News Local/State

U of I Trustees Call On State Leaders To End Budget Impasse

University of Illinois President Timothy Killeen.

University of Illinois President Timothy Killeen at the Board of Trustees Meeting in Chicago on Thursday. Screenshot from University of Illinois video

The University of Illinois is officially asking Illinois leaders to come to terms on a state budget for the current fiscal year.

At their meeting in Chicago Thursday, the trustees approved a resolution urging an end to the budget impasse, and signed a presentation copy.

U of I President Timothy Killeen says a hiring freeze affecting 230 full-time positions at the university is just one of the cutbacks instituted to cope with the budget delay.

“We have moved funding out of Administration to support Student Activities, to the tune of about $160 million over the 4-to-5 year period,” said Killeen. “We’re already deferring maintenance on buildings, and some construction projects are not going forward. And we’re deferring and delaying important, needed IT activities.”

U of I Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer Walter Knorr told trustees that he doesn’t expect a resolution to the state budget impasse until January or February. In the meantime, Knorr says university expenses normally paid for by the state, such as payroll and MAP grants, have reached $388 million -- all of it coming out of the U of I’s reserves.

Despite the expectation that a budget settlement would come eventually, Killeen said the university would continue to lobby officials in Springfield, urging them to pass a state budget.

“Public good flowing from this institution is incredibly important,” said Killeen. “And the State of Illinois needs us to be world class. And we cannot go down a path to deterioration.”