January 18, 2017

Dear faculty, staff, students and friends:

With the start of the New Year, stopgap state funding that has helped support the University of Illinois System for the last six months ended. My priority is to vigorously advocate to restore full state appropriations for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 and going forward. 

In the meantime, we are committed to fulfilling the aspirational goals of our new Strategic Framework despite the current budget uncertainties. We will continue to provide a best-in-class educational experience for students, we will retain and recruit great faculty and staff, and until the state honors its obligation, we will continue to advance state Monetary Award Program grants for our students under the same conditions that we have followed since the budget impasse began.

We are positioned to sustain our strong performance thanks to the commitment and creativity of our administrative leadership, faculty and staff, whose thoughtful stewardship has produced cost savings and efficiencies that have maintained our excellence and our service to a growing student population.

In the coming weeks, my team and I will aggressively champion the U of I System’s interests at every turn as the General Assembly resumes budget negotiations, building on advocacy efforts that include almost daily connections with legislators and the governor’s staff. We also will continue our advocacy for the U of I Investment, Performance, and Accountability Commitment (IPAC). This groundbreaking legislative proposal would redefine our partnership with the state, providing predictable funding for university operations in exchange for tangible performance goals that support Illinois students and serve the needs of the state.

My thanks to all of your for your dedication, loyalty and support, and I wish you all the best as a new semester begins.


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