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Meeting of the Illinois Board of Higher Education Faculty Advisory Committee January 28, 2000 - Dominican University, River Forest, Illinois

The morning session opened with a welcome from Donna Carroll, President of Dominican University. Most of the morning session was spent with Mark Wilcockson, Associate Director for Fiscal Affairs at the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE). The remaining time was spent on the meetings of the IBHE Faculty Advisory Committee (IBHE/FAC) subcommittee meetings.


After the welcome by the President of Dominican University, Mark Wilcockson was introduced. He presented background information on the IBHE budget development process. Wilcockson noted that institutions were preparing their budgets now for fiscal year 2002, and that members of the FAC wanting input into the 2002 budget should provide that input no later than the beginning of March, 2000. He then focused on the questions that had been submitted regarding the IBHE's financial assistance to private higher education institutions in Illinois. The relationship between the public and private sector goes back to a statutory mandate in 1961 that the IBHE "maintain a diversity of public and private institutions." The IBHE Master Plan also notes that the integration of higher education in Illinois is accomplished through the involvement of both public and independent sectors in statewide planning and coordination. Since its reorganization in 1995, the IBHE has had a member representing private institutions.

Wilcockson outlined State statutory programs that provide financial support to private institutions:

1) Of the $336 million awarded in fiscal year 2000 through the ISAC Monetary Award Program $182 million, or 54 percent, are awarded to students at independent institutions.

2) Illinois Financial Assistance Act for Nonpublic Institutions of Higher Learning (IFAA) was established in 1971 and, in the 2000 budget, $21 million is provided for grants based on the number of Illinois residents private institutions have in their undergraduate programs.

3) Health Services Education Grants Act (HSEGA) will provide $23 million in grants to schools based on the enrollment of Illinois residents in health profession programs.

4) Engineering Equipment Grant Program will provide $2.8 million in grants in 2000. About 30% of these funds go to private institutions of higher education in Illinois.

5) The Higher Education Cooperation Act (HECA) funds grants for projects between two or more cooperating institutions. Approximately 30% of the $22 million available goes to projects where the lead institution is an independent institution.

6) Of the $2.1 million of funds in the Cooperative Work Study Program, about 40% go to non-public institutions.

7) State Matching Grant Program will provide $10 million and approximately 45% will go to private institutions in Illinois.

Of the total $2.2 billion higher education budget for FY 1999, $204 million (9.3%) went to private institutions of higher education.

Wilcockson then addressed additional questions from FAC members:

Question: Has the State of Illinois been sued for using tax dollars to support private education?
Answer: Not that Wilcockson is aware of. He pointed out that the maximum ISAC grant awarded to students in independent schools is now less than tuition and fees at UIUC. About 45% of all bachelor's degrees, 60% of all master's degrees and 67% of all first professional and doctoral degrees in Illinois are awarded by private institutions. He could not speak for other states, but noted the balance in Illinois between public and private institutions of higher education, unlike the West Coast where public institutions dominate, or the East Coast where private institutions dominate.

Question: Does the State's support for private institutions contribute to the widening gap in salaries between public and private faculty?

Answer: Not directly. Although there are some programs that target state support to independent institutions for certain purposes, State support does not generally go to the institutions, but to students attending the institutions.

Question:. What is the philosophy behind the IBHE's decision that salaries, in general, should grow by 3%?

Answer: The Board of Higher Education recommended a general salary increase for all faculty and staff of 3%. At this level, salaries would increase faster than inflation. The Board also recommended an additional 1% + 1% to assist institutions in recruiting and retaining critical faculty and staff with the intent that average salaries will reach peer medians in 5 years. The 1% + 1% should be used for targeted recruitment and retention efforts and was not conceptualized as a general 2% salary increase.

Question: Isn't the State in that case actually shrinking its contribution? What is the relationship with the 95 percent increase factor?

Answer: If an institution spent 100 million last year on salaries, the state gives a 3% increase based on 95 million rather than on 100 million to recognize turnover and hiring lags - $2.85 million rather than $3.0 million with the intent that there are sufficient funds to give a 3% average salary increase. This increase of $2.85 million would be added to the full $100 million.

Question: Also, isn't the State being naive to assume that institutions can recruit well-qualified talent for less than it has been paying its senior faculty?

Answer: I would not characterize the State budget process or the General Assembly as being naive. The FAC may want to address this issue analytically.

Question: Can a particular college (e.g., the Business College at SIUC) that brings in high revenue carry over its own income fund?

Answer: The State no longer controls each institution's income fund, although it does require the institutions to account for their use of such income. The budgeting and allocation of income funds is a campus issue.

Question: How should the FAC pace its input into the budget?

Answer: Get involved with campus budgets first; check out the State Results Report; and present budget recommendations by March 3.

Question: Even though the economy is good right now, the good times will not last forever. What will happen to higher education when the economy deteriorates?

Answer: Higher education needs to continue to position itself to compete for scarcer funds by setting and supporting priorities and improving performance and accountability.


Budget Subcommittee: The Budget Subcommittee will bring a draft paper to the February FAC meeting, addressing such concerns as income fund carry-overs, priorities for funding, the IBHE's 95% assumption, a resolution on 3 +1 +1, need-based ISAC- MAP grants, merit scholarships, and shared governance.

Technology Subcommittee: Neal Matkin and Lynn Murphy of the Illinois Century Network will make a presentation at the February FAC meeting. The Technology Subcommittee will put together questions to help Matkin and Murphy prepare for that meeting. Concerns stated so far include costs to institutions, capabilities of the system, funds for small schools, required hardware, connectivity, guidelines for assessing grant proposals, the consolidation of projects to avoid duplication, faculty development, intellectual property issues, and quality control of web-based courses.

Access and Diversity Subcommittee: Subcommittee members will attend hearings held by the IBHE Access and Diversity committee. Plans are to invite representatives from the board committee to the FAC meeting in March.

Quality Subcommittee: The Quality Subcommittee is focusing on those aspects of a good quality education that are difficult to measure but immeasurably important: initiative, creativity, openness to a variety of ideas and willingness to suspend judgment, personal values, communication, cultural sensitivity, teamwork, and critical thinking. Flener reported the subcommittee's intention to invite a representative from Alverno College to the April meeting. Alverno is a private institution in Wisconsin that requires its students to demonstrate competence in such areas.

Submitted 2/24/2000 by Terry L. Weech, UIUC IBHE/FAC Representative.