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State Senator Suggests Public Universities Should Privatize


Less regulation and more freedom to make decisions -- these are among the things State Sen. Bill Brady says public universities would gain in Illinois if his bill to privatize them becomes law.

The Bloomington Republican introduced a bill asking the six public institutions to plan for a six-year evolution to privatization.

He says campuses already have been coping with falling state support for years. But Brady resists the suggestion his measure could accelerate the slide.

“To the extent that it empowers people to emphasize the importance to the legislature, the governor," Brady said, it doesn’t lessen it and I think helps.”

Brady says he's been thinking about the idea for several years and wanted to start discussion on the proposal.

“I think this also works to help empower more alumni to give more involved in university … one of the strengths I think private universities benefit from.” -- State Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington

A number of other states are having the same conversation.

Brady says the state would maintain ownership of buildings and land, but lease them to the Universities. He says relieving public universities of state procurement and other mandated regulation could ease their financial burdens and free up money for more student aid.