June 1, 2017
Dear friends and colleagues:
For the third straight year, the General Assembly’s spring session ended yesterday with no agreement between legislators and the governor on a budget to support essential state services, including the University of Illinois System.
The string of failures is both unprecedented and unconscionable. Real damage is being done, eroding the excellence that has made the U of I System a supplier of the world-class talent and innovation that are critical to move the state of Illinois forward. This situation is simply not worthy of hard-working Illinois families or of our 80,000-plus students.
Over the last two years, the impasse has reduced our state funding by about $764 million – over $117 million more than our last full-year appropriation in fiscal 2015. Now, we face the prospect of yet another fiscal year with reduced – or even no – state support. We will continue working hard to weather the impasse through prudent management and cost-saving initiatives, and I assure you that we are – and will remain – strong! But we cannot keep sinking into a deeper financial hole without jeopardizing our life-changing contributions to students and the public good in our state.
So we are continuing our fervent advocacy in Springfield – injecting an even stronger sense of urgency as negotiations continue toward a budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. For the sake of our state, our flagship university system and our collective future, this is a time to demand action, not just encourage it.
On the positive side, I am very grateful to legislators for sending procurement reforms to the governor that would enable our universities and faculty researchers to work more effectively and efficiently. I hope that this bipartisan cooperation will now extend to a budget deal to end years of uncertainty and put Illinois firmly on the road to recovery.
Thank you for your hard work and commitment during these challenging times, and I will update you as the budget process unfolds.

This mailing approved by:
Office of the President

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Academic Professionals, Civil Service & Faculty
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