News Local/State

U of I President Hopeful For Raises In 2014


University of Illinois President Robert Easter hopes to provide raises to faculty and staff again next year.

Easter announced his plans Thursday as part of a regular meeting at the start of the academic year with the University Senates Conference, including faculty from all three campuses.  

In late June, Easter announced many U of I employees will receive merit-based raises averaging 2.75 percent, starting this month.

But U of I spokesman Tom Hardy said a lot of factors will weigh in on whether the same can happen in 2014.

“Pending legislation having to do with higher education or state pensions over in Springfield, internal work that we’re doing to make sure that the university continues to operate effectively and efficiently - and assessing the various challenges within the higher education sector.”

Hardy notes the U of I and other university presidents are heavily involved in seeking a solution to Illinois’ pension crisis.  That includes promotion of a plan endorsed by the university’s Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

Details of that proposal include requiring workers to give an extra 2-percent towards their retirement.

Still, Easter says the university will likely have "minimal'' revenue growth because of budget pressures. The school is bracing for challenges because of pension reform and federal funding cuts.

Meanwhile, tuition increases are expected to be smaller than they've been in the past.