Tuesday, February 24, 2015

UIS baseball team tries to build on breakout 2014 season

Chris Ramirez has the University of Illinois Springfield baseball program on the move. Last year was special for the Prairie Stars.

They produced their first winning record in five years of existence, qualified for their first Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament and set 12 single-season records.

In order to keep UIS headed in the right direction and better its 28-24 overall record and 18-18 conference mark, Ramirez must combine 26 newcomers with eight returning players.

“Everything we established last year we had to re-implement and re-establish going into this year with us bringing in so many new players,” Ramirez said. “That’s not a bad thing. It just made us have to work a little bit harder as a coaching staff, which is fine.”

The team was featured by The State Journal-Register on February 24, 2015.

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Taking the Million Step Challenge

Some faculty and staff at the University of Illinois Springfield are participating in a step challenge that involves walking at least 8,400 steps a day, including weekends. The challenge will last the rest of the spring 2015 semester.

Andy Egizi, an academic adviser, introduced the idea to combat the health risks associated with an office job where you are confined to a desk day in and day out.

"The idea behind it is that we get up and move and we're better off than we were just sitting here,” said Beverly Weddle, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean's office Receptionist.

The story was reported by WAND-TV on February 20, 2015.

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Friday, February 20, 2015

$209 million 'significant hit' to UI's funding

The University of Illinois goes through a lot of money in a year — more than $5 billion, in fact.

But most of it is restricted to specific uses — gifts from donors for a designated building; grants for a particular research project; income from the medical clinics in Chicago. It can't be used to pay an English professor (unless it's designated for that purpose).

So when the governor talks about cutting nearly $209 million from the university's appropriation — 31.5 percent of its state funding — it is a "significant hit," says Randall Kangas, UI associate vice president for planning and budgeting.

The UI gets about $667 million in state general revenue funding, plus more than $1 billion in state-appropriated tuition income, or $1.765 billion in total. That $209 million represents a 12 percent cut to the UI's unrestricted funding, Kangas said.

"State funds really are the skeleton of the university," Kangas said.

What does $209 million buy, in university terms? Two Springfield campuses, and then some, in terms of total budget ($88.8 million) — or four if you consider just their $53 million in unrestricted funding.

At Urbana, it covers 60 percent of the campus instructional budget ($345 million), or nearly the entire budget for the huge College of Liberal Arts and Sciences ($232.4 million).

This article was published online in The News-Gazette on February 20, 2015.

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