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News for the WIU Campus Community

Dec. 18, 2015 • Vol. 30, No. 27

University News

Col. Rock III Calendar Available at University Bookstore

The holidays are right around the corner, and if you're looking for unique and classic gift ideas, look no further than the Western Illinois University Bookstore for the 2016 Col. Rock III calendar and the limited edition Rock Hanson Vintage Collection. Items from the Hanson Collection feature Western's logos from 1926 through 1964.

From glassware to apparel, there are items in the Hanson Collection for every WIU fan, and keeping with the "Rock holiday theme," the 2016 Col. Rock calendar features 12 months of Western's adorable mascot. The items can be found at and, respectively.


Letter to the Campus Community From President Thomas

In recent meetings and email communications, I have shared with you the difficulties facing Western Illinois University regarding the challenges we face in meeting our financial obligations. With no state appropriated funds released in this fiscal year and no clarity of when the budget impasse will end, coupled with decreases in state funding, unfunded mandates, and statewide declining enrollments, we are at a point where extremely difficult and painful decisions must be made. A number of factors have contributed to declining enrollment, including demographic shifts, increased competition, and students' financial difficulties.

In recent years, we have saved money through attrition, selective hiring freezes, zero-based budgeting that reduced significant amounts of operating dollars, and our faculty union agreeing to a delay in pay increases. Despite these efforts, we are at a point in which drastic action is required. The budget impasse at the state level has put us in a situation where we must consider significant budget adjustments to cover potentially devastating reductions. Our intention has always been to sustain our institution's excellence, despite major sacrifices, to ensure that we can continue to serve our students at Western Illinois University.


'The Purple Chair...In the Studio' Debuts

The University Television original program, "The Purple Chair," hosted by Western Illinois University Director of Donor Relations Amanda Shoemaker, has a new addition, "The Purple Chair ... In the Studio," which will feature a variety of interviews hosted by Shoemaker and other WIU staff. The first "In the Studio" production features 1949 WIU Graduate and WWII Pilot Pete Fulks.

Vice President for Advancement and Public Services Brad Bainter sat down in the studio with the 95-year-old Fulks, of Littleton (IL), last month to talk to the war hero about his experiences flying the fabled P-51 Mustang until he was shot down behind enemy lines on his 18th mission. Fulks spent 65 days working his way through Yugoslavia and back to Allied territory. A member of the WIU Athletics Hall of Fame, Fulks played both baseball and basketball for the legendary Rock Hanson.


Priority Snow Route Map Released

As the winter season is upon west-central Illinois, Western Illinois University is ready for winter maintenance, including priority snow removal.

The priority snow removal routes are a result of the coordinated efforts of Facilities Management and the WIU Disability Resource Center (DRC). While Facilities Management landscape maintenance staff will remove ice and snow from all campus walkways, designated pedestrian areas and parking lots on the priority route will be cleared first. Priority routes are listed and a map is available at



Warning Issued About 'Ransomware'

The state of Illinois has seen a recent rise in the number of Ransomware malware incidents in the past few weeks. Ransomware is a malicious computer program that can encrypt or otherwise block access to your files until a sum of money is paid. Ransomware infections result in significant costs due to required remediation efforts and a loss of user productivity. In some cases, the files infected can not be recovered.

The attack vector of the recent Ransomware incidents is email. Some of the emails reference a resume, which is an attachment.

We want to remind University employees and students to be very vigilant in their review of emails, and to never click on an attachment unless they can verify the authenticity of the sender and the true business need.

If you receive an email that references a resume with an attachment, we ask that you please DO NOT OPEN THE ATTACHMENT and forward the email to the uTech Support Center at

Take time to view a reminder and guidance regarding phishing scams at We request you share this information with others in your department or class to help prevent additional loss due to Ransomware and other malware threats.


Civil Service Personnel Updates

View the latest changes in civil service personnel, provided by the Civil Service Employees Council.

Professional Accomplishments

Professional Activities

View the most recent publications and presentations by WIU faculty and staff.




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