Chancellor Message 2/16/10

Message to Campus
RE Public University Leaders message to Governor Quinn and Comptroller Hynes

Dear Colleagues,

Public universities in Illinois are more than $735 million behind in receipt of state payments of their total appropriations for the fiscal year. This has led to an unprecedented fiscal crisis for public higher education.

On February 8, I joined President Ikenberry along with presidents and chancellors from Illinois’ other state-supported universities at a news conference, at which we presented a joint letter asking Governor Quinn and Comptroller Hynes to commit to a schedule of payments of our appropriated funds in order to forestall further impact on our institutions. We also urged the governor and comptroller to commit to swift action to resolve the state’s financial crisis.

A copy of the letter was provided to state lawmakers. The event was widely covered in the news media, and we hope this has led the students and friends of our universities to lend their voices to our appeal. To further engage our supporters, I attended the Alumni Association Board meeting on February 5, during which its Illinois Connection advocacy network was activated to mobilize alumni to contact their elected representatives. The Alumni Association is subsequently facilitating a message from President Ikenberry as a call to action for all in-state alumni and friends. I also participated in a number of calls and meetings with chancellors and presidents around the state as well as with colleagues at the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) and with the Governor’s staff.

The presidents' and chancellors' letter, a news release, and video of the media event are online, and I urge you to read this information for details.

On February 9, I joined President Ikenberry at the Civic Federation of Chicago to discuss the financial crisis confronting our state and university. The Civic Federation has been a fiscal-integrity watchdog for more than a century and served as the ideal venue for this exchange. The Federation hosts the Institute for Illinois' Fiscal Sustainability, a non-partisan effort to improve decision-making by providing sound fiscal policy analysis. I hope you will take the time to read President Ikenberry's remarks.

Finally, we must move forward with planning, and we do so amid a climate of great uncertainty. The one thing of which I am certain is the unwavering commitment of all of you to our missions, to our students and patients, and to each other. There will be shared sacrifice—but there will also be shared perseverance, shared support, and shared encouragement. We are all in this together.

Sincerely,

Paula Allen-Meares
Chancellor