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University of Illinois System President Tim Killeen announced the creation of a system-wide coordinating committee to help support all three system universities as they plan to reopen in the fall of 2020. In his message April 28, President Killeen emphasized the importance of "transitioning to a 'new normal' while retaining our world-class educational experience and protecting the health and safety of our campus communities." 


Sergei Maslov, a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign professor, discussed the results of COVID-19 modeling efforts during Gov. J.B. Pritzker's daily briefing April 23. These models, compiled by researchers from Urbana as well as multiple groups with the state, looked at several scenarios to predict the arc of COVID-19 epidemiological curve. Maslov detailed how each model considered possible state actions such as past stay-at-home orders, extended stay-at-home orders, and no orders.  View Maslov's comments here


The University of Illinois at Chicago Health Sciences campus in Rockford, Ill. is now able to perform drive-through testing as of April 24. The site plans to perform 500 tests per day and is part of a larger effort across the U of I System to increase testing and reach Gov. Pritzker's goal of conducting 10,000 tests per day. Read more here


A team of engineers, physicians, researchers and designers from Urbana and Carle Health has developed and launched production of a face shield for health professionals responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The project is part of a larger Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) design initiative, led jointly by the Grainger College of Engineering and the Carle Illinois College of Medicine’s Health Maker Lab, aimed at designing and testing prototypes of PPE products, including N95 respirators, disposable and reusable gowns, masks and caps, and mid- and small-scale sterilization technologies. Read more here.


At the request of U of I System President Tim Killeen, the Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA) has assembled more than four dozen interdisciplinary faculty experts from all three system universities to assess COVID-19’s impacts on the state. Three reports have been issued-  one detailing the strain COVID-19 has put on communities and families, one suggesting potential policy approaches to help the state recover from the economic crisis, and another capturing the human toll of the pandemic. Read more here.


The University of Illinois at Springfield's Center For Online Learning, Research and Service (COLRS) is helping Illinois private and community colleges in Illinois transition to remote learning as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Since the late 1990s, UIS has been a leader in e-learning and instruction. In addition to aiding colleges across the state, the center is helping several state agencies transition to using online professional development programming. Read more here.


The U of I System created a Students FIRST Emergency Fund, which will provide at least $36 million in new, targeted financial aid to help students facing increased need due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Supported by funding from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and internal funding by the system, Students FIRST will help defray tuition, housing and other costss for undergraduate and graduate students experiencing unexpected shortfalls. In addition, the University of Illinois Foundation to raise private support to augment the fund. Read more here

Letter to the IL Delegation

In conjunction with all of Illinois' public universities, the U of I System sent a letter to the state’s congressional delegation highlighting the need for additional federal resources in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter noted that grants from the CARES Act do not cover costs already incurred by universities and fail to compensate for additional expenses expected in the coming weeks and months. 

Federal Call to Action

Over 3,500 advocates have taken action throught the Call-to-action on Federal Aid for Higher Education, initiated by Illinois Connection. The call was sent to alumni, students, faculty, staff and Illinois Connection advocates within and outside of Illinois, who sent over 10,500 emails to members of Congress, reaching more than 65 percent of all congressional members.


Illinois Connection, in collaboration with UI Health, launched a Call-to-Action to honor the work of frontline healthcare workers. Students, alumni, faculty, and Illinois Connection advocates were encouraged to use #UIHealthHeroes on Facebook and Twitter and consider donating to provide meals to healthcare workers, creating more than 700 online engagements.


Two-thirds of the 2020 graduating class at the University of Illinois College of Medicine graduated early on April 10 and took the Hippocratic Oath. The graduates completed all required course work and clinical rotation objectives. One-third of the graduates have been matched to residency programs in Illinois but will have to wait and see if they are able to start work early. Read more here.


For more information, please use the following websites for the latest communications and developments, along with answers to frequently asked questions, and contact information for additional concerns:


An archive of these email announcements is available here

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