22, No 20, May 22, 2003
UI Trustees discuss impact of budget
Sharita Forrest, Assistant Editor
(217) 244-1072; email@example.com
will be compromised by the measures that the UI will be forced to undertake
to absorb the $72.5 million decrease expected in its FY04 budget, President
James J. Stukel said. Stukel, who spoke during the May 15 UI Board of
Trustees meeting in Urbana, said that while state funding has been on
the decline for more than a decade, the rescissions imposed in FY02
and FY03 along with the decreased funding expected in FY04 imperil the
university's educational mission.
If Gov. Rod Blagojevich's proposed budget is passed by the General Assembly,
university administration may have to increase class sizes while decreasing
faculty and teaching positions to absorb the shortfall, Stukel said.
More than 1,000 course sections might be eliminated and enrollments
in 500 other course sections increased by as much as half.
The university may have to slash operating expenses by 5.5 percent,
matching funds for federal grants and seed grants by 4.5 percent, and
funds for teaching recognition and teaching support programs and classroom
learning technology by 20 percent each. A decrease in faculty also will
mean a significant decrease in grant funding, Stukel said.
Approximately 1,100 FTEs may be eliminated, including 100 positions
in university administration, 375 teaching assistant positions and 100
instructor/lecturer positions. In Urbana, 400 support staff may be laid
off as will 300 support staff in Chicago.
"The problem here is we don't know what our budget is, but I think
this is probably a pretty close approximation of where we're going to
be," Stukel said. "No amount of administrative reorganization
or cuts are going to deal with this issue. We have to do them to demonstrate
that we’re willing, but let us not be deceived: That is not going
to preserve the quality. So I as president and we in administration
are really concerned. We're concerned for our faculty and we're concerned
for our students."
Until state legislators pass a final budget, the board authorized an
interim FY04 operating budget for the university with expenditures mirroring
its FY03 budget.
In other business, Stephen Rugg, associate vice president for planning
and budgeting, presented a preliminary proposal for resolving the backlog
of deferred maintenance revealed by the facilities condition audit completed
last year. Rugg said the audit revealed more than $617 million in outstanding
priorities one, two and three maintenance needs, such as building enclosures,
electrical systems and heating/ventilation systems.
The FY04 operating budget recommended by Gov. Blagojevich designated
only $10 million for repair and renovation projects universitywide.
Under the plan that Rugg proposed, annual expenditures for deferred
maintenance would increase from $18 million in FY02 to $75 million in
FY22 and would be funded by issuing certificates of participation, which
are forms of municipal bonds that are repaid via leasing arrangements,
beginning in FY04.
The trustees also approved a proposal to issue up to $80 million in
auxiliary facilities system (AFS) revenue bonds to fund housing construction
at the Springfield campus and portions of the recreational facility
renovation and construction costs at Chicago and Urbana.
The trustees also approved reallocating $5.0 million in AFS bond proceeds
from the north campus parking structure project to refurbish two other
parking garages on the Urbana campus. The north campus structure, which
was budgeted at $31.8 million, is being completed at $26.8 million.
The trustees approved proposed designs for addition/renovation of the
West Campus Recreation facility at Chicago and the family resiliency
building at Urbana, which also was renamed Doris Kelley Christopher
The trustees approved increases in the contracted fees with Accenture,
the firm managing implementation of the UI Integrate project, from $6.8
million up to a maximum of $8.07 million during FY03 and up to $5.5
million in FY04. Rugg said that the increased expenditures reflected
greater utilization of Accenture's services as a result of staffing
changes and delays in staff reassignments.
In response to a query from Trustee Niranjan Shah, Richard Mendola,
associate vice president for administrative information technology services,
said that numerous auditing and screening procedures are in place to
monitor billing, project plans and appropriateness of personnel assignments.
Senior Associate Vice President Michael Provenzano, Office of Business
and Financial Services, received approval from the trustees for a $17
million increase in the budget for the South Campus Infrastructure Project
at Chicago. Provenzano told the board that increased expenditures for
land acquisition, street improvements, legal fees and other costs that
had not been anticipated when the initial budget was approved in 1999
necessitated increasing the project budget from $72.9 million to $89.9
million. Most of the funding will be derived from selling revenue bonds
and the remainder from campus funds and construction fund earnings.
Departing student trustees Keely James Stewart, Noah Wolfe and Arthur
Moore Jr. were recognized for their service with the board. Trustee
Thomas Lamont bid farewell to fellow board members; after 12 years as
a trustee, Lamont has been appointed to the Illinois Board of Higher
John Banta, chief executive officer and managing director, Illinois
Ventures, presented an informational report on the activities of Illinois
Ventures, the university's technology commercialization company.
Faculty members from the Urbana campus, Richard Burkhardt, history;
Jonathan Sweedler, chemistry; and Harris Lewin, animal sciences, discussed
their collaborative teaching and research initiatives in a presentation
titled "Faculty Excellence and the New Biology." The course
that Burkhardt, Sweedler and Lewin co-taught may be used as a model
for other multidisciplinary academic programs at Urbana.
Faculty and staff appointments approved by the trustees include:
- David Wilhelm
to the board of managers for IllinoisVENTURES, LLC. Wilhelm, who is
founder and president of Adena Ventures and president of the Wilhelm/Conlon
Group, was the gubernatorial nominee to the 11-member board of managers.
- Bruce B. Weber
as head men's basketball coach at Urbana effective April 29, 2003.
Weber, formerly the head men's basketball coach at Southern Illinois
University, Carbondale, succeeds Bill Self. Under the five-year contract
approved by the trustees, Weber will receive total annual compensation
of $500,000, including a base salary of $150,000 for coaching duties
and $350,000 for promotional, public relations and media appearances.
Trustee Kenneth Schmidt asked if a means existed for clarifying the
source of the coach’s salary with media and the public because
he had been contacted three times during the past week by people inquiring
about Weber's salary and its correlation with the university's budgetary
problems. Chancellor Nancy Cantor responded that every news release
issued had explained that the men's basketball coach's salary is paid
through corporate contracts, athletic revenue and media contracts,
and not by state appropriations.
In response to a question from Robert Sperling, Cantor said that Illinois
ranks "sixth or seventh, if not lower" among Big 10 universities
for its men's basketball coach's compensation. Sperling, whose appointment
as a trustee is yet to be confirmed by the state senate, responded
that Athletic Director Ron Guenther "should be praised and not
criticized" for his handling of the matter.
In other business,
the trustees established a doctor of audiology degree program and an
interdisciplinary undergraduate major in gender and women’s studies
at Urbana. The department of aeronautical and astronautical engineering
also was renamed the department of aerospace engineering.
During the public
comment portion of the meeting, Jenny Barrett, president of the Association
of Academic Professionals, and Al Kagan, who represented the Union of
Professional Employees, objected to the forthcoming change in pay date
for some employees, saying academic professionals at Urbana will lose
five days’ service credit and pay during the transition.
James Reed, who represented the Coalition to Save the Allerton Legacy,
also spoke and expressed concerns that the prairie restoration proposed
at Robert Allerton Park, Monticello, will create fire hazards that will
endanger park visitors, children at the adjoining 4-H camp and nearby