Senate Executive Committee discusses budget cuts

Discussions regarding Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposed budget cuts continued at the Senate Executive Committee meeting on Monday.

Depending on how the cuts are allocated across the system, the Urbana campus could lose anywhere between $86 million and $114 million in state funding, up to 12 percent of its state budget, said Provost Ilesanmi Adesida.

Everything is on the table to cope with the cuts, he said.

University administration requested that the SEC draft a response to the potential cuts to be presented at the Board of Trustees meeting in May.

Nicholas Burbules, chair of the SEC’s General University Policy Committee, said that trends indicate that the state will continue to decrease General Revenue Funds.

“We can’t keep reacting to it on a year-by-year basis,” he said.

There are ways to deal with the cuts over time, Adesida said, and he believes the University will eventually become semi-private.

He said the University could slow hiring to offset layoffs, but it cannot stop altogether.

“The world is changing,” Adesida said. “You need new, young people to bring you new ideas.”

Roy Campbell, Senate Executive Committee chair, said while he is concerned about the budget, he believes the University will survive.

“What I’ve learned over time is we’ve survived other budgets that are just as dire as this one,” Campbell said. “It’s a challenge, just like we challenge our students.”

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