News from the Aurora University community

Former legislator, department head to discuss blueprint for solving state’s problems

Posted by on November 6, 2015

Inaugural Aurora University Town Square Series event moderated by Rick Pearson, Chicago Tribune chief political reporter

Aurora University will host a public policy discussion highlighting recommendations to solve and lessen problems in Illinois, featuring former State Representative James D. Nowlan and former director of the Illinois Department of Revenue J. Thomas Johnson in conjunction with Rick Pearson of the Chicago Tribune. The Town Square Series event will take place Thursday, November 19, 2015, at 7:30 p.m. in Crimi Auditorium in the Institute for Collaboration at 1347 Prairie St. in Aurora. The event is free and open to the public.

Nowlan and Johnson are co-authors of the book “Fixing Illinois: Policy and Politics in the Prairie State,” which features nearly 100 policy ideas aimed at rescuing the state from its long list of problems. The authors address budget, education, economic development, health and human services, and infrastructure issues. They will discuss some of their proposals at Aurora University with Rick Pearson, political reporter for the Chicago Tribune and contributor to WGN-TV and WGN-AM.

“We are pleased to invite Illinois residents to campus for what is sure to be an enlightening and engaging first program of our new Town Square Series,” said Tom Cross, former Illinois House Republican leader and current distinguished fellow at Aurora University. “In ‘Fixing Illinois,’ Nowlan and Johnson offer a common sense analysis of the state’s problems and comprehensive recommendations to tackle a variety of issues plaguing the state. I look forward to welcoming community members to the university and hearing from these respected public servants about how our state can be restored to greatness.”

James Nowlan served two terms in the Illinois House of Representatives and worked under three governors. He is the coauthor of “Illinois Politics: A Citizen’s Guide.” J. Thomas Johnson is President Emeritus of the Taxpayers’ Federation of Illinois. Rick Pearson has been the Chicago Tribune’s chief political reporter since 1998. He has covered Illinois and national politics for more than three decades, including the last four presidential contests.

To register for this event, visit, email or call 630-844-4924. Press photos for events are available at


Aurora University is an inclusive community dedicated to the transformative power of learning, annually educating approximately 5,200 degree-seeking students at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. The university has a long tradition of preparing students for lives of service and leadership, and using its resources and expertise to meet the needs of the community. In addition to its main campus and the Orchard Center in Aurora, Illinois, AU offers programs online, at its George Williams College campus in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, and at the Woodstock Center in downtown Woodstock, Illinois. Learn more at



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