U of I Hopes To Thaw State Budget Standoff… With Giant Cardboard Declaration
In the 4.5 months Illinois has gone without a budget, public colleges and universities have received no funding from the state, forcing them to cut staff, dip into cash reserves and do whatever's necessary to stay afloat.
Officials from the state's biggest university are hopeful that political leaders in Springfield will hear their plea.
After a lot of mostly negative news about how the state's budget impasse is affecting the University of Illinois' operations at the U of I's board of trustees meeting in Chicago Thursday, there was a light-hearted moment.
The school's 10 trustees agreed to a resolution to present to the governor and legislative leaders to urge an end to the budget stalemate.
One by one they voted yes, and signed a giant certificate, bigger than a novelty check. It had the resolution printed on it, on top of art to make it look like an old scroll. Trustees posed for pictures during the ceremonial signing.
And when the roll call got to a certain ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees...
Trustee Jill Smart is one of Governor Rauner's three appointees to the board earlier this year. It's the hope of U of I officials that influencers like Smart and the rest of the board will provide the pressure needed to help break the budget ice.