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PUBLICATIONS Inside Illinois Vol. 22, No.2, July 18, 2002

Benefits for domestic partners and the Fiscal Year 2004 budget request topped the agenda for the University of Illinois’ Board of Trustees’ Sept. 18 meeting in Springfield, Ill.

Karen Alston, director of the Women’s Studies Program at the Urbana campus and a faculty member in educational policy studies, presented a report to the board that supported extending university-provided benefits to same-sex domestic partners of employees.

According to Alston’s report, 167 colleges and universities, including seven Illinois institutions, six of the 11 Big Ten universities and all eight Ivy League schools and MIT, already provide domestic partner benefits, a factor that has sometimes put Illinois at a competitive disadvantage when recruiting and retaining faculty.

University President James J. Stukel said the board may consider the domestic partner benefits issue again at its September meeting.

Vice president Chester S. Gardner presented the preliminary FY 2004 operating budget, which called for a $91.7 million increase, an increase of 8.47 percent, over the current year’s base budget.

The increase is needed in FY04 so the university can recover from the adverse impact of the budget rescissions and reductions of the prior two fiscal years, Gardner said.

Despite the tuition increase approved by the trustees for FY03, the university’s tuition allocations for various programs are expected to exceed its tuition income by $1.7 million, leaving the three campuses to reallocate funds to cover the gap, Gardner said.

The preliminary FY04 operating budget also includes $32 million for salary improvements to safeguard retention and recruitment.

The FY04 budget presented also called for $34.1 million for facility renewal and replacements, including $12 million for planning a Performing Arts Center on the Chicago campus; $3.3 million for infrastructure improvements on the Springfield campus; and $51 million for the remodeling of Lincoln Hall on the Urbana-Champaign campus.

The trustees approved the appointment of Thomas Hardy as the new executive director of the Office of University Relations, formerly the University Office of Public Affairs.

Capital projects contracts approved by the board included:

  • employment of VOA Architects, Chicago, for renovation and expansion of the Intramural Physical Education and Campus Recreation Center East facilities on the Urbana campus at a fee of $3.4 million plus reimbursable expenses estimated at $700,000 through the schematic design phase.

  • a $12.9 million contract with James McHugh Construction, Chicago, was approved for constructing of a $20.7 million parking garage spanning Maxwell Street. Construction is scheduled to begin in November 2002.

  • three contracts totaling $8.2 million were awarded for construction of a new 334,500 square feet College of Medicine Research building on the Chicago campus and for the planning and remodeling of relocation space for operations displaced by the construction.

  • a $3.5 million, three-year contract to TMP Worldwide for development of instructional materials for training approximately 10,000 university staff during the UI Integrate implementation.

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Trustees discuss FY04 budget and domestic partner benefits

By Sharita Forrest, Assistant Editor
(217) 244-1072; slforres@illinois.edu


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