25, No. 23, June 15, 2006
Trustees discuss financial
outlook, approve appointments
Sharita Forrest, Assistant Editor
UI President B. Joseph White predicted that FY07, which begins July 1, would
be a good year for the university in terms of marshaling the $100 million in
resources needed to help the UI meet its most urgent needs and objectives. He
made his comments about the FY07 preliminary operating budget during a teleconference
meeting of the UI Board of Trustees on June 5.
The $3.7 billion preliminary budget was an increase of 5.9 percent over the current
fiscal year and was based upon estimated increases of $67.9 million or 4.5 percent
in unrestricted funds and $136.6 million or 6.9 percent increase in restricted
funds. Restricted funds – which include revenue from grants and contracts,
federal appropriations and private gifts – are designated for specific
uses by the donor, grantor, contractor or state statute. Unrestricted funds can
be allocated at the discretion of the university.
White projected a good year in terms of striving toward his five-year/$500 million
plan, which aims to garner $500 million over the next five years. However, “a
difficult but necessary 2.5 percent reallocation”– a total of $2.5
million – will be necessary by all “budget holders” next fiscal
year, White said. State appropriations are expected to total $12.8 million next
year; tuition and the new Academic Facilities Maintenance Fund Assessment – a
fee that new students will begin paying this fall to help address the backlog
of deferred maintenance projects – will generate $45.6 million. The projections
also included a $10.5 million increase in private giving, which White called
a conservative estimate.
Trustee Robert Sperling voiced concerns about the board’s approving the
preliminary budget through a conference call, and suggested that such items be
addressed at regular meetings in the future. “Out of courtesy to all our
board members, this is a pretty significant issue when you’re approving
a budget … and I believe we owe it to everyone to deal with these types
of matters at a board meeting,” Sperling said.
Chairman Lawrence Eppley responded that the proposal was only a preliminary budget
and that the board would review the final budget proposal at its regular September
The trustees approved a list of 19 retired employees who were proposed for rehire
between June 5 and July 13. White said after careful review that he and the chancellors
supported the rehires because of “value and urgency.” White said
that a policy on retiree re-employment would be presented at the board’s
July meeting, and added: “The goal is to prevent abuses, to utilize wisely
a valuable pool of talent for the benefit of our students, our research enterprise
and the entire university, and to ensure that the board is in proper control
of the situation.”
White also told the board that within the week he and Vice President Chester
Gardner would send the board a comprehensive report on the proposed global campus
initiative, a new university entity that would offer degrees, certificates and
outreach programs on a large scale via the Internet. White urged the trustees
to review the report carefully prior to the July meeting.
Pursuant to discussion at the board’s May meeting, White said that “a
great deal of work has been done” on the UIC Medical Center renovation
project and that staff members would update the board soon.
- The board awarded
a $1.7 million contract to Nogle and Black Mechanical Inc. of Urbana
for heating work related to construction of the College of Business
Instructional Building; the lowest bidder, Gingher Process Piping
Inc. of East Peoria, rescinded its bid of $1.6 million.
- The board pproved
the appointments of Lizanne DeStefano, a professor of educational
psychology in the College of Education, as interim dean of the
college from June 16 through July 31 until Mary Kalantzis begins
as dean Aug. 1; of C. Renee Romano as vice chancellor for student
affairs beginning July 1; and Elyne Cole, currently director of
employment services in academic human resources, as associate provost,
effective June 16.
Schmidt expressed concern about Romano’s $200,000 salary, a
figure that he and Michele Thompson, board secretary, said often
elicits questions. Chancellor Richard Herman said that he believed
the proposed salary was “the right
number” and offered to share the analysis used to derive it.