Statement regarding State of Illinois budget

February 17, 2017
 
Negotiations toward a full-year state budget are now underway in Springfield. During this process, our government relations staff and I have been in constant discussions with Governor Rauner's staff and the legislature to ensure adequate funding and fiscal predictability for the University of Illinois.
 
The governor and legislators are to be commended for their efforts to reach compromise, and the U of I System stands ready to share the expertise of faculty and staff across our three universities in any way possible to help develop a workable plan to move Illinois forward.
 
In his budget proposal for fiscal year 2018 released on Feb. 15, Governor Rauner recommended:
 
  • A general funds appropriation for the U of I System of $550.1 million, a 15 percent – or $97 million – reduction from the $647.1 million appropriation received by the System in fiscal year 2015, the last time Illinois had a full-year budget.
  • A performance-based allocation that could partially offset the 15 percent cut, making it more like 10 percent below fiscal year 2015. The U of I System estimates that performance funding could restore $30 million to $35 million by achieving Illinois Board of Higher Education goals related to student success and degree completion.
  • A 10 percent increase in funding for the Monetary Award Program (MAP), which provides need-based financial aid to support Illinois students. MAP assistance for U of I System students totals approximately $60 million per year.

The above recommendations are for FY18. The legislature is also considering additional funding for FY17 (Senate Bill 0006), now that the stopgap has run out. Neither the legislature nor the governor has addressed funding for fiscal year 2016, however, when the U of I System received only $180 million, about 27 percent of its fiscal year 2015 appropriation.

Funding tied to performance is at the heart of groundbreaking legislation that the U of I System helped develop and introduce last year, called the Investment, Performance and Accountability Commitment (IPAC). IPAC would create a new, results-centered partnership between the University of Illinois and the state, providing adequate and predictable funding over a 5-year period. In turn, we would agree to meet tangible performance goals that support access and affordability for Illinois students while serving the needs of the state.

In the weeks to come, our team will continue to vigorously champion the U of I System’s interests in Springfield, and work to build on the internal efficiencies that have maintained our excellence despite the state’s ongoing budget impasse.

My thanks to all of your for your dedication, loyalty and support, and I will continue to update you as the budget process unfolds.

Sincerely,

 
Tim Killeen
President