Dear Colleagues:

I want to echo President Killeen’s expressions of relief, optimism and gratitude at the successful passage of a state budget by the Illinois legislature. It has been a long and hard road to reach this point – and I know that I have only been at this university for part of the impasse. I want to express my thanks to each of you for your efforts to protect our student experiences and core missions over the past 24 months even as the fiscal challenges and uncertainties mounted.

We’re still studying the final bills and assessing the implications but as President Killeen noted, the level of funding, while representing a 10% System-wide reduction from our 2015 appropriation, is much better than many earlier drafts and bills reflected. More critically, with this full budget in place we now have some of the stability we need to begin repairing the damage of the previous years and to strategically begin moving forward once more.

In addition to the full fiscal year 2018 appropriation, some notable components of the bills include nearly $300 million to cover the System-wide shortfall from last year as well as restoration of the Monetary Award Program (MAP) which provides essential financial aid to thousands of our students.  And, we hope to see several major capital projects abruptly halted last week resume work in the near future.

The full picture will become clearer in the coming weeks and we’ll have a much better understanding of the impact on our students, faculty, staff and operations. But for now, this is very good news and a reason for cautious celebration.

Thank you for your patience, your commitment and your dedication to this university throughout this historically difficult time.


Robert J. Jones

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