President White says University has remained stable, hoping for additional funds from State

By Alissa Groeninger

In a letter to the University community President B. Joseph White told students that the University has managed to remain stable during the economic crisis.

He wrote, “We are fortunate in that our work, in general, has not declined as it has in so many organizations during the severe economic recession of the last sixteen months. We have just as many students to educate as a year ago, no fewer research grants and contracts to fulfill, the same number of buildings to maintain, and so on.”

The University withheld spending 2.5 percent of its 2009 operating budget. White said it did so without impacting its core mission or employment. Gov. Pat Quinn’s proposed budget would restore that 2.5 percent to the operating budget, as well as adding 1.1 percent.

White said he is “cautiously optimistic” that the legislature will provide the University, as well as higher education as a whole, with additional funds. The federal economic stimulus plan also provides higher education with additional benefits, including more student financial aid grants.

He wrote “We take nothing for granted given the state’s fiscal condition, but in several recent trips to the Statehouse, I have found that our message of the University’s value has been well received by Senators and Representatives, legislative leaders and Gov. Quinn.”