Campus senate approves WUIS merger



WUIS public radio and Illinois Issues magazine have merged into a new entity, NPR Illinois after approval by the Campus Senate.

Despite being practically in effect since 2015, the move to formalize the change was requested by David Racine, executive director of UIS’ Center for State Policy and Leadership.

Back in the spring, Racine said that the move was due to changing demand.

“In 2012 market research conducted by an independent consultant for WUIS showed that most listeners preferred more news and less music for the station based in the state capital,” he said. “Meanwhile, at least since early 1990’s, Illinois Issues had been losing subscribers year by year, along with other print magazines.”

The magazine, which started in 1974 as a way to educate voters on key political issues, had practically already merged in 2014 when the editor retired. The radio station took over running the publication which Racine said was a simple measure as the two media outlets dealt with such similar subject matter.

Two years later, the merger had gone even further with the magazine ceasing its print edition last August becoming a web-only section featuring long form stories on state-issues. Also discussed by the campus Senate on Sept. 6:

νBrytton Bjorngaard, Assistant Professor of Digital Media, discussed the transition from the Blackboard virtual classroom software to a new system named Canvas.

Bjorngaard mainly discussed a report which supported sticking with Blackboard, not changing to the Canvas system. 

“Of the 38 faculty who responded to the survey, 30 of them said yes [indicating they preferred the new system]. Of the nine staff who responded to the survey, five of them said yes. Of the 128 students who responded, 102 of the students said yes. Based on these results, ATC tabled further discussions of a Canvas pilot and ITS will spend time considering ways analytics and accessibility can be integrated into our current LMS,” she said. 

ν Tena Helton, the Chair of the English Department, discussed the New Global Awareness Learning Outcomes which were approved last year and used for recertification this year. 

The recertification deadlines for the existing Global Awareness course is September 1, 2017. According to the document, those who didn’t get the recertification by September 1 will “not be able to use their ECCE designation for summer 2018 and the designation will be removed from the catalog.”

Helton also mentioned adding a Language Requirement at UIS, but the meeting’s attendance was sparse, and most people who attended “were in favor of languages in spirit with differing ideas of how to integrate it.”

The next senate meeting will take place on Friday, Oct. 13 in PAC at 10 a.m. 

Editor’s note: This article was edited on Oct. 20 to correct the analyze of Bjorngaard’s report. It was previously stated that the report showed support for switching to the Canvas system, when the report actually showed support for staying with Blackboard.