higher education

State Higher Education Budget Remains In ‘Balancing Act’

May 19, 2015
state of Illinois

Illinois lawmakers get back to work this week, with about two weeks left in their spring session to finalize a budget. 

The budget was also on Governor Bruce Rauner’s mind when he visited Southern Illinois University’s Carbondale campus last weekend to deliver a graduation speech.

"We are in that balancing act right now,” Rauner said. “Everybody's going to have to give a little bit. And that's the way the political process should work. We'll come up with bipartisan solutions that are really a compromise."

Public University Presidents Protest Higher Ed Budget Cuts

Mar 22, 2015
state of Illinois

Presidents from three universities met with lawmakers yesterday to object to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget. The proposal includes a nearly 32 percent funding cut for public universities.

Illinois State University says it might have to cut 400 jobs. But University of Illinois President Bob Easter told Senator Chapin Rose, a Republican from Mahomet, that relief from procurement rules could save the U of I 70 million dollars.

Other school presidents have blamed procurement rules for delaying projects and driving up costs.

Rauner Proposes Deep Spending Cuts In First Budget Address

Feb 18, 2015
twitter.com/BruceRauner

Gov. Rauner presented his first budget proposal to lawmakers Wednesday.

READ THE BUDGET PLAN

Illinois’ finances are ailing. That’s been a story for years, but the situation got a lot worse at the beginning of the year when a tax cut took effect.

The Republican is proposing significant cuts to everything from healthcare for the poor to colleges and universities.

Brian Mackey / Illinois Public Radio

Illinois Democrats continued approving a new state budget on party-line votes. The Senate approved spending plans for education --  from elementary and high schools to colleges and universities -- with funding pretty much at last year's level.

Cuts proposed earlier this year by Governor Pat Quinn did not materialize, partly because Illinois collected more tax money than it expected in April.

Sen. Dan Kotowski, D-Park Ridge, says funding for higher education is critical because it's tied to the problem of unemployment.

Amanda Vinicky

Although they're facing budget cuts, universities and community colleges say they're willing to begin taking on employees' pension costs.  The state covers the employers' share of retirement benefits for Illinois' public schools, colleges and universities.

WEB EXTRA: NIU Pension Overhaul Website

House Speaker Mike Madigan is insistent the state stop.

Moody's

Moody's Investors Service is taking a pessimistic view of American colleges and universities. The agency says repeated increases in tuition are partly to blame.

NIU Media Services

Illinois' public colleges and universities are still trying to work with a new law that ties state funding to student performance. But it hasn't been easy to measure performance in a way that's equally valid across the state's dozen public university campuses. Illinois' program is specifically meant to reward schools that help low-income students, and those from the first generation in their family to go to college.

University of Illinois

George Reid came to the Illinois Board of Higher Education in December 2010. He'd been a top official at a similar agency in Maryland. Less than two years later, Reid says he's resigning for personal reasons.

Rockford College Changing Name

Oct 3, 2012
Rockford.edu

Rockford College trustees have approved changing the institution's name to Rockford University.  According to the school's website, work to fully complete the transition will be taking place from now until July 1, 2013 and the school will proceed with submitting all formal petitions for university designation to the State of Illinois and all accrediting agencies.