Dear Colleagues:

On Wednesday, Governor Rauner proposed a 2016 budget intended to address the very serious financial situation facing our entire state. It recommends significant spending reductions across many state programs including appropriations to higher education.

I want to reiterate President Easter’s message that this is the first step in the legislative budget process. Provost Adesida, the campus administrative team and I are working closely with President Easter, President-designate Killeen and the University Administration to ensure that the governor and the General Assembly recognize the role our programs play in driving the economic and social advances of the state. In the past weeks, the governor has made it clear that this campus is one of the most valuable assets to our state and we are optimistic that this confidence will be reflected when a final budget is passed later this spring.

We must be guided by our vision statement: “We will be the pre-eminent public research university with a land-grant mission and global impact.” Our strategic plan sets forth a goal of stewarding current resources and generating new investment. We are committed to our plan and to identifying strategies that will enable us to remain competitive with our national peers. Clearly with the current economic conditions and the financial challenges facing our state, we must work even harder to move forward strategically and efficiently in a climate where state appropriations are tight. This is an opportunity for us to collectively reexamine and reevaluate our priorities, from the department and unit level up through our central campus administrative and service structures. We must be even more diligent and creative in ways to reduce our administrative overhead and streamline our processes and practices. We must look for new ways to generate revenue and savings that can mitigate potential cuts and be reinvested in our campus. We will also depend heavily on shared governance through the Academic Senate and faculty leadership across the institution to ensure that decisions we make together are for the greater good of the entire campus community. 

I want to thank all of the faculty, staff and students here at Illinois. The value of this university to our state and the contributions it makes in our world come from your hard work, your new ideas and your unyielding belief in the power of education.

I will share information about our budget future as we learn it.


Phyllis M. Wise

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