Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says the state’s institutions of higher learning are too top heavy and need to think strategically to bring costs down so any dollars they get from the state have the best impact on student outcomes.
Rauner told National Public Radio on Friday that higher ed in the Land of Lincoln is too top heavy with bloated administrations, bureaucracies and high labor costs and that keeps resources out of the classrooms.
“One of the things I’m encouraging our university system to do is think strategically – how can we bring down the bureaucracy costs so the money can help our students directly,” he said.
One strategy Rauner suggested is to rethink what subject is taught where.
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“We maybe don’t need as many of one type of study or program in multiple locations around the state,” Rauner said. “Maybe we should think strategically and have one or two schools specialize in certain subjects.”
Rauner said that will make the system more efficient, driving value for taxpayers.
University officials often complain about inadequate state funding, but when you include pensions, state funding for higher ed has increased 60 percent in the last decade.
Rauner also said Friday he wants to increase by 10 percent the amount of money available for eligible college students through the Monetary Award Program (MAP), but that requires a balanced budget.
“We need to support our university systems and in order to do that we need balanced budgets, we need stronger economic growth, we need a change to our system so we can have the resources to put into our schools,” he said.
Some MAP money was going out for eligible students’ tuition up to the end of last year, but since lawmakers haven’t passed a budget, the money is not there.
Lawmakers are back in Springfield Tuesday.
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March 13, 2017 at 05:00PM