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|State Universities Make Pleas in Springfield
|(IRN)-More university heads converged on the Capitol this week to make a case for their Fiscal Year 2012 budgets, and two major state schools were asking for vastly different things.
Illinois State University President Al Bowman, for example, wants a 9 percent increase in state funding for the next fiscal year. But Eastern Illinois University president William Perry is OK with a flat appropriation.
Bowman says his faculty and staff salaries are starting to fall behind the national averages due to freezes and cutbacks, and the school also has $500 million in deferred maintenance projects. He says his request is justifiable.
"Unless the state begins to reinvest in higher education, we are going to be faced year in and year out with raising tuition to not only cover cost increases, but to cover a larger portion of the state's share," Bowman testified.
He says ISU increased tuition for incoming students this year, which raised about $5.4 million. He says that barely covered its estimated decrease in state aid, and it was essentially a wash.
Eastern Illinois President William Perry hasn't decided whether he'll increase tuition next school year. He says the board of trustees will discuss that at its meeting next month. In the meantime, Perry says Eastern will continue its ongoing cost= cutting measures for the foreseeable future.
"We've got a hiring freeze. We're going to continue that," he says. "We're going to continue to look for cost cutting, conservation measures. Everything we can do with respect to being more efficient. My testimony was that we're going to continue that."
The state of Illinois currently owes Illinois State roughly $59 million of what it has already promised for this fiscal year, and it owes Eastern about $35 million.
(Source: Illinois Radio Network)
|03 10 11 by Newsroom
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