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Nov. 20, 2014 (Vol. 34, No. 10)
Illinois astronomy professor Leslie Looney (left) and former graduate student Ian Stephens, now at Boston University, studied a newborn star to see, for the first time, the magnetic field that will shape the planets of that star’s solar system.
Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

New president selected
Timothy L. Killeen, right, the vice chancellor for research and the president of the Research Foundation of the State University of New York, was named the 20th president of the U. of I. on Nov. 19, pending formal approval by the U. of I. Board of Trustees at its Jan. 15 meeting in Chicago. He was introduced with receptions at each campus throughout the day, shown here on the Urbana campus. Killeen, 62, would succeed retiring President Bob Easter.

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Campus »

Chancellor Wise asked to join governor-elect transition team

Chancellor Phyllis M. Wise is the only active university chancellor in the state to be asked to join Illinois governor-elect Bruce Rauner’s transition team.

SEC reviews two new campus procedural communications

The Office of the Provost reported on two new campus procedural communications at the Senate Executive Committee meeting Nov. 10 and to the Urbana-Champaign Senate Nov. 17.

U. of I. Board of Trustees: Engineering dean on new school of medicine

Leaders of the Urbana campus’s College of Engineering say not pursuing an Urbana-based school of medicine could render the renowned engineering program irrelevant in the future.

On the Job: DOnyetta Turner

As a staff clerk for the department of agricultural and consumer economics’ Tax School, which helps tax professionals keep current on ever-evolving licensing requirements at 30 state locations, Donyetta Turner processes and tracks the delivery of workbook orders, making winter a perennial challenge.


Among the newcomers to the Urbana campus are faculty members whose appointments began this summer or fall. Inside Illinois continues its tradition of introducing some of the new faculty members on campus and will feature at least two new colleagues in each fall issue.

  • Tara Powell, assistant professor of social work in the School of Social Work

  • Laurence Uphoff, senior associate director for building operations at the Illini Union

Specialized faculty unionization and some FAQs

During the summer, approximately 500 of the campus’ Specialized faculty members were officially certified as a unionized bargaining unit represented by the Campus Faculty Association. The campus has been receiving many questions about the impact of this process for its units and for those now represented by this union. Academic Human Resources has developed a list of frequently asked questions to assist faculty members. Inside Illinois will run the list in two sections. The full FAQ is available online. If you have questions that are not answered in this document, contact Heather Horn at or 217-333-6747.


Research »

Team discovers how microbes build a powerful antibiotic

Researchers report in the journal Nature that they have made a breakthrough in understanding how a powerful antibiotic agent is made in nature. Their discovery solves a decades-old mystery, and opens up new avenues of research into thousands of similar molecules, many of which are likely to be medically useful.

Discrimination, family conflict key sources of stress for Latina immigrants

Racial discrimination and family issues are key contributors to the acculturative stress experienced by Latina immigrant women in the U.S., new research suggests.

Less-numerate investors swayed by style, presentation effects of corporate responsibility reports

Publicly traded corporations are increasingly publishing social responsibility reports for investors, who now consider such information alongside traditional financial data before investing in a company.

Some plants regenerate by duplicating their DNA

When munched by grazing animals (or mauled by scientists in the lab), some herbaceous plants overcompensate – producing more plant matter and becoming more fertile than they otherwise would. Scientists say they now know how these plants accomplish this feat of regeneration.

Social support critical to women's weight-loss efforts, study finds

Being accountable to another person and receiving social support may be vital in motivating some women to lose weight and keep it off, a new study says.

Microtubes create cozy space for neurons to grow, and grow fast

Tiny, thin microtubes could provide a scaffold for neuron cultures to grow so that researchers can study neural networks, their growth and repair, yielding insights into treatment for degenerative neurological conditions or restoring nerve connections after injury.

Book Corner

Missions, challenges of two-year community colleges explored

The history, challenges and controversies surrounding two-year colleges are explored in a new book co-edited by two faculty members at the University of Illinois.

The legacies of sculptor Lorado Taft explored

When art historian Allen Stuart Weller died in 1997, he left behind a rough manuscript for a biography of Lorado Taft, the Illinois sculptor who helped the city of Chicago carve its reputation as a place of beauty and grandeur.