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Feb. 20, 2014 (Vol. 33 No. 15)
U. of I. snow-removal crews fought hard through the brutal blizzard of Jan. 4-7, which, according to climatologist Steven Hilberg, of the Midwestern Regional Climate Center at Illinois, dropped as much as 10 inches in southeastern Champaign County and winds that led to a wind chill of 40 below zero.
Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

From litter to fuel
Brajendra Kumar Sharma, center, a senior research scientist at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center at the U. of I., with research chemist Dheeptha Murali, left, and process chemist Jennifer Deluhery, converted plastic shopping bags into diesel fuel. Full story

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Faculty leaders discuss shared governance, possible effects of faculty union

The discussion about establishing a faculty union on the Urbana campus has accelerated in recent months amid efforts by the Campus Faculty Association to identify and sign up supporters. News Bureau news editor Mike Helenthal submitted the same questions to CFA leaders and two critics of a faculty union, asking them to discuss shared governance and the pros and cons of establishing a faculty union at Illinois. View PDF of both responses

Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day is March 7

It’s back. On Friday, March 7, many students and visitors will participate in the event known as Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day. The university does not support or condone this event. Steps are being taken to ensure safety and to minimize disruption to classes and campus operations.

Communication seeks to recognize ‘specialized faculty’

Representatives from the Office of the Provost presented a draft Provost’s Communication on Specialized Faculty to the Urbana Academic Senate on Feb. 10.


Vicki Sparks, an administrative aide for the University Library and a 14-year employee at the U. of I., has lived up to her last name at every place she has worked.

Illinois art history professor was one of the 'Monuments Men'

“The Monuments Men” – the movie written by and starring George Clooney and opening today (Feb. 7) – is based on the true story of a platoon of art historians recruited to rescue masterpieces stolen by the Nazis in World War II. One of those Monuments Men was Edwin Carter Rae, who taught art history at the University of Illinois both before and after his service with the U.S. Army.

Pesticides take center stage at this year's Insect Fear Film Festival

After three decades of hosting the popular Insect Fear Film Festival at the University of Illinois, entomology professor May Berenbaum has decided to flip the script. This year, instead of showing movies about bugs that scare people, Berenbaum has selected films featuring pesticides – the poisons that people use to kill bugs.


This 1927 photo shows books being moved from Altgeld Hall to the building now known as the main library. (View the full series.),

Research »

Schools' citizenship courses failing in their civic mission, experts say

Service-learning projects have become popular in U.S. public schools for teaching citizenship values.

Perception of job insecurity results in lower use of workplace programs

With the hangover from the Great Recession still lingering, the specter of job loss continues to loom for most workers.

Advanced techniques yield new insights into ribosome self-assembly

Ribosomes, the cellular machines that build proteins, are themselves made up of dozens of proteins and a few looping strands of RNA. A new study, reported in the journal Nature, offers new clues about how the ribosome, the master assembler of proteins, also assembles itself.


Three faculty members awarded 2014 Sloan Fellowships

Three U. of I. professors have been selected to receive 2014 Sloan Research Fellowships from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Illinois professor elected to National Academy of Engineering

J. Gary Eden, the Gilmore Family Professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Engineering.