Board of Trustees met to discuss tuition, enrollment growth


Brian Bauer

The University of Illinois Board of Trustees holds a meeting at the Illini Union on Jan. 18, 2017.

By Megan Jones , Staff Writer

(9:40 a.m.) — The public session of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees meeting began at 9:30 a.m. at the Chicago campus. Some of the items up for a vote today can be reviewed here.

At the annual meeting, the board must elect a new chairman and members of the executive committee. Ed McMillan has served as the chairman for the last two years, but is not seeking reelection as chair. He will remain a trustee.

“I recognize that our governor believes in term limits, so I think two years is an adequate amount of time,” McMillan said, also adding that he struggles with hearing problems and worries he does not hear everything he should as chair.

Killeen had all members of the meeting give McMillan a standing applause. Trustee Tim Koritz was nominated to serve as chair by Trustee Patrick Fitzgerald. The three student trustees also consecutively nominated Koritz. He was approved unanimously. Korwitz, a republican, is a Rockford physician and received a bronze tablet from the University as a student in 1978.

“I’m extremely grateful and honored to have this opportunity to serve our University in this capacity,” Koritz said.

Three trustees are not in attendance at the meeting today whose terms expired this month: Democrat Trustees Ricardo Estrada and Patricia Brown-Holmes and Republican Trustee Karen Hasara. Estrada is not seeking a second term, but Brown-Holmes and Hasara are up for reappointment by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Trustee Ramon Cepeda and Jim Montgomery were selected to serve on the board’s executive committee.

(10:00 a.m.) — Killeen spoke about a new enrollment initiative that is meant to give more students an opportunity to attend the University. The initiative is the result of each campus’ provost spending the last year studying how to increase enrollment.

Killeen said demographics of students are changing, with projections of Illinois high school graduates declining by 14 percent by 2031, and instead the University needs to look at non-traditional students, such as first generation students, transfer students and older students with a focus on lifelong learning.

The top out-of-state school in 2014 was the University of Missouri with 1,437 and University of Iowa with 1,378. The net loss of over 16,000 students would result in more than $215 million in additional tuition and fee revenue to Illinois public universities, according to the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

Growth on the Urbana campus will focus on graduate and professional programs, as the freshman class already ranked the sixth largest in the U.S. in 2014. Urbana will focus on increasing its online programs, such as the new iMBA and an online master’s degree in accountancy. Additional programs include the Carle Illinois College of Medicine in 2018, a master’s degree in computer science for data science and a master of science in information management.

(10:30 a.m.) — Chief Financial Officer Walter Knorr gave an update to the budget and said Gov. Bruce Rauner is hosting a State of the State speech and budget speech in late January and mid-February, respectively. He hopes we hear more about budget plans then, but there has remained no action in the state budget impasse.

The state has $11.1 billion in unpaid vouchers and $3.9 billion in health care billings for state employees on Jan. 5.

(11:22 a.m.) — About 20 protesters in the audience have stood up and are holding signs that read, “Sanctuary Campus Now.”

This comes after President Killeen sent a massmail saying the campus will not become a sanctuary because of the negative consequences it could bring, including the loss of federal funds.

Students spoke during public comment section

(11:48) — The Board has passed all items on its regular agenda, including its third consecutive in-state tuition freeze.

(11:50) — The Board has passed all items on its roll call agenda.

Angelica LaVito contributed to this report. 

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