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April 17, 2014 (Vol. 33 No. 19)
Michael S. Hopkins, who graduated from the U. of I. in 1991 with an aerospace engineering degree and from NASA’s astronaut candidate training program in 2011, will deliver the Urbana campus’s Commencement address May 17 at Memorial Stadium. Hopkins recently spent 166 days aboard the International Space Station.
Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

Much anticipated
Employees from Methods and Materials Inc., of Chicago, remove the protective straps from the Alma Mater sculpture, which returned to her base at the corner of Wright and Green streets on April 9.

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In appreciation of CAMPUS Administrative professional employees

View our special section in honor of campus administrative professional employees, pages 15-21.

Campus leaders discuss future during town hall meeting

Chancellor Phyllis M. Wise, during her first town hall address to campus in 2012, said it would take an era of action to prepare and position the U. of I. to face the challenges of the 21st century.

On the Job: Bryan Holderfield

Bryan Holderfield is among the most power-hungry employees on campus. A U. of I. Facilities and Services electrician for 25 years, Holderfield spends a good deal of his time at work thinking about power – and how to deliver it to the employees at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology.

Senators support supplemental retirement resolution

Senators at the April 14 Urbana Academic Senate meeting unanimously supported a resolution asking the U. of I. Board of Trustees to offer university employees a supplemental retirement program.

University’s positive cash balance has strings attached

The U. of I. does have $1.8 billion in available unrestricted cash, but it also has a long list of unescapable expenses that make that cushion short-lived.

Second annual day of service

Thanks to the efforts of volunteers, more than 147,000 meals were delivered to the Eastern Illinois Foodbank.


As mere passengers, do we stop to even think when we cross over a bridge in our cars? In most instances, probably not, and this photograph demonstrates why. (View the full series.)

Research »

Off the shelf, on the skin: Stick-on electronic patches for health monitoring

Wearing a fitness tracker on your wrist or clipped to your belt is so 2013..

More than 20 percent of middle school students experience inappropriate touching, study says

More than one in five youth in middle school has experienced physical sexual violence such as being inappropriately touched against their will while at school, a new study suggests.

Aspiring scientists learning to translate their research into language public understands

Communicating the relevance of one’s scientific research to general audiences and developing educational outreach programs are critical to the career success of college professors and researchers, but graduate curricula often fail to help students cultivate these essential skills.

Scientists say new computer model amounts to a lot more than a hill of beans

Crops that produce more while using less water seem like a dream for a world with a burgeoning population and already strained food and water resources. This dream is coming closer to reality for U. of I. researchers who have developed a new computer model that can help plant scientists breed better soybean crops.

Rabbits kept indoors could be vitamin D deficient

Rabbits that remain indoors may suffer from a lack of vitamin D, researchers report in a new study. In rabbits kept as pets or used in laboratory studies, the deficiency could lead to dental problems, undermine their cardiovascular health, weaken their immune systems and skew scientific findings.

Labor relations expert: The NCAA prefers labor strife to an antitrust lawsuit

A labor dispute serves the NCAA’s interests better than an antitrust lawsuit, which could potentially cost the governing body for college athletes millions of dollars in monetary damages, says a U. of I. expert in labor relations and collective bargaining in athletics.


Eight honored with distinguished staff award

Eight civil service staff employees were honored with the Chancellor’s Distinguished Staff Award at a banquet April 10. The award recognizes exceptional performance.

Public engagement awards recognize excellence

Outstanding individual and group outreach efforts were recognized April 9 with the 2014 Campus Awards for Excellence in Public Engagement. The awards were presented by Chancellor Phyllis M. Wise and Pradeep K. Khanna, the associate chancellor for corporate and international relations.

Five Illinois professors named Guggenheim Fellows

Five professors at the University of Illinois – Asef Bayat, Joy Harjo, Catherine Prendergast, Stephen Andrew Taylor and Deke Weaver – have been named 2014 Guggenheim Fellows. They are among 178 North American artists, scholars and scientists selected on the basis of achievement and exceptional promise from a pool of almost 3,000 applicants, according to the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.