From AP - News Headlines -

UI Board Chair Weighs in on University’s Relationship with Businesses

The head of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees says higher education in the state must do a better job forging relationships with business and political leaders.

Board Chairman Chris Kennedy says in the two years he's been a trustee, the university has begun reaching out more to those in business and government. Kennedy is in charge of Chicago's Merchandise Mart. He says the U of I has to show the impact investments in higher education can make on the economy. He adds colleges and universities in Illinois have failed to successfully convey the message. Kennedy says too few business leaders even know the names of Presidents and trustees at the state's colleges and universities.

"Even if we could name them, we probably haven't received a call or opened an invitation from them to join in building a relationship with someone like Duck Durbin or Mark Kirk," Kennedy said. "These university leaders are not pushing the business leaders to become engaged with federal officials or to try to improve funding for the research institutions in our state."

Kennedy says that lack of coordinated effort has had a devastating effect on the ability to garner a larger share of federal research dollars. He made his remarks at the University' Springfield campus.