U Of I President Says Higher Ed. Reserves Spending ‘Not Sustainable’

Nov 30, 2015

Illinois public universities are using their reserves to survive while Illinois operates without a budget. But University of Illinois president Tim Killeen says burning through savings at a rate of $76 million per month is not sustainable. 

A screenshot file photo of University of Illinois president Timothy Killeen
Credit University of Illinois

“It is time to fix this,” Killeen said. “My expectation is that there will be a good outcome or a reasonable outcome in the January/February time frame, at which time we will pick up the ball and run and University of Illinois will go from strength to strength, I assure you of that.” 

Universities are facing a proposed 30 percent cut — and that’s if lawmakers ever agree on a budget.

Killeen is touting a study showing the U of I contributes $14 billion to the state economy annually.

“I think there is now damage being done to the higher education sector. I think that damage starts to be irreparable quite soon,” Killeen said. “So I believe that there has to be a sense of urgency now, felt in the executive and the legislative branch, to get this problem solved quickly.” 

Lawmakers are scheduled to meet on Wednesday.