Senate of the Urbana-Champaign Campus

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February 7, 2010

Dear Senate Colleagues,

The report by Howard Bunsis, recently circulated by the AAUP, concludes that the UI system is in “solid financial condition”.  Given this conclusion, many are wondering why the situation is being portrayed otherwise by President Ikenberry and campus-level administrators.  We write to you to provide a few facts about the current situation.

The Bunsis report is based on numbers from the fiscal year ending June 30, 2008, and does not reflect the fiscal reality after that date.    Further, it does not distinguish between funds budgeted and funds actually received by the University.  Our current problem is not last year’s budget, but rather the severe shortfall of budgeted payments from the State of Illinois during the current fiscal year, which began on July 1, 2009.  The members of the Senate Budget Committee have been working closely with the Provost’s office to understand the University budget.  Here are the facts as we understand them.

In summary, the immediate crisis faced by the University and the Urbana campus is the ability to make payroll.  This has been precipitated by the serious shortfall in payments from the State.  Attached you will find a summary assessment of the State and campus financial position prepared by Associate Provost Mike Andrechak, which you may find helpful.

Sincerely,

Carey Ash, Robert Brunner, Bruce Hajek, Tony Liss (chair), Trenton Morrow,
Regina Stevenson
(Members of the Senate Budget Committee)

Members of the Senate Executive Committee