By Craig Chamberlain Two annual budgets, an update on the presidential search process, and approval of major building plans were the main orders of business at the Oct. 20 meeting of the UI Board of Trustees, held in Urbana. The trustees approved an operating budget of about $1.8 billion for the current year, 1994-95, an increase of 3.9 percent over 1993-94. State appropriations in the budget total $779 million, with $597 million coming from general tax revenue - including the income-tax surcharge or Education Assistance Fund - and about $165 million from student tuition. Tuition is collected by the state's public universities, deposited in the state treasury and then appropriated back to the universities by the Illinois General Assembly. Included in the state appropriation was $7.9 million shifted from the Illinois Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities to the UI's Chicago campus for research and education programs in mental health. Excluding that shift of funds, state support grew by 3.4 percent from last year, helping to produce an average salary increase of 3.5 percent for all university employee groups. Despite that increase in state support, the share of the overall budget supported by state tax funds dropped for the fifth consecutive year, to 33.4 percent, an all-time low. Ten years ago, direct state tax support covered nearly half of the UI's operating budget. The remainder of the state appropriation in the budget is from the state agricultural premium fund, fire-prevention fund and real-estate fund - all special-purpose funds directed to specific research and service programs. The balance of the $1.8 billion budget is a combination of revenues from state and federal contracts and grants; hospital and other medical services income; housing, student unions, bookstores, parking and other auxiliary enterprises; and gifts from corporations, alumni and friends. The trustees also approved an operating budget request for 1995-96, though they deferred passage of the tuition component of that request until the November meeting. The budget request calls for an increase in state appropriations of $49.7 million, or 6.7 percent, above this year's base budget. The major priorities for the new money are salary increases for faculty and staff members of about 4 percent, which would cost $22 million, and academic programs, which would get $14 million. "We expect to be among the very best in all that we do," said UI President Stanley O. Ikenberry in a news release, "but if this vision is to remain a reality, improved state support and a firm university resolve to use the resources available to us in the most creative and powerful way will be essential." In noting the priority set for salary increases, Ikenberry said average faculty salaries are about $2,800 below the university's long-standing target of third in the Big Ten. One result is that both campuses have lost a number of faculty members in recent years to competitive offers from other universities. "Some progress was achieved in the current year," he said, "but the university must achieve several successive years of improved compensation if we are to remain competitive with peer institutions. At the moment, we remain at a competitive disadvantage." In keeping with a policy set last year to improve the timeliness and predictability of tuition decisions, the board item on the budget request included a proposal to increase general tuition in 1995-96 by 3.5 percent. The decision on that portion of the board item also was deferred until November. Kenneth R. Boyle, D-Chatham, did not attend the meeting, due to illness, and his absence was one reason given for delaying the decision. Boyle, a guest at the Illini Union on the night before the meeting, was admitted to Carle Foundation Hospital on the morning of the meeting, complaining of chest discomfort. He was a patient at Carle through the weekend and was released the following Tuesday afternoon, with plans to recuperate further at home. Though the board did not discuss the tuition issue, two students from UIC's Student Government Association spoke in opposition to the measure during the board's public comment time. Vivek Ramaswamy and Rene Aguirre both said the tuition increase would be an unnecessary burden on students struggling to pay for their education, and might keep some from completing their degrees. In its capital appropriation request for 1995-96, the university, with board approval, is asking for $94.4 million for projects on both campuses. The priorities on the Urbana-Champaign campus, in order: * Repair and renovation funds for 12 smaller-scale projects, $5 million. * Flood-control improvements, $6 million. * The fourth phase of remodeling work on the English Building, $4.9 million. * Funds to match private gifts in hand for construction of a new agriculture library and information center, $7.8 million. * Funds to purchase from the State Universities Retirement System their previous office building, at 50 Gerty Drive in Champaign, for use as office space for the University Office of Administrative Information Systems and Services (AISS), $1.5 million. AISS moved into the building last summer. * Construction of a central campus chiller plant to provide cooling for a number of buildings in the vicinity of the Quad, $5.9 million. * Freer Hall remodeling, $6 million. * Mechanical Engineering Lab remodeling, $5.7 million. In its afternoon session, the board was introduced to members of the new universitywide consultative search committee appointed last month to work with the board in the search for a successor to retiring UI President Ikenberry. The board also heard its first update from the committee's chair, Janice Bahr, professor of physiology and of animal sciences at UIUC, and from R. William Funk, managing vice president for Korn/Ferry International, the professional search firm that was contracted by the board to aid in the search. Bahr reported that the committee had met twice, reviewed and revised the criteria for the position, talked to university administrators to gain input, sent out more than 300 letters seeking applications, and had a notice published in more than a dozen newspapers or newsletters. The committee so far had received 58 nominations and five applications, she said. Bahr and Funk both emphasized the need for confidentiality in the process of the search. Funk noted that many of the best candidates may not be in the initial batch of nominations. Asked about a closing date for nominations, Bahr said she had no set date, but the schedule called for having a list of six to eight candidates to present to the board by January. Judith Ann Calder, D-Glencoe, expressed concern about whether that number would be large enough. "I want to make sure the number is big enough so that we know it's sufficiently broad," she said. As a result, Bahr said the committee might present a list of eight to 10. The committee will update the board again in November. Ikenberry has announced that he plans to step down as president next summer. In other business, the board gave final approval on the design of the new WILL Communications Building, which will consolidate WILL television and radio operations scattered at several different sites. The project was initiated with a $5 million gift, announced a year ago, from UI alumni Robert C. and Alice Campbell of Los Angeles. The trustees approved a $750,000 increase in the project budget, raising the total to $8.35 million, to pay for the construction of a separate building that will house a teaching studio. The teaching studio, added after the initial planning, will be connected to the main building by a walkway. The money needed in addition to the Campbell gift will come from private gift funds raised through the UI Foundation and from campus unrestricted gift funds. Construction of the main building, to be located at the southeast corner of Goodwin Avenue and Clark Street in Urbana, is scheduled to begin in June 1995 and to be completed by October 1996. The teaching studio will be constructed south of the main building, on the site of the existing WILL television facility, after the main building is operational and the existing building is removed. The trustees also reviewed design work in process on a new Office of Admissions and Records building, to be constructed southeast of the Levis Faculty Center. The three-story building will consolidate under one roof the Office of Admissions and Records, currently located in three buildings. As with the WILL building, the board approved an increase in the project budget - in this case to pay for utility extensions that will accommodate not only the Admissions and Records building, but future facilities to be located in the same area. The approved increase was $703,117, bringing the total project budget to $5.86 million. The project initially will be paid for from campus institutional funds, with reimbursement anticipated from a future Auxiliary Facilities System bond sale.