Board of trustees meeting in Chicago live thread

Chairman+of+the+Board+Edward+L.+Macmillan+runs+the+meeting+held+by+the+Board+of+Trustees+at+the+Illini+Union+in+September.+

Brian Bauer

Chairman of the Board Edward L. Macmillan runs the meeting held by the Board of Trustees at the Illini Union in September.

By Angelica LaVito, Staff Writer

8:00 a.m.

The Board of Trustees meeting at the University of Illinois at Chicago has commenced.

8:05 a.m.

The meeting entered into executive session.

Important items on the agenda

9:37 a.m.

The regular Board of Trustees meeting has resumed.

9:50 a.m.

UIC Chancellor Michael Amirdis welcomes the Board and members of the audience to campus for today’s meeting.

9:53

Jim Moore, President and CEO of Illinois Foundation, reports on the UI Foundation and University of Illinois Development Program. He outlines the foundation’s priorities as board member recruitment, good governance, increase fundraising results, campaign and strategic planning.

“We know now more than ever private funding is going to be extremely important,” Moore said.

The foundation raised $50 million in new business and $63 million raised in cash in the first quarter. Donations are down from $55,240,350 in 2016 to $50,115,141 this year.

In 2016, donations totaled $224.7 million. The majority of gifts, $61.6 million, was allocated for research. Other allocations include, $32.4 million for academic programs, $29.2 million for student support, $19.9 million for facilities, $12.2 million for public service, $5.2 million for faculty support, $4.6 million for other and $59.6 million was unrestricted.

10:12 a.m.

Steve Van Arsdell, the vice chairman of the Alumni Association, reported on the group’s work. He said the association reached 180,000 alumni through direct marketing and more than 32,000 through affinity program participants.

Arsdell said the Alumni Association penned nearly 20,000 letters to legislators. He also gave a recap about the group’s lobbying arm, Illinois Connections’, efforts to connect with state lawmakers.

The group is developing interactive Illinois legislative maps that include the number of UI grads by legislator and senate districts.

“We look forward to increasing this partnership we see increasingly vital to the University,” Arsdell said.

10:26 a.m.

Walter Knorr, UI Vice President and Chief Financial Office, projected $10 million in unpaid bills by Dec. 31.

The University has received $200 million of the state’s $351 million appropriation. Tuition and auxiliaries are the largest source of funding, with state operating appropriations accounting for 12 percent.

The state contributes 30 cents per every $1 in tuition, up from 20 cents per every  $1 in 2016. The state matched the dollar amount contributed in 2010 but has decreased its contribution. The University took its hardest hit in 2016, when the state cut its contributions from six cents to two cents.

The $29 million appropriated for MAP grants was paid in mid-October and applied to the Spring 2016 awards. Knorr expects to discuss future payments in January.

The University is tied with Rutgers for the lowest credit rating, Aa3, of Big Ten universities. The University of Michigan, Purdue University and Indiana University lead the group with Aaa ratings.

11 a.m.

The Board has opened the public comment session.

Patrick Thompson, president of Veya Inc., a construction contractor in Champaign, criticized UIUC for what he said is a lack of hiring African American contractors.

11:13 a.m.

The Board of Trustees endorsed the The University of Illinois System Investment, Performance and Accountability Commitment, IPAC. Rep. Michael Zalewski filed the bill, HB6623, on Nov. 9.

With IPAC, the  University would commit to increasing tuition only to adjust for inflation for five years. In return, the state would appropriate $662,100,000 in fiscal year 2018. If the University meets targets for affordability, Illinois resident enrollment, financial aid, retention and graduation and public performance reporting at the start of the academic year.

The funding would appropriate at least that amount adjusted to account for inflation.

“This would be a fundamental recast of relationship between the state and the University system,” President Timothy Killeen said.

Killeen hopes the bill would help the University achieve financial stability. The University would commit to set aside 12.5 percent, totaling $83 million, of annual appropriation for need-based financial aid.

In addition to that amount, the University would commit to provide at least $15 million in financial aid per year for underrepresented groups, including minorities, students from underrepresented geographic areas and impoverished students.

The bill would require the system to enroll at least 27,300, or at least half, of any future undergraduate enrollment. More than 80 percent of current undergraduates at the University’s three campuses are Illinois residents.

The legislation would require the University to maintain an 87 percent retention rate. The current rate is 89 percent. The national average is 72 percent. It would also require the University to maintain a 72 percent graduation rate. The University’s current rate is 76 percent. The national average is 60 percent.

“It is not business as usual; it’s business as required in the public interest,” Killeen said.

Trustee Jill Smart criticized the bill’s specificity of the University’s obligations but vagueness of the state’s obligations. Killeen justified the language, saying it will likely be debated as it works its way through Congress.

Sen. Bill Cunningham, the bill’s Senate sponsor and UIC alumnus, recognized the challenges ahead in Springfield.

“We have our work cut out for us in Springfield getting this passed given the climate, but it has bipartisan support,” Cunningham said. “I think when it’s laid out to ordinary citizens and taxpayers, it’s something that’s very attractive to them. The idea of funding being tied to performance is something that’s very appealing.”

Rep. Michael Zalewski, the bill’s sponsor in the House and a UIUC grad, offered more optimistic views, but still urged for getting alumni, students and parents on board.

11:50 a.m.

The Board approves all items on its agenda.

11:55 a.m.

The Board gave a round of applause for Trustee Ricardo Estrada, whose term ends in January.

12:03 p.m.

The meeting adjourned.