Chancellor Message 5/21/10

Message to Faculty and Staff
RE End of Semester update

Dear Colleagues,

In the afterglow of our inspiring series of commencement activities, during which more than 7,000 UIC students received degrees, I write with a brief update about the budget and a few other important matters.

I had hoped that at this point I would be able to provide you with definitive news about the university budget. Unfortunately, as of this writing, the General Assembly still has not enacted a state budget for Fiscal Year 2011, which begins July 1. The state is still behind approximately $376 million in payments to the University of Illinois as a whole, including UIC, for the current fiscal year. This, of course, has created an atmosphere of unprecedented uncertainty in our budget planning. I recognize the challenges this creates for us and greatly appreciate your dedication and perseverance. The university and its friends continue to press our case with lawmakers and other elected officials to fully fund higher education for FY10 and beyond, reflecting the vital role we play in the state. I will keep you apprised of important developments.

At its meeting this week in Chicago, the Board of Trustees approved a tuition increase of 9.5 percent, or the equivalent of an annual increase of less than 3.7 percent under the state’s guaranteed tuition policy. The increase would amount to $396 per semester for general incoming undergraduate students at UIC. It is important to note that this increase will not affect current students. Just as the tuition increase supports our academic mission, we will also increase our need-based supplemental aid program to support our mission of access to excellence and success.

While we grapple with our financial problems, we must remain focused on our long-term vision for the campus. In March, I convened a Strategic Directions meeting among the campus’s senior academic and administrative leadership to review the goals, objectives and most important, our progress on UIC’s strategic plan. The meeting generated many ideas, and we are in the process of identifying themes that emerged from the discussion. A follow-up meeting will be held next month.

Last but certainly not least, I know that all of you join me in welcoming Dr. Michael Hogan as the next President of the University of Illinois, approved at Thursday’s Board meeting. Dr. Hogan is a distinguished administrator and scholar, and we look forward to his arrival on July 1. A campus reception for Dr. Hogan and his wife, Virginia, is planned for either late spring or early fall. Details will be provided as soon as they are available.

I wish all of you a pleasant summer and thank you again for all your hard work during the 2009-2010 academic year at UIC.

Sincerely,

Paula Allen-Meares
Chancellor