The Illinois Innovation Network (IIN), a group of hubs across the state that aims to boost Illinois’ economy through entrepreneurship, research and workforce development, announced the addition of nine new members on May 15. IIN now has 15 hubs, including all of Illinois’ public universities and spans the entire state.
Led by the University of Illinois System, IIN launched last August with its first hubs at the three U of I System institutions and a fourth at the Discovery Partners Institute (DPI) in downtown Chicago. Northern Illinois University joined IIN in September and Peoria which is home to OSF Healthcare, a regional academic medical center, joined in December.
Read the news release here
The U of I System expects to award more than 22,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees for the second straight year, and continued enrollment growth could push degrees over 25,000 by 2026, President Tim Killeen told the Board of Trustees at their meeting on May 16.
Read the new release here
The University of Illinois System has joined with all of the state’s public universities on May 23 to advocate for robust funding to Illinois higher education. The universities launched a statewide advocacy campaign that included a call-to-action for alumni and appearances from university presidents around the state to build grassroots community and legislative support for higher education.
Read the news release here
President Tim Killeen wrote an op-ed calling on the need for a state budget that would invest in higher education and a capital bill to help to rebuild higher education after the budget impasse. "To reverse the tide of out-migration by our state's best young minds, lawmakers and the governor need to make a significant investment in higher education," Killeen said. The op-ed was endorsed by all of the presidents of Illinois' public universities.
Read the op-ed here
Researchers in Urbana-Champaign are leading a newly funded project from NASA to develop an approach for an all-electric aircraft. The research represents a fundamental shift away from jet fuel towards more sustainable energy sources for aviation, and the introduction of new electrically-driven propulsion systems for commercial aircraft.
Read more about the research here
Undergraduate students from all three U of I institutions along with students from Northern Illinois University were in Springfield on May 2 for the first annual Illinois Innovation Network Research Day at the Capitol. Students were able to present their research to legislators, staff members, and visitors.
U of I System leadership presented the system's budget request for fiscal 2020 in Springfield on May 2 to the Illinois State House higher education committee. The requeset for $692.5 million in operating funds also outlined several achievements made across the system over the past year, including enrollment gains, student successes, research discoveries and new partnerships.
Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton visited UIC on May 3 for the second roundtable discussion on diversity and inclusion. U of I System leadership along with faculty, staff and students from all three universities joined the Lt. Gov. Stratton to identify ways to expand and improve recruitment and retention of underrepresented minority students in the U of I System.
President Killeen was in Washington, D.C. on May 7 and 8 to meet with the Illinois congressional delegation and discuss the progress that IIN and DPI are making. President Killeen sat down with many members of the Illinois congressional delegation, including Reps. Sean Casten, Darin LaHood, Jan Schakowsky and Bill Foster.
Researchers from the Urbana-Champaign College of College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences (ACES) and the College of Veterinarian Medicine took part in the annual Agricultural Research Exhibition and Reception on May 15 in Washington DC. Researchers displayed their work and met with staff for Sen. Dick Durbin and Reps. Rodney Davis, John Shimkus, Mike Bost, and Darin LaHood.
As the Illinois General Assembly spring legislative session comes to an end, Illinois Connection has put out a call to action for alumni, faculty, students and supporters to urge their state legislators to pass a budget that would increase funding for higher education and a support capital bill. Nearly 2,000 advocates participated in the call to action.
An archive of these email announcements is available here.
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