UI president faces fiscal issues, restructuring in his 1st year

_Editors note: This article is part of The Daily Illini’s year in review edition. These articles are meant to round-up the most important news of the academic year, Fall 2010 through Spring 2011._

Michael Hogan’s first year as University president was dominated by budget issues and conflicts with campus leaders over administrative restructuring efforts. However, the budget-dominated agenda wasn’t a surprise to Hogan.

“Public higher education across the country is at risk as state support dwindles,” Hogan said in a previous interview. “The problems for the University of Illinois are acute because the state itself is in a very difficult situation. This, however, wasn’t a surprise to me as I was well aware of the state’s fiscal situation and how it affects public universities and colleges.”

Fiscal year 2010 saw the first time in which tuition revenues surpassed state funding.

The Board of Trustees approved a 6.9 percent tuition hike for next year’s incoming students at its March meeting.

Despite lack of state funding, Hogan is calling for salary raises for all faculty members, something that hasn’t been done in two years.

“When faculty go without a salary program year after year, it makes the University very vulnerable to losing our best and brightest faculty to outside offers,” Hogan said.

The raises could be around 3 percent, but the number has yet to be determined.

With the decline in available funds for the University, Hogan’s base salary of $620,000 – a $170,000 increase from former President B. Joseph White’s base salary – also received much attention during his first year.

Aside from the fiscal issues, Hogan’s first year has been defined by the much-debated administrative restructuring proposed at the September board meeting.

The restructuring changed the vice president for technology and economic development to the vice president for research, created a vice president for health affairs and added “vice president” to all of the chancellor’s titles in an effort to “unify and align the administration team to a clear line of command,” Hogan said.

The changes passed despite opposition from the Urbana-Champaign Senate and the University Senates Conference. The Urbana-Champaign Senate also passed a resolution criticizing the centralized administration changes in April.

Under Hogan, the search for the next Urbana chancellor also saw some progress.

The search committee will be meeting with candidates throughout May and submit a list of names to Hogan, who will then submit his selection to the Board of Trustees for approval. The new chancellor is expected to be in place by the start of Fall 2011.