News Local/State

Knorr: Budget Stalemate Holds Up U of I Plans For Months


The University of Illinois’ Chief Financial Officer says Illinois’ budget stalemate means the school can’t prepare for the future.  Speaking to U of I Trustees at their regular meeting Thursday on the Urbana campus, Walter Knorr said the university needs time to assess a state budget. 

But since there isn’t one, the U of I can’t craft its own budget in time for the November Trustees meeting.  

“We probably need about 60 days, on a sliding scale, to basically put all the work into what needs to be done – to put together our operating budget,” Knorr told trustees. "So I’ll probably look at further deferral on the operating budget.  We’ll continue to operation on our continuing appropriation until further notice.”

The University of Illinois continues to operate, even without a budget. Knorr says funding is still coming in the state’s FY 2015 budget. But he’s not sure how much longer they can go on without knowing how much state funding they’ll be getting in FY 2016.

 “That’s something we’re going to have to take a month at a time to get to that point,” Knorr told reporters. “Certainly we’re going to be making the September payroll. And I think for the foreseeable future, we’re going to be in a position to make the payroll. But I can’t peg a date.” 

U of I President Timothy Killeen says they’re considering various measures for the university, if the state budget impasse continues.

“We’re considering further cuts in administration,”, Killeen told reporters. “We’re considering further implementation of some of the aspects that are coming out in the academic reviews that are underway. We’re looking at hiring processes. We’re looking at the salary programs.”

At the same time, Killeen says university officials are in daily contact with state officials in Springfield, lobbying for funding once a budget is approved. Both the General Assembly and Governor Bruce Rauner have proposed cuts to higher education in the 2016 budget, and Killeen wants that cut to be as small as possible.