June 12, 2015

Dear colleagues,

As the impasse over the state’s fiscal 2016 budget continues in Springfield, I want to update you on the University’s activities and address concerns expressed about news coming out of the Capitol.

The University, through my office and the Office of Governmental Relations, continues to advocate strongly for adequate and responsible levels of state support for the University of Illinois. We convened the presidents of the public universities and made advocacy visits to top legislative leaders and senior executive staff in the governor’s office. I met personally with the governor during the spring session. We provided testimony in budget hearings and to legislative budget working groups. We have generated “calls to action” to alumni, faculty, staff and students. We established a U of I legislative caucus that meets in the Capitol. And we are meeting regularly with community leadership groups around the state to articulate the central value proposition for public higher education as the engine for economic revitalization for Illinois.  

We continue to monitor the situation at the Statehouse closely and to provide information and assistance to the governor and lawmakers as needed and upon request. The U of I will participate in a special Senate hearing on college affordability next week.

The information coming out of Springfield at times like this can be confusing. Earlier this week, it was reported that the state might stop making payments on July 1, the start of fiscal 2016, if a new budget is not approved by June 30, and that state workers might begin missing paychecks on July 15. I want to assure you that the University of Illinois is planning to continue to pay its employees and vendors throughout this budget cycle, thanks to prudent fiscal stewardship.

We expect continued funding to meet the University’s obligations as the state pays the remainder of the University’s current fiscal 2015 appropriation. A prolonged budget impasse would be troubling and we are confident that the governor and legislative leaders will reach an agreement soon to fund operations of the state in the new fiscal year.

I want to thank all of you for your continued dedication to our University. I will provide further updates as needed.

Sincerely,

Tim Killeen
President