UI leaders have new money proposal

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Anna Carrera

By Anna Carrera | acarrera@wcia.com

Published 11/10 2016 06:50PM

Updated 11/10 2016 06:50PM

CHICAGO, Ill.

CHICAGO — Leaders at the University of Illinois have a new plan to keep money coming into their system from the state. It was introduced on Thursday at the Board of Trustees meeting and as a bill in Springfield. This idea is a two-way agreement.

University of Illinois President Tim Killeen says they plan to meet certain performance-based standards in exchange for a stable source of money. With this proposal, the state would give the university $662 million for fiscal year 2018. That’s the same amount as the last full appropriation they got back in 2015. The number would go up at the rate of inflation for the next five years. The state would also make changes to help the university system be more efficient, like making the system exempt from certain state codes and helping them work through red tape that affects research. Killeen says those things will help the university plan further on down the road. He says it’s even more important after having to work through the state’s budget impasse.

“Combined that will help the university to operate with more agility and effectiveness in the very competitive higher education health care sectors to build on our rich legacy of service to Illinois taxpayers and families,” said Killeen.

On the university’s side, they would freeze tuition costs for in-state undergraduate students, only adjusting for inflation. They would also accept a minimum number of in-state students and use at least $83 million a year for financial aid.  

If the university falls short of its goals, the money isn’t guaranteed. And on the flip side, if the money doesn’t come through, the university isn’t bound by those standards. The Board of Trustees approved the idea unanimously.

This is the first time in state history that a public university’s performance would be part of a statute. Other University of Illinois standards include a 87% freshman retention rate across the three campuses, plus making sure at least 72% of students graduate within six years. Leaders also have to commit an extra $15 million of financial aid to minority and under-represented students.

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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UI leaders have new money proposal

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