University of Illinois leader expects mascot report action

CHAMPAIGN, IL - OCTOBER 16: Controversial symbol "Chief Illiniwek" of the University of Illinois performs during the half-time show of a game between Illinois and Michigan at Memorial Stadium October 16, 2004 in Champaign, Illinois. Michigan defeated Illinois 30-19. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

URBANA, Ill. — A top University of Illinois administrator says he expects action within several months on recommendations toward quelling the ongoing turmoil over the school’s former Chief Illiniwek mascot.

Chancellor Robert Jones told the campus senate Monday that he’s working to create “a coalition of the willing” to implement a university report released last month. That report suggested the school adopt a new sports mascot to replace the Chief Illiniwek portrayal that was dropped in 2007 after complaints from American Indians that it was offensive.

The News-Gazette reports the campus senate voted 64-29 in favor of a resolution backing the report recommendations.

Education Professor Nick Burbules sponsored the resolution and said he believes it’s past time for a new mascot. But he said the mascot selection risks causing more division.