University Board of Trustees approves $6.5 billion 2018 budget


By Daily Illini Staff Report

The University Board of Trustees approved a budget for fiscal year 2018. Enrollment during the previous year reached another record high, and the previous two-year tuition freeze has extended to a third. This is the longest tuition freeze for the University in four decades.

Day-to-day operating costs of the University only increased by 0.3 percent. Overall costs increased by 1.4 percent, which is less than the 2.2 percent inflation rate measured by the U.S. Labor Department.

President Tim Killeen said the University of Illinois System was able to hold down spending and promote student affordability and access this year as a result of ongoing efficiencies. He also said that to maintain such efforts, the University will have to build on the state financial support that was restored last summer.

“State funding is critical to attract and retain world-class faculty and staff who define our excellence and nurture the talent and innovation that drives progress for our state,” Killeen said in a press release.

Tuition revenue and state appropriations decreased by $27.4 million. While state funding decreased by $67 million, tuition revenue increased by $29.1 million through a nearly 3 percent enrollment increase.

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Restricted funds, meant to be spent on specific services depending on contract and donor restrictions, increased by $40.8 million. These funds include research grants, private donations, hospital and medical service revenues, and auxiliary operations such as campus housing and food services.

The board also approved the University’s request for state operating funds for fiscal year 2019. This is the first step in the annual budget process. The amount requested is $681 million from the state and $585.1 million in capital funding. This would mainly be used to repair and renovate aging facilities at the three universities.

The University’s College of Business has also been renamed the Gies College of Business with the board’s approval, in recognition of the $150 million gift, the largest ever received by the University, which was from Larry Gies and his wife, Beth. Gies is the founder, president and CEO of Madison Industries. He graduated from the College of Business in 1988 and met his wife while at the University.

The appointment of Susan Martinis as interim vice chancellor for research in Urbana-Champaign was also approved by the board. The appointment is effective Nov. 17. Martinis is currently the head of the Department of Biochemistry and interim director for biomedical science and engineering at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine.

“I am truly looking forward to immersing myself in this new role! This University is home to some of the world’s most talented and innovative people, and our deeply rooted tradition of interdisciplinary collaboration is second to none,” Martinis said.

Martinis said that the University’s research strengths, across the humanities and the arts, as well as the biomedical, basic, technological, social and behavioral sciences and engineering, are “breathtaking.”

Martinis will remain director during the University’s search for a replacement for Peter Schiffer, who left his position to become the inaugural vice provost for research at Yale University.

Trustees also authorized pay-for-performance compensation for Killeen and University of Illinois at Chicago Chancellor Michael Amiridis. Killeen will receive $100,000, bringing his total compensation to $700,000, while Amiridis will receive $75,000, bringing his compensation to $475,000.

Killeen’s salary ranks in the bottom third among compensation packages for presidents in Big Ten universities with multi-campus oversight. Amiridis’ compensation is below all eight institutions designated as peer public universities for UIC. The board decided to eliminate the incentive-based program from Amiridis’ compensation and instead include the $75,000 to his base salary.

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