News Local/State

U of I President: Sequester Could Hurt Research Funding


University of Illinois officials are waiting to see exactly how the federal budget sequestration will affect their research programs. But university President Robert Easter said they stand to lose $65 million out of their $813 million research budget.

Speaking on WILL’s Focus on Tuesday morning, Easter said he is still learning how each federal agency that provides research dollars will make the cuts.

“The message I got yesterday relative to NIH (National Institutes for Health) was that that would apply to current contracts, as well as funding for future proposals,” Easter said. “It’s not clear if all agencies will follow that practice, or if some will continue to hold constant their current contracts and just reduce the amount of additional funding.”

Easter notes that the U of I gets most of its research funding from federal agencies, which will be affected by the sequester.

Urbana campus Chancellor Phyllis Wise added that some federal funding also supports education, including medical education at the Chicago campus that would suffer from cuts in funding for resident physicians.

Unless Congress votes otherwise, the sequester is scheduled to take effect on Friday.