Carpooling goes online in digital age

Zimride reportedly is used by about 80 colleges and universities.

Just in time to confront the latest jump in gasoline prices, Illinois State University is joining with other universities that are using an online ride-sharing company to make it easier for students, faculty, and staff to carpool.

All but gone are the days when students tack notes on bulletin boards asking for or offering rides. Like many other activities, ride sharing has gone high-tech.

As a result, ISU is paying about $15,000 to partner with Zimride to help commuters connect through the social networking sites Facebook and Twitter. The effort was launched Feb. 28, with eMails going out campuswide.…Read More

State higher education spending sees big decline

Only nine states reported increases in total state higher education spending.

State funding for higher education has declined because of a slow recovery from the recession and the end of federal stimulus money, according to a study released Monday.

Overall, spending declined by some $6 billion, or nearly 8 percent, over the past year, according to the annual Grapevine study by the Center for the Study of Education Policy at Illinois State University.

The reduction was slightly lower, at 4 percent, when money lost from the end of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act was not taken into account.…Read More