February 11, 2010
Public universities in Illinois are more than $735 million behind in receipt of state payments of their total appropriations for the fiscal year.
On February 8, I joined with President Ikenberry and the other two chancellors of the University of Illinois campuses as well as presidents and chancellors from the other state-supported universities in Illinois in asking Governor Quinn and Comptroller Hynes to commit to a schedule of state payments to forestall further impact on our institutions. We also asked the governor and comptroller to commit to swift action to resolve the state’s financial crisis. A copy of the letter was provided to state lawmakers.
Please read the letter and news release. I urge you to read this information for additional details on the financial crisis and our request.
As part of our effort, I granted several interviews with local press, all with this same theme. We need regular payments from the state this year and for our leaders to develop a solid plan for solving Illinois’ long term budget problems.
On February 9, President Ikenberry spoke to the Civic Federation of Chicago about fiscal sustainability in our state and at the University of Illinois. The Civic Federation, a fiscal integrity watchdog for more than a century, was an ideal venue for these remarks because it hosts the institute for Illinois’ Fiscal Sustainability, a non-partisan effort to improve decision-making by providing fiscal policy analysis.
Again, I hope you will take some time to read Dr. Ikenberry’s remarks, which I find of particular interest.
As these issues develop we will keep you informed. Thanks for all you do every day.
February 3, 2010
This is a reminder to all UIS employees that as part of our cost-cutting planning, we invite you to let us know if you are interested in a voluntary separation agreement at this time. Provost Berman and I announced this possibility at the campus forums last month.
Our program is not the same one being offered by the Urbana campus, but is consistent with University of Illinois system guidelines. We are in a position to offer financial incentives in some cases to staff who wish to leave the university for retirement or other reasons, when the arrangement would be mutually agreeable to the employee and the university.
If you are interested in a voluntary separation agreement, please discuss it with your supervisor.
January 20, 2010
I thank you for your constructive responses to President Ikenberry’s letter of January 5th to the University and my subsequent letter to the campus, announcing furloughs and other difficult measures being taken to cope with the growing cash crisis facing the University of Illinois as a result of the delay in payment of our state appropriation.
Based on suggestions received from many of you since the announcement, I am writing today to inform you that, as an alternative to furloughs, faculty and academic professionals subject to furloughs may opt to take a voluntary and temporary salary reduction in lieu of furloughs if they so wish. This is a university-wide decision, and all chancellors are making this announcement to their campuses this morning.
The manner and amount of the salary reduction is the same under both options.
Those opting for the voluntary pay reduction program will not be required to take time off and so will not be subject to the work hour restrictions or time keeping requirements associated with furloughs. Those who choose not to elect the voluntary salary reduction option will, of course, be subject to the furlough program.
Those who wish voluntarily to elect to take a temporary salary reduction in lieu of furloughs must complete an authorization on NESSIE between January 26 and February 8, 2010.
Please consult this new UA website for more complete information, including the possible impact on SURS contributions, and instructions regarding both the mandatory furlough program and the voluntary pay reduction program.
Again, I thank you for your cooperation and understanding and reaffirm my profound appreciation for all you do to make the University of Illinois at Springfield campus the wonderful treasure we know it to be. With your help and commitment, we will be even stronger in the years ahead.
January 5, 2010
I want to follow up on President Stanley Ikenberry’s note to all university staff and faculty (see link at left) about the implementation of furloughs, a hiring freeze, and related issues at the University of Illinois.
Clearly, the university and UIS are facing our most serious budgetary times in recent history.
The president’s letter describes the initial steps we are taking in response to the budget problems. I expect there to be a lot of communication among us in the days and weeks to come as we implement these steps.
The simple hard fact is that the state of Illinois cannot pay and is not paying its bills. That includes money owed to the University of Illinois. So we must enact measures to assure that we will be able to meet our payroll obligations. If we are unable to do that, we would not be able to keep our focus on our essential mission: to provide an excellent education and college experience to our students. We must also remain in pursuit of our vision to become one of the top five small public liberal arts universities in the nation. We must see to it that we do not halt or reverse the progress we have made in recent years, and I am confident that, working together, we will not.
The UIS community has a remarkable way of rising to the occasion. Now we must continue to work together and stay in communication as we face new obstacles.
Provost Harry Berman and I will preside at two open forums for the UIS community. Both forums will be in Brookens Auditorium:
Dr. Berman and I want to listen to your concerns and answer any questions you have. We will have brief remarks. Then most of the forum will be a Question and Answer session.
For the latest information, please see the following web sites:
Read the UIS FAQ for answers to questions received in early January.