U of Illinois administrators push to finish plan for dealing with Rauner's proposed cuts

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URBANA, Illinois — University of Illinois administrators are pushing to finish a plan by next month to deal with the 31.5 percent cut Gov. Bruce Rauner has proposed in state funding for universities.

Urbana-Champaign campus Provost Ilesanmi Adesida told faculty leaders in a meeting Monday that everything from campus expenses to new sources of revenue must be considered.

"Everything is on the table. We have to look at ourselves very carefully," Adesida said. "What are the strategic things we have to continue to do to make sure Illinois remains Illinois?

Administrators want the campus spending proposal finished for university trustees to consider at their May 7 meeting, according to The News-Gazette (http://bit.ly/1Dnl1uQ ). Adesida said the plan for cuts would come after consulting with the campus senate, the Council of Deans and the Campus Budget Oversight Committee.

Rauner proposed the cut in state funding during his State of the State address. The potential cut in next year's budget would cost the Urbana-Champaign campus $86 million to $114 million, depending on how system cuts are allocated. The University of Illinois system as a whole faces a $208 million reduction.

"That's a lot of money," Adesida said. "Discussions are going to be difficult. There are constituencies that will fight tooth and nail. We have to be prepared for it."

One professor, Nicholas Burbules, urged administrators to consider long-term planning, too. He expressed doubts that Rauner's proposed cuts are a one-time event.

"Every indication is we're just in the middle of a trend, a long-term trend. We can't keep reacting to it on a one-year basis," Burbules said.

In the long term, Adesida said the state has to decide whether they "want a world-class university."


Information from: The News-Gazette, http://www.news-gazette.com

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