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Public Universities Hope for More State Money


Illinois public colleges and universities are hopeful the state will come through with money for construction needs. It's been nine years since Illinois last adopted a statewide building program. Judy Erwin, the director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education, says the schools have had to shift money toward the upkeep of facilities.

"Dollars that should be going to student services, to increase faculty salaries, needs based financial aid possibly, go to repair the boiler or repair the ceiling," Erwin says.

Students are feeling the effects as all public universities have begun charging fees to offset maintenance costs. As for other needs, Erwin says the Board will ask the Governor and legislators for a five and a half percent increase in funding. That amounts to about 110-million dollars above what was budgeted this school year. She says even if that request is approved, public colleges and universities will still be well short of what the state was providing eight years ago.