines such as Google may be facing competition from a variety of newer tools such as Blinkx, Grokker, and ChaCha.

In an article in the November 26, 2008, eSchoolNews, UIS OTEL Director Ray Schroeder noted that these new tools can be a boon to students, especially when their searches involve media other than print.

Download a pdf file of the article
20081126-eSN-NewSearchTools.pdf

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Constant connection to work is a mixed blessing

With the advent of e-mail, Blackberries, and smart phones, more and more workers find it hard to be "off duty."

An article in the November 24, 2008, State Journal-Register quotes Keith Burton, assistant professor and chair of Psychology at UIS, who notes that "employees need time to rest in order to be productive.

"We're not built to be constant working machines," he said.

Download a pdf file of the article
20081124-SJR-WiredWorld.pdf

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