Template talk:Public universities in Illinois

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No sense of order[edit]

As far as I can tell, there is no sense of actual order for the universities here. Years ago we could have ordered them by their governing bodies (such as the old Board of Regents that used to govern NIU, ISU, and Sangamon State), but as far as I know, outside of the U of I system, they all have their own governing bodies now. So I considered different ways to order them, including alphabetical, but ultimately settled on chronological order by their founding, as it provides just a little bit more information to the person looking at the infobox. HuskyHuskie (talk) 07:45, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

Placing UIUC at the top, in my opinion, constitutes academic boosterism. Just list them by alphabetical order.-- Marco Guzman, Jr  Chat  03:40, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Not an entirely unreasonable opinion, but after all, there are many ways these could be ordered. Date of founding, size of student population, independent rankings, etc. All of these and pretty much anything else one can think of will result in UIUC being listed first; ONLY alphabetical listing yields a different result. The primacy of UIUC is a given throughout the state of Illinois, the only persons I can imagine who would question that would be someone simply unfamiliar with the university scene in Illinois, or a UIC booster who craves the approval and admiration that they mistakenly thought would follow the move nearly thirty years ago by Chicago politicians to ram a name change down the collective throat of the University of Illinois, hoping that by converting "U of I" to "UIUC" they would "level" the field and place UIC on an equal footing with Urbana's campus. Well, it hasn't happened. But rant aside, to settle the issue of what should be listed first, why don't we just look at the website of the relevant institution, the University of Illinois system. This is about POV—the POV of those who have waged a 30 year campaign to try to do with labels what they cannot do on the academic gridiron: Make UIC the equal of U of I.
If your comments here are those of a truly neutral bystander, then I apologize for the rant, but you should know that you are being used. And look, this is not even my axe to grind--if you are from Illinois, then my very user name should indicate to you that I am no UIUC alum or booster. But I am someone who recognizes the reality of the situation, and have grown weary of those who think they can make something great simply by calling it great. HuskyHuskie (talk) 10:30, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Hi, I'd just like to point out that the only rational for placing U of I at the top of the list is it's perceived primacy. Both alphabetical AND chronological listings would place other schools first (Chicago State University and Illinois State University respectively). Looking into other Public University Templates, many are listed in purely alphabetical order, for instance Akron appears before Ohio State despite the fact that Ohio State is the flagship/land-grant university.P2.71828182 (talk) 07:29, 24 February 2011 (UTC)


I'm new to changing Wikipedia pages, but I found the previous version of this template more than a little annoying, especially the "Other Universities" part. I tried to mirror what other templates looked like, taking Indiana as the basis for changing this one. I will cede the point to Illinois, and place them at the top simply because of the sheer size of their system.(Carroll79 (talk) 01:55, 23 February 2011 (UTC))

We can get a bit stuck in our ways around here, and I admit that I had a momentary negative reaction to your rather significant revision of this template. But your version is more compact, and is in some ways perhaps more logical than the old version. I had really preferred them being listed in order of their founding, but alpha order with founding dates in parentheses is clearly more helpful.
So I give you my compliments. Having said that, I've made a few changes, but not to your structure. First of all, let me say that I think that use of the word "campus" is a bit problematic, because it means different things to different people. SIU claims to be one university with more than one campus, but U of I portrays itself as a “system” with more than one university. In reality, there’s not a molecule of difference between them. But that’s fine, they can be called what they want. The biggest problem is with your description of “Individual Campuses” for all the other schools. That I’m changing to "Individual Universities" because pretty much everyone around here would agree that a “campus” is a subset of a university, and I’m quite sure that NIU and ISU and others would be very insistent that they are not subservient to any other collegiate entity in the state. (Actually, years ago, NIU, ISU, and SSU [now UIS] were all part of a system, the Regents System, but that’s gone now, and one of the reasons they would be sensitive to your use of “campus” to describe each of them.) So anyway, I think my changes are minor, but I look forward to your reaction. HuskyHuskie (talk) 02:46, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
I was just trying to make the format look similar to every other template like this. I wasn't a big fan of the pyramid with Illinois on top. Carroll79 (talk) 21:12, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
Well I do like this a bit better but I feel it is misleading about the "prominence" of SIU, listing it right under the University of Illinois System in a very similar way suggests something about similarities between he two. I'm not articulating very well. I would really think that founding of the individual universities would be the best. Although I will cede that listing U of I first would be OK as it is recognized as one of the best universities in the world... ALTHOUGH as I said above Ohio State is not listed first for Ohio Public Universities. P2.71828182 (talk) 07:29, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
I agree with your point about SIU. How is it now? HuskyHuskie (talk) 02:51, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
Definitely better. I'm going to keep thinking about this one though I feel like there could be a better way of representing this.P2.71828182 (talk) 03:14, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

SIU on the template[edit]

As can be seen here, I was the one who first created the separate designation for SIU as a "multi-campus single university". I point this out so that I might be absolved (after I say what I am about to say) of any bias against SIU. (And there's no need to be biased against them, they've got enough troubles of their own, and from what I hear, will be lucky to escape going under financially--the rest of the state will probably have to bail them out before it's all run its course.) I first created this designation because I felt it necessary to distinguish between the U of I system and the SIU system. As I understand it (and I will acknowledge, I could be mistaken), the U of I system consists of three separate universities, all part of one system, whereas the SIU system is three separate campuses, of one university. Accordingly, while Champaign-Urbana meets the traditional understanding of what a "flagship" is, SIUC would not, since all the campuses are a single university. That is the reason for the edit I just made.

Additionally, note that I created the article on SIU's medical school, and then I added the medical school to this template. Yet I don't think the dental school belongs on the template. Why?

Because despite its location, it's not a separate campus. SIU Medical is distinctly created as something separate from SIUC and SIUE, but the dental school is just a piece of SIUE. Having the dental school in this template would be the equivalent of including the U of I Medical Schools at Rockford or Peoria included. But we don't, because they are merely extensions of another campus. Indeed, a stronger case can be made for including UI/Rockford and UI/Peoria than SIUE/Dental because, like SIU-Medical, they do not actually belong as part of just one campus, they are shared by both UIC and UIUC.

So I'm going to remove things that make it appear that SIU/Dental is a fourth campus of the SIU system, but I'm willing to discuss it with anyone who has other information. HuskyHuskie (talk) 03:32, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

I stand corrected[edit]

I took a look at some extensive edits done by User:GWFrog, not so much to this template, but to Southern Illinois University. In particular, I was annoyed by this edit, wherein he demoted SIU School of Medicine to a "satellite center". Now I know all about satellites; at NIU there's several. But I had thought that Southern Illinois University School of Medicine was something more than a satellite, I thought it was a campus unto itself.

Well, before I typed out this diatribe above, I probably should have visited the SIU website. In fact, I should have visited it long ago. I've made some significant errors in my thinking, and was wrong about GWFrog's edits to Southern Illinois University.

SIU's main website specifically uses the motto, "One University, Two Campuses, Many Locations". In other words, SIUC and SIUE are "campuses", but the Medical school is not a campus. Is it a "satellite" location? At this time, recognizing my error, I'll yield to GWFrog on that, and leave his reorganization at Southern Illinois University in place. At the same time, I'm going to remove SIU-Medical from the Template. This template cannot be the end all of information for these universities, and if we're going to list SIU's medical satellite then we'll also have to list the Dental satellite and the nursing satellite and U of I's Rockford satellite and U of I's Peoria satellite and NIU's Oregon satellite and NIU's Naperville satellite and NIU's Rockford satellite (yea, it appears that Rockford orbits more than one center of gravity) and even NIU's Hoffman Estates satellite. Plus the satellites of EIU and ISU (if they have any). This is just beyond the scope of the template. We need to stick to major campuses, and if we don't list U of I's medical school separately, then I guess we shouldn't list SIU's, either, as neither is an independent campus of the main system. HuskyHuskie (talk) 04:44, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

You might have noted that the SIU website also refers to SIUC and SIUE as "...two institutions..." The two are almost entirely separate entities, united only by a common Board of Trustees and President and have been mostly autonomous since 1971, and SIUE has been separate as a degree-granting institution since 1960. I have no problem with removing the Medical and Dental schools from the template since, although they are located away from the main campuses, the Medical School is a part if SIUC and the Dental School is a part of SIUE (as is the East St.Louis Center, another of SIU's "Many Locations") and the degrees granted are by SIUC and SIUE.
(As an aside, note that while SIUC is plagued with declining enrollment and financial difficulties resulting in cuts to faculty and staff numbers and salaries, SIUE has not only continued to grow while maintaining faculty and staff, but the SIUE employees received bonuses, rather than pay cuts, this past year.)
As to WIU-QC... despite the small size of its undergraduate enrollment, it appears to be gaining more-or-less the same type of autonomy within WIU that SIUE has as a part of SIU. It already has become a degree-granting institution in its own right, and with the gifts from Deere and the new construction monies from the state, it looks to be on the verge of major growth.
Of the U of I "Satellite Campuses" (so designated by the System), all are granting post-grad degrees (from U of I Schools) in medicine & nursing (also pharmacy in Rfd.), but only Peoria appears to show promise of becoming a separate institution, since it offers UIS undergraduate courses. NIU's "Regional Sites" are merely locations where classes are offered, but such was the status of SIU's Resident Centers before they became SIUE and of WIU-QC until this year.
ISU, EIU, CSU, NEIU & GSU seem not to have any satelite or regional or resident centers, though I might have missed them... ;)
But I seem to be beginning to ramble, so I shall desist... GWFrog (talk) 19:53, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
Some niggling little itch made me think, "That's not right..." so I went and checked. ISU, EIU & CSU do not have centers away from their campuses, but NEIU & GSU do. NEIU has 3 satellites in Chicago and one in Grayslake. GSU has sites in Chicago, Kankakee, and Naperville. Just some tidbits FYI... GWFrog (talk) 20:31, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
Looks like we're coming from pretty much the same place. And, just to prove that you're not the only one who can ramble . . .
  • So much of this seems to me to be political. It amazes me that UIS can be considered a co-equal member of the U of I system with UIUC and UIC; some community colleges in the US could fit the entire UIS student body into one of their buildings' wings. But the Sangamon State experiment didn't pan out, so the Springfield pols had to do something . . .
  • The system seems to be moving in a different direction than in the past, in terms of new universites . . . in the past, a satellite school would grow and break off entirely, the way WIU, EIU, NIU, and SIU all started as extensions of ISNU and became completely autonomous. If that were still the model, SIUE would now be something like "Edwardsville State University" or some such. I preferred that model. I hated it when NIU, ISU, and GSU were all linked under one board; favorites were inevitably played. Obviously, WIU-QC is not ready for that kind of autonomy yet, but SIUE clearly is.
  • I'm glad to hear that SIUE is doing well. I had incorrectly assumed that the problems in the "flagship" had to be shared across the system. Hard for me to believe how it's grown . . . when I was a kid SIUE didn't even have any dorms.
If you're okay with the template right now, so am I. If not, just let me know. I'll be watchlisting this for a while. HuskyHuskie (talk) 03:46, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
When I was last on campus, in '91, SIUE still had only the Tower Lake (now Cougar Lake) Apartments; everyone else commuted. Edwardsville didn't (still doesn't) have any privately-owned dorms like in DeKalb. Even without on-campus housing, the school grew really quickly and had about 10,000 when I first went there in '69. After the enrollment fell off, like at almost every other school in the country when the Boomers were done, the school's striving for excellence--- especially under the current, but soon-to-retire chancellor--- was a major selling point for students seeking a good school, and having the lowest tuition and fees of the state's universities certainly doesn't hurt. Those things make it really tough for chancellors at Carbon-hole, when the SIU BoT demands increased enrollment and improved academics, which SIUE consistently provides and SIUC does not--- at least one Chancellor at SIUC has been replaced for failure to meet those expectations.
I think the problems within the Board of Regents schools were also there within the Board of Governors schools--- EIU, WIU, CSU & NEIU. Between the two systems, there was probably enough tension and friction that the IBHE was as happy to see them broken up as were the individual schools... or vice versa.
And of course it was all political. Always has been, always will be. ISU was founded at Normal in 1857 after Mt.Vernon turned down the offer, instead keeping the State Supreme Court (now the 5th District Appellate Court) which they felt would maintain more long-term political power and financial return. My, how times have changed. GWFrog (talk) 22:24, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

UIC's founding date[edit]

Undoubtedly, the history of the University of Illinois at Chicago is complex, almost certainly more so than any other institution of higher learning in the state of Illinois, if not the US. Reflecting this fact is its Wikipedia page, which lists three different "founding" dates. There is no way here to determine with finality which date is correct, because the only date which is indisputable is 1982, when UICC and UIMC merged to form the current UIC, and there is no way that UIC alumns would accept that, as they have been a part of the U of I system for nearly 100 years.

But I will say that the current version of the template, which lists 1858 as the founding date, is not acceptable. Look, on this template, we are only including one date, and the date used here is deceitful, to say the least. Note that not even UIC's own website claims this date. Given the opportunity to put the matter up front and unambiguously, their own UIC Key Facts website lists three different dates on which UIC as founded, and none of them is 1858. (They list 1946, 1965, and 1982.) Now, if one wants to dig deeper, they also have a webpage accesible from the above noted webpage that mentions older dates, including 1858, but nowhere, anywhere on their website do they claim that 1858 is their date of founding.

I'm not certain what we should use, though the three that they mention themselves would be a logical point to start. Still, in my view, the key thing that makes UIC as important as it is today is the fact that it is a part of the U of I system. So what if we use the date that it teamed up with U of I? According to UIC's website, these different health colleges in Chicago became "incorporated" into U of I in 1913. That, to me, seems like a reasonable date to use. Not perfect, by any means, but certainly more reasonable than claiming that an integral part of the University of Illinois system was created before that system was even created. HuskyHuskie (talk) 04:18, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

1913 sounds reasonable to me, although a former acquaintance, who was a grad of both the pharmacy & medical schools, would have disagreed vehemently, but he died a few years ago, so I don't suppose his vote counts. Except maybe in Chi-town. GWFrog (talk) 22:30, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Well, as I said, the point is clearly debatable; yet I don't think we should be advancing a claim here that UIC itself doesn't even make. And if UIC really was founded 9 years before the Champaign-Urbana campus, then I think it--not UIUC--would be regarded as the flagship today. HuskyHuskie (talk) 03:34, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
I think that maybe I should push for SIUE being considered the "flagship" of SIU. Officially, SIUE is considered to have been founded in 1957. However, when the "Resident Centers" that became SIUE were started in '57, one of the actions taken was the purchase of Shurtleff College. While it is usually stated that SIU purchased the campus, the reality is that it bought the school lock, stock, and student body. Yes, the Shurtleff students were allowed to continue their studies at the SIU Alton Resident Center with the last 28 graduating in '58. In addition, SIU took over the administration of the Shurtleff records. Thusly, it could be argued that SIUE is a continuation of Shurtleff College, and was actually founded in 1827 by John Mason Peck--- the man for whom the first general classroom building on the main campus of SIUE is named--- and, therefore, SIUE is the older institution, and, as such, holds priority over SIUC, which did not come upon the scene until fortytwo years later in 1869. I rest my case, zzzzz... GWFrog (talk) 22:25, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Spectacular. And hey, when SIUC's financial troubles continue unabated, maybe SIUE can offer to help out their "younger" brother in return for official recognition that SIUE is the flagship.
Thanks. I enjoyed that. HuskyHuskie (talk) 01:22, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Wider ranging implications[edit]

Hey, if you think making SIUE the SIU flagship* is going to upset some applecarts in Carbondale, what about in Bloomington-Normal? I just realized that this makes SIUE the oldest public university in the state of Illinois by a thirty year margin! HuskyHuskie (talk) 18:07, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

*I always have to keep in mind that, on the internet, comments that are sarcastic, satirical, and otherwise sideways-style humorous, are frequently misunderstood, particularly by the slow-witted. For the record, speaking at least for myself, and (I believe) for GWFrog, no one is seriously proposing to knock SIUC off of its flagship pedestal; what we are actually doing is poking fun at the claims made by some UIC alumni (though, notably, not UIC itself), that UIC was "founded" in 1858. Are we good? HuskyHuskie (talk)