From WILL - News Headlines -

U of I Trustees Approve FY 2012 Budget, Honor Easter

The University of Illinois' Board of Trustees has unanimously approved its budget request for fiscal 2012, which seeks five percent more over fiscal 2011.

The total budget for the U of I's three campuses is $5 billion. And a request for fiscal 2013, seeking five percent more, represents an additional $83 million in state funding.

Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Walter Knorr told the board Friday that payments from the state have lagged more than last year, with the state now owing $313-million.

Knorr said the two pillars to the U of I's educational mission, tuition and state support, make up more than 80 percent of the university's needs.

"We have one of those pillars, it's the state funding, that continues to carry the uncertain question about when and how much is going to be paid," he said. "We're certainly looking at the trend, it has been deteriorating over the last three years,"

The U of I was appropriated $689 million for 2012.

Trustees have also approved the appointments of Mike Thomas as the new athletic director, and Phyllis Wise as the new Urbana Chancellor. She replaces the retiring interim Chancellor Robert Easter, who was honored Friday with a standing ovation in his last Trustees meeting.

Easter, who has given nearly 40 years to the Urbana campus, received a standing ovation at the Trustees meeting Friday.

Trustee Ed McMillan said through cost cutting efforts, Easter left the campus in better shape than when he took over as chancellor. But Easter said equal credit should go President Michael Hogan and the U of I Trustees.

"This board has brought respect to the university," Easter said. "It has brought a sense of integrity that permeates our community. And I think that has been critical to the spirit that's allowed us to move forward in a very positive way over the past several years."

Easter was the U of I's Dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences for 7 years, and served on the board for International Food and Agricultural Development, appointed by former President George W. Bush.

Wise is slated to start Oct. 1. Trustees also approved the appointments of Lawrence Schook as Vice President for Research, and Christophe Pierre as Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Categories: Education, Government, Politics