21, No. 15, March 7, 2002
Governor's budget address confirms
By Sabryna Cornish, UIC News Bureau
Since last month, university administrators have predicted a decrease
in state funding for next year.
That forecast became more likely after Gov. George Ryan unveiled his proposed
budget in his State of the State address
"I cut 3 percent more out of each agencys existing budget,
for a total 5 percent reduction across the board," Ryan said.
Education fares better than many other areas of state funding, said university
"It appears the governor has tried to protect education as much as
possible," said Randy Kangas, director of university planning and
However, the effects on the university and its campuses are not yet certain,
Ryan recommended that higher education as a whole receive about $2.6 billion,
which is $29.3 million less than the original FY 2002 budget.
Money for several UI building projects was included in Ryans budget.
"We are gratified and thrilled with (the governors) capital
commitments," said UI President James J. Stukel.
Projects in the proposed budget:
- $73.5 million for Urbanas Post Genomic Institute
- $28.8 million for Urbanas National Center for Supercomputing
- $18 million to expand Urbanas Microelectronics Laboratory
- $25 million for continuing construction of Chicagos College
of Medicine building
- $57.6 million for construction of an advanced chemical technologies
building at Chicago
The university also
will receive funding for repairs and renovations, an important part
of its deferred maintenance plan.
The UI and other state agencies cut their budgets mid-fiscal year after
the states finances took a downward turn.
The university trimmed $34 million from its current budget, including
$15.2 million at Urbana.
The university was asked to chip in about $24 million to cover employee
health care benefits this year; the same request will probably be made
"The University of Illinois understands the great difficulty Gov.
Ryan has in constructing a budget that reflects both the essential obligations
of Illinois to its people and the realities of the states current
economy, and I applaud his efforts to strike the right balance,"
"We stand ready to manage our share of reduced state revenues brought
on by general recession and some specific and unavoidable cost increases."
Ryans budget proposal goes to the General Assembly for consideration,
then back to Ryan for approval of any changes made by the legislature.
"The first challenge presented by this budget is making sure that
state spending fits in with less-than-robust revenue collections that
have drained this years available resources," Ryan said.
"That means we're going to have to tighten our belts."