Earlier today, Senator Durbin visited the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. To kick off his visit, he held a press event to publicize the long-term deal that was reached on student loan interest rates. Senator Durbin played a large role in helping broker the final compromise. Urbana Provost Ilesanmi Adesida, Associate Chancellor Mike DeLorenzo, Director of Student Financial Aid Dan Mann, and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Renee Romano, and three Urbana students who receive federal student loans participated in the event.
While on campus, Senator Durbin also toured Blue Waters and our Petascale facility. The tour was led by NCSA Director Thom Dunning, VCR Peter Schiffer, and Associate Chancellor Mike Delorenzo. Senator Durbin is a cosponsor of legislation relating to exascale computing. Congressman Hultgren is the sponsor of similar legislation on the House side. Since the Senate version does not include research universities, this was an important opportunity for us to articulate that a national supercomputing strategy should ensure that research universities have a seat alongside national Department of Energy laboratories.