Wednesday, October 29, 2014

UIS testing private market for expanded student housing

University of Illinois Springfield is turning to the private sector to expand student housing already at 97 percent of capacity.

Plans include a 100-bed mixed-use residential and retail facility on 14 acres at the west edge of campus, Chancellor Susan Koch said. No tax dollars would be used, said Koch, who added that she would like to see groundbreaking as early as next spring.

The University of Illinois Foundation, which owns the land, is accepting developer proposals through Nov. 20.

“This is really driven by the need for more student housing,” Koch said.

Fall enrollment at UIS is just over 5,400. A little more than 1,000 students live on campus, putting residential occupancy at 97 percent, according to the university. There’s the added possibility now of Benedictine University at Springfield students transferring to UIS after Benedictine announced it would end its undergraduate program at the end of the current school year.

The developer would be granted a 50-year lease with a 25-year renewal option at a cost to the developer yet to be determined, according to a request for proposals. The mix of single- and multiple-bedroom apartments would have to meet UIS standards for student housing. Up to 15,000 square feet of retail space would be allowed.

“It could be gift shops, pharmacies, specialty stores, apparel stores, restaurants, casual food or coffee shops,” Koch said. “There’s just a variety of things we could do there.”

The story was reported by The State Journal-Register on October 29, 2014.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Red Ribbon campaign promotes drug-free living to Chatham schools

Raising awareness of the dangers of alcohol and drugs. That's the goal of the Red Ribbon campaign

This week, Ball-Chatham students will engage in activities to promote a drug-free and healthy lifestyle.

Monday morning, University of Illinois Springfield student athletes visited each elementary school for assemblies on what it means to have academic and personal goals.

Ball-Chatham officials say the students get excited to see these student athletes. "They're like royalty to these kids. These kids really look up to them and hang on to every word they say so it's been such a blessing to have them come out and talk to us about the same type of things we're already talking about this week, making those safe and healthy choices and staying drug free and resisting peer pressure," said Kristin Ribley, Glenwood Elementary counselor.

UIS has invited the students to attend the UIS vs. McKendree soccer games on Wednesday at Kiwanis Stadium. Students can attend free of charge if they wear Titan gear.

The story was featured on WICS Newschannel 20 on Monday, October 27, 2014.

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Monday, October 27, 2014

International student enrollment rises at UIS

Efforts to increase the number of international students at the University of Illinois Springfield paid off in a big way this fall, with their numbers increasing to 827.

That’s more than 15 percent of the student body, and it is by design.

“We’ve been working very, very hard for the past three years to open our doors more effectively to international students,” UIS Chancellor Susan Koch said.

Many of the students came to UIS from India and China, with computer science and management information systems the most common majors chosen by international students.

The number of UIS international students increased 115 percent this fall over fall 2013.

“We’ve developed partnerships with higher education institutions in China, and our India connection is related to computer science,” she said. “Several years ago, students came over from India and did very well here. Through word of mouth, that connection has really spread.”

The increase was reported by The State Journal-Register on October 25, 2014.

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