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Chancellor Phyllis M. Wise makes a point to trustees during the March 12 board meeting in Urbana. The board would later accept a recommendation from President Bob Easter giving Wise permission to proceed with the creation of a new campus medical school -- a faculty-driven idea she started championing more than a year ago. The new engineering-intensive school will be created through a $100 million partnership with Carle Health System. Its financial plan excludes state tax revenue.
Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

'World changing' medical school coming to Urbana
Chancellor Phyllis M. Wise makes a point to trustees during the March 12 board meeting in Urbana. The board would later accept a recommendation from President Bob Easter giving Wise permission to proceed with the creation of a new campus medical school -- a faculty-driven idea she started championing more than a year ago. The new engineering-intensive school will be created through a $100 million partnership with Carle Health System. Its financial plan excludes state tax revenue.


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President Killeen to begin U. of I. strategic plan work

New U. of I. President Timothy R. Killeen already is transitioning to his new position and officially will take over university leadership May 18.

Senate asks board to leave hiring decisions to campus

The Urbana-Champaign Senate on March 9 endorsed a report by the Hiring Policies and Procedures Review Committee that calls on the U. of I. Board of Trustees to formally delegate its authority to campus leaders for faculty hires below the level of dean.

On the Job: Marjorie Gamel

Marjorie Gamel, an administrative aide in the physics department and a former U.S. Air Force member, still performs her duties with military precision.

Faculty/staff members encouraged to contact legislators

U. of I. employees are being asked to apply full-court advocacy to state legislators grappling with the myriad issues involved in the annual appropriations process.

Helium recycling initiative lightens financial burden

The U. of I. department of physics has invested $600,000 in air compressors, increased gas storage capacity, an underground transportation pipeline and a remote helium collection bladder to increase the amount of helium gas collected and recycled on the Urbana campus.


Civil service recommendations discussed at public hearings

The state’s civil service statutes should be changed to provide a more diverse applicant pool and greater flexibility in exempting certain positions from civil service classification, university leaders said at a hearing at UIC on March 13.

Research »

Molecule-making machine simplifies complex chemistry

A new molecule-making machine could do for chemistry what 3-D printing did for engineering: Make it fast, flexible and accessible to anyone.

Changes in work, family demands affect body mass index of dual-income earners

A study co-written by a University of Illinois labor and employment relations professor shows that clocking extra hours at the office while juggling family demands takes a toll on the body mass index of individuals in dual-earner families.

More older adults from U.S. volunteering in other countries

Nearly 290,000 older adults from the U.S. volunteered abroad during 2012 – an increase of more than 60 percent in less than a decade, a recent study found.

Discovery: Tropical fire ants traveled the world on 16th-century ships

Thanks to a bit of genetic sleuthing, researchers now know the invasion history of the tropical fire ant (Solenopsis geminata), the first ant species known to travel the globe by sea.

Female fish that avoid mating with related species also shun some of their own

A new study offers insight into a process that could lead one species to diverge into two, researchers report in The American Naturalist.

Paper: Development aid can exacerbate violence in war-torn countries

Although development aid is commonly seen as an important tool in the quest to reduce poverty in conflict-riven countries, new research co-written by a University of Illinois expert in development economics concludes that large-scale foreign aid programs can backfire and actually exacerbate violence in some long-running conflicts.

Cultivated papaya owes a lot to the ancient Maya, research suggests

A genetic study of papaya sex chromosomes reveals that the hermaphrodite version of the plant, which is of most use to growers, arose as a result of human selection, most likely by the ancient Maya some 4,000 years ago.

HONORS

Illinois among top producers of Fulbright Students, Scholars

The U. of I.’s Urbana campus has been recognized as a “U.S. Scholar Top Producer” by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs for academic year 2014-15, with six recipients of U.S. Fulbright Scholar awards.  According to a report in the Chronicle of Higher Education, the campus ranks No. 5 among U.S. research institutions in the number of faculty members receiving the prestigious award in support of teaching and research abroad. 

Two Illinois professors elected to American Academy of Microbiology

Two University of Illinois professors have been elected fellows of the American Academy of Microbiology. Steven Blanke and Bryan White are among the 79 microbiologists chosen by their peers for this honor.

BOOK CORNER

Historian traces the making of samba in Brazil

No sector of the economy was left unscathed in the aftermath of the Great Recession, which officially lasted from December 2007 to June 2009 but whose aftereffects continue to linger today.

Grammy-winning Brazilian musician featured April 1

A MINUTE WITH™ ...

Computer Science Professor Sheldon H. Jacobson on a method to march madness

The NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament attracts millions of viewers each year, many of whom like to “play along” at home or at the office by filling out tournament brackets. The odds of filling out a perfect bracket are astronomical – there are more possible brackets than stars in the galaxy – so how can a March Madness fan be confident in filling out, if not a perfect bracket, a pretty strong one? Sheldon H. Jacobson, a professor of computer science and of mathematics who has performed many data analytics studies on tournament bracketology, talked about how seeds advance through the tournament with News Bureau physical sciences editor Liz Ahlberg.

U. of I. Historian Bruce Levine on SLAVERY, THE CIVIL WAR AND LINCOLN – 150 YEARS LATER

The American Civil War came to an end 150 years ago with the Confederate surrender at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, on April 9, 1865. Five days later, President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. What role did slavery play in the Confederate defeat? And how might history have been different if Lincoln had lived? U. of I. historian Bruce Levine has written extensively about the war and its consequences. His 2013 book, “The Fall of the House of Dixie,” traced how fighting the war transformed the South from within. He spoke with News Bureau social sciences editor Craig Chamberlain.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS EXPERT DANIEL SCHILLER

The Federal Communications Commission voted Feb. 26 to regulate broadband Internet service as a public utility. The “net neutrality” rules aim to ensure open Internet access. Daniel Schiller, an emeritus professor of library and information science at the U. of I., talked with News Bureau arts and humanities editor Jodi Heckel about the decision and its historical context.