24, No. 14, Feb. 3, 2005
approve tuition, fee hikes; re-elect Eppley as chair
Sabryna Cornish, UIC News Bureau
photo to enlarge
byRoberta Dupuis-Devlin / UIC Photo Services
President James J. Stukel (right) addresses the UI
Board of Trustees as chairman Lawrence Eppley looks
on. The Jan. 20 meeting in Chicago was Stukel’s
final meeting as president before his retirement on
Feb. 1. In presenting Stukel with a resolution honoring
his 43 years of service, Eppley said that Stukel propelled
the university to new stages of excellence despite
the challenges posed by diminished state resources.
The UI Board of
Trustees approved across-the-board tuition and fee hikes at its Jan.
20 meeting to help meet a portion of the $47 million shortfall that
is expected in the university’s budget during the coming fiscal
“We believe the tuition increase recommendations are moderate
and prudent,” said Chester Gardner, university vice president
for academic affairs.
The nonguaranteed tuition rate for undergraduates (mostly juniors and
seniors) will go up by $211 at Urbana-Champaign; $185 per semester at
Chicago; and $112.50 at Springfield.
Guaranteed tuition rates for new undergraduates will increase $291 at
Urbana; $256 per semester at UIC; and $285 at UIS.
Tuition rates for freshmen who entered the university in fall 2004 will
remain unchanged as a result of a state law that went into effect this
fiscal year that mandated that state universities guarantee the same
tuition rate for entering freshmen for four years.
While the tuition increases are expected to generate about $29 million,
there still will be a financial gap, a fact that was troubling for some
trustees, who suggested a higher tuition increase might be needed.
“I’m concerned the tuition increase is falling short. I’d
rather bite the bullet now,” said Trustee Robert Sperling.
President James Stukel told board members that state support for higher
education is not likely to increase and there are few places to seek
“We’ve never had a reduction in state support such as during
the last 10 years,” Stukel said.
The administration already has cut its budget as deeply as it can without
eliminating programs, Stukel said, and he cautioned the trustees about
trying to maintain too many programs without enough funding, saying
that “the scope of the university will be the tough issue.”
Sperling said he is concerned about the university’s future if
state appropriations are not increased.
“We really have two choices: Either we raise tuition higher or
we cut within the university,” Sperling said.
Sperling and other board members voiced concern about the effects of
budget-tightening on faculty retention and recruitment. Although an
average 3 percent raise for faculty and staff members is recommended
in the FY 2006 budget, the increase still might not be enough to keep
faculty members from going to other universities, they said.
“We’re in danger of losing our biggest asset – the
faculty that teaches our students,” Sperling said.
UIC student trustee Natalie Garcia said that although students are not
happy about a tuition increase, they understand why it is needed.
“When students are presented with the state appropriations, they
definitely understand the necessity to increase tuition,” Garcia
said. “They’re never pleased, but they understand.”
Trustee Frances Carroll said students should not have to go heavily
into debt for their education from the UI.
“I am concerned that students should not have to borrow so much
that they owe their lives,” Carroll said.
- Lawrence C. Eppley
was re-elected as chairman of the board for a third one-year term.
Eppley, a political independent and a lawyer in the corporate practice
of Bell, Boyd and Lloyd of Chicago, has served on the board since
2001. Trustees Carroll and Kenneth Schmidt were reappointed for six-year
terms. Jeffrey Gindorf retired from the board after 12 years’
service; Gov. Rod Blagojevich has not announced a replacement yet.
- The board honored
retiring UI President James J. Stukel with a resolution praising his
43 years of service to the university, to which he reacted with humor
Stukel said he will continue attending board meetings, but only to
talk during the public comment portion of the meeting.
“I’ll finally be able to speak my mind,” Stukel
“The board would like to thank Jim for his tireless attention
to duties of the president,” Eppley said. “He leaves the
university as a well-managed institution. Always a leader, President
Stukel’s administrative journey has been characterized as one
of choices that helped propel the university into new stages of excellence.”
The university’s 15th president, Stukel announced his retirement
last year, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family.
- Ronald Zook was
appointed head football coach at Urbana. Zook, the former head football
coach at the University of Florida, was awarded a five-year contract
at an annual salary of $1 million. The coach’s salary is privately
funded, and his duties will include media appearances and other activities
required by the university in addition to coaching responsibilities.
Zook replaces Ron Turner, who coached Illinois for eight seasons.
- James D. Anderson,
chair of the Chancellor Search Committee, said the search for a chancellor
for the Urbana campus is progressing as it should and may be concluded
by late March or early April. For up-to-date information on the search,
visit the Web