December 6, 1999
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS
Committee on the Budget
BG.00.01 Action in Support of the FY 2001 Budget Request for State Appropriations
At its September 1999 meeting, the University of Illinois Board of Trustees approved their FY 2001 budget request for operating and capital funds. The proposed operating budget includes a 3 percent increases in employee salaries, and an additional 1 percent of faculty salaries to improve faculty recruitment and retention; $12.5 million for improving faculty excellence and for strengthening our undergraduate programs; over $7 million for improving instructional technology; $1.3 million for improving our links to the state; and almost $1.5 million for improving student life, planning, and administrative and management structures of the University.
The first priority of the Urbana-Champaign campus is to restore the lost faculty positions of the last decade. From FY 1988 to FY 1999, the number of FTE tenure system faculty on state funds on the campus has dropped from 2050 to 1800. This loss of over 250 faculty positions seriously undermines the potential quality of instruction, research, and public service, and makes UIUC a less desirable place for faculty to be. The University seeks a FY 2001 budget allocation of $4.75 million in the Faculty Excellence Fund for the Urbana-Champaign campus, building toward a $10 million fund to attract approximately 175 new faculty members. The FY 2001 request would permit the hiring of 40 new faculty members for that fiscal year.
Another priority area is faculty salary. The Chicago and Springfield campuses have achieved faculty salary competitiveness with their respective peer groups of universities. Faculty salaries on the Urbana-Champaign campus remain behind the peer group of universities. In 1999, the salaries for full professors were 4.2 percent behind the average for the public university peer group and 14.7 percent behind the average for the private university peer group. The salary ranking for the Urbana-Champaign campus did not improve in FY 1999 and the campus lost ground to the peer group median. These trends weakened our ability to attract and retain world-class faculty and hindered efforts to gain a competitive edge. Through a 3 percent general salary increase request, The Faculty Excellence Funds, and the IBHE recommendation that each state public university receive funding equal to 1 percent of its salary base in order to recruit and retain critical faculty and staff in high demand areas, the University hopes to make progress on salary parity.
Over the past five years, the University has been moderately successful in its annual budget requests, with IBHE requests being accepted in full by the Governor and the General Assembly. However, for the FY 2000 budget, the Governor and the General Assembly reduced the IBHE budget requests and constrained the campus' ability on how the funds could be spent in certain areas. The final FY 2000 budget as approved by the General Assembly represented some reallocation from the original budget proposal.
Therefore, the Committee on the Budget recommends that the Senate:
1. Support the FY 2001 University budget request as necessary to meet the goals and priorities of the University, especially to meet the needs for improved instructional programs, for increasing the number of faculty on the Urbana-Champaign campus and in working toward faculty salary parity, for continuing efforts toward a more diverse faculty, for improving the library, for further incorpo-rating computer technology in instruction, research, and public service, and for meeting the broader needs of the state.
2. Direct the Senate Council Chair to communicate Senate support of the University's budget request to the Illinois Board of Higher Education and the Governor.
3. Encourage all Senators and other members of the academic community to voice their individual support for the University's FY 2001 budget by communicating with the IBHE officers, the Gover-nor, and members of the General Assembly.
4. Urge the University administration to give strong priority to budget allocations which will assist in restoring lost faculty positions and increase the size of the faculty, assist in achieving faculty sal-ary parity with peer institutions, allow greater flexibility in the use of funds for faculty recruitment and retention, and work to improve the very low level of faculty benefits.
SUGGESTIONS FOR LETTERS TO OFFICIALS
- Do not use University resources to create or mail your letter. Avoid University letterhead, never mail at University expense, do not use University employees or University time to type letters, etc. A postage stamp rather than metered mail tells the receiver it is a personal letter.
- E-mail correspondence is fine provided the sender uses a personal e-mail address (not their University account). Please copy your message to the Senate Office (email@example.com).
- It is appropriate to note your relationship to the University including roles and titles and, for elected officials, previous contacts such as campaign support, personal contacts, etc.
- A letter of one page with not more than three key points is more likely to be read.
- Arguments supported with specific evidence and personal experience typically have a positive impact. Recognition of specific impact of previous increased support, coupled with specific needs for additional support, is likely to gain a more favorable response.
- Students, their families, and those not employed by the University are powerful advocates. They may have greater impact by contacting one or both of their local legislators and by copying letters to the Governor.
- Please send a copy of your letter to the Senate Office, 228 English Building, MC-461, so that we may monitor our effort to have an impact.
ADDRESSES FOR LETTERS
Honorable George H. Ryan
Governor of Illinois
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706
Illinois Board of Higher Education:
Illinois Board of Higher Education
Philip J. Rock, Chairman
Rock, Fusco, Reynolds, Crowe & Garvey, LTD
350 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 900
Chicago, IL 60610
Honorable Timothy V. Johnson
129 W. Main Street
Urbana, IL 61801
Honorable Stanley B. Weaver
1717 Philo Road, Suite 17B
Urbana, IL 61801
Keith Sanders, Executive Director
Illinois Board of Higher Education
431 E. Adams, 2nd Floor
Springfield, IL 62701-1418
Honorable Rick Winkel
Suite 205 Huntington Towers
201 W. Springfield Avenue
P.O. Box 1736
Champaign, IL 61824-1736
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Senate Committee on the Budget
James G. Ward, Chair
Alison Schmulbach, PAC Liaison
Walter C. Tousey, Ex officio