Message from President Killeen: State Budget Update

May 26, 2020

Dear faculty, staff, students and friends:

State appropriations for the University of Illinois System would remain at current levels for the coming year under a budget approved over the holiday weekend by the Illinois Legislature that will be sent to Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who is expected to sign it into law.

Like many things amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the proposed $42.8 billion budget is contingent on a number of factors, including how the state rebounds from the crisis and on access to federal relief funding.

The budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 also re-appropriates capital funding to support key construction projects. That includes funding for development of our Discovery Partners Institute (DPI) and Illinois Innovation Network (IIN), along with major projects at each of our universities.

Highlights of the budget include:

  • An appropriation of $622 million for operations, matching state funding for the current fiscal year.
  • Re-appropriation of $500 million in capital funding for planning and construction of DPI and 15 IIN research hubs across the state, including one at each of our universities and satellite campuses.
  • Re-appropriation of $807 million to fund capital improvements at all three universities. Major projects include renovation of Altgeld Hall for a math, statistics and data science collaboration center in Urbana-Champaign; a quantum sciences initiative that Urbana is developing in partnership with the University of Chicago, Argonne and FermiLab; the Advanced Chemical Technical Building at UIC and a computer design research and learning center for UIC’s College of Engineering; and a new facility at UIS that will replace the existing library, along with a new Public Safety Building.
  • Appropriation of $7 million in new capital funding to relocate Urbana’s Swine Research Center.
  • Flat funding that matches the current fiscal year for the Monetary Award Program (MAP), which provides financial aid to support Illinois students. The legislature also provided funding at current levels for the third year of a state scholarship program created to encourage in-state students to attend college in Illinois and stem an outmigration of talent to other states. The U of I System and other universities provide matching funds to double the impact of the state’s contribution.

The U of I System advocated for increased funding to support a flagship university system that has set enrollment records for seven straight years and has played a key role in helping the state navigate the COVID crisis. But we understand the financial challenges the pandemic has created and the shared sacrifice that is required to pave the way to recovery.

We are grateful to Gov. Pritzker, the legislature and our U of I Caucus for their support during this difficult budget process, and to all of you for everything you do to make the U of I System a key engine of progress for the people of Illinois.

Sincerely,

Tim Killeen
President, University of Illinois System

Barb Wilson
Executive Vice President and Vice President for Academic Affairs, University of Illinois System

Robert J. Jones
Chancellor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Michael Amiridis
Chancellor, University of Illinois at Chicago

Susan J. Koch
Chancellor, University of Illinois at Springfield