From AP - News Headlines -

Public Universities Try to Avoid Future Budget Cuts

Public universities in Illinois are letting state lawmakers know how government funding cuts have impacted them.

The schools are hoping to avoid further cuts in the next state budget. University of Illinois President Michael Hogan said he put in a request for more money from the state. Now he said he is just hoping his funding level stays the same without getting docked by legislators.

"The governor has come in asking for less," he said.

Hogan said keeping high-profile faculty at the university is hard when he can't offer competitive salaries. He said the school remains under a hiring freeze. Meanwhile, Southern Illinois University's president Glenn Poshard said he's having the same problems. He said the money issues at his school have been exacerbated by late payments from the state.

"If this the state's not going to help us," Poshard exclaimed. "I mean had we not had the income fund monies that we have from the tuition increases, we couldn't make payroll."

But lawmakers say universities, just like every other state benefactor, must tighten their belts to survive the state's current budget crisis.