June 9, 2016

Dear colleagues:

We were heartened and not at all surprised by the response to a system-wide message sent last week on the prospect of another fiscal year with no state budget.

Our supporters stepped up to ask how they could directly express their concerns to elected officials in Springfield, including one who pointed to the power that the University community holds as advocates. “Please, keep in mind that you have a network the size of which rivals a small army,” he wrote, alluding to our 80,000 students, 25,000 employees and 700,000 alumni around the world.

Our global network also has an outlet to let their voices be heard – through Illinois Connection, a grassroots advocacy organization that has grown to more than 15,000 members since it was founded by the University of Illinois Alumni Association.

By visiting the Illinois Connection website, you will be linked to contact information for the governor and your local legislators, allowing you to share your stories about what the University of Illinois means to you and its key role in driving progress for our state. For state and University employees, it is best practice to use your personal phone or email and to contact elected officials outside working hours or during scheduled breaks.

We encourage you to join our chorus, urging approval of state budgets to fund our public universities for both fiscal 2016 and 2017. Your voices matter. You are voters, not just advocates, and each of you can speak first-hand to the value of higher education – the difference it has made in your life and how it fosters the 21st century workforce and discovery that will move Illinois forward.

Thank you for your support, and for your loyalty and commitment to this great University.


Tim Killeen

Michael Amiridis
Chancellor, Chicago

Susan Koch
Chancellor, Springfield

Barbara Wilson
Interim Chancellor, Urbana-Champaign