The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

Lisa Chasanov

University budget sources

June 30, 2023

According to Vicky Gress, the University’s associate chancellor and vice provost for budget and resource planning, the institution’s budget is divided into two categories or “colors” of money: “restricted” and “unrestricted.” 

Restricted income in the University’s budget includes sponsored research grants, gifts from donors and auxiliary enterprise funding. These portions of the budget are labeled as restricted because they generally have been given to the University with a specific purpose.

“When a fund source is restricted, it’s earmarked,” Gress said. “So we can’t take funding from these sources and just decide what we want to do. The sponsored research funding that we get to spend on research has to go to the projects that were proposed.”

According to Gress, while some restricted income is only intended to be used on specific projects or departments, not all of it is “earmarked.”

“While some of the gift and endowment income might technically be unrestricted, many of the dollars have donor intent attached to them,” Gress said. 

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    Unrestricted income, which is the category that receives our tuition funds as part of the University’s “income fund,” is far less rigid in terms of its required uses.

    For the 2023 fiscal year, the unrestricted budget for the University totaled $1.42 billion.

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