SPRINGFIELD - Two suburban senators want another school to join the University of Illinois in the Big Ten Conference.
State Sens. Matt Murphy (R-Palatine) and Michael Connelly (R-Naperville) introduced Senate Bill 3526 which calls for the creation of a study commission to explore the possibility of establishing an existing Illinois public university as another Big Ten university.
The bill passed the Senate Higher Education Committee on Wednesday.
The senators didn't say which schools would be considered for the Big Ten. However, the most likely candidate has to be Northern Illinois University. Especially when you consider how their football team has been in the national spotlight in recent years, including an Orange Bowl appearance two seasons ago.
Murphy and Connelly say by adding a Big Ten school to Illinois it'll keep home grown talent at home instead of heading to other Big Ten institutions out-of-state.
"The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has become highly competitive tot he point where we are seeing students with excellent grades and test scores get shut out of attending our in-state, public Big Ten school" says Sen. Murphy. "Many end up choosing to look out of state to receive a Big Ten education, costing them and their parents tens of thousands of dollars in higher out of state tuition.
If the bill is passed, the commission's report would be due to the General Assembly by Jan. 1, 2015.