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U of I trustees approve fiscal year 2018 funding request
Hold-the-line proposal seeks $662.1 million for day-to-day operations

November 10, 2016 

CHICAGO – A fiscal year 2018 state funding request approved by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees Thursday would restore operating revenue to levels that preceded the ongoing two-year budget impasse in the state.

The proposal seeks $662.1 million for day-to-day operations at the System’s three universities during the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2017, matching the U of I System’s last full state appropriation for fiscal year 2015.

President Tim Killeen said the hold-the-line request reflects the U of I’s understanding of the state’s budget challenges along with the need for adequate funding to support excellence across a System that grew to a record 81,000-plus students this fall.

“Shared sacrifice by all state-supported agencies is essential to restore Illinois’ fiscal health,” Killeen said. “But, at the same time, we need to maintain the public investment in a world-class educational and research enterprise that is critical to move our state forward – providing the workforce and innovation of tomorrow.”

The U of I System has seen a steep decline in state funding during an impasse that has stalled approval of a full state budget for the last two years. Stopgap funding measures provided about $180 million for fiscal year 2016, about a quarter of the System’s fiscal year 2015 appropriation, and about $350 million for current fiscal year 2017, about 55 percent of fiscal year 2015 funding.

Killeen said the System has weathered the losses through efficiency and cost saving measures, including reductions of non-instructional staff that have trimmed nearly 500 positions between February 2015 and September 2016, potentially saving up to $1.5 million a month.

But he said the System cannot withstand a continued loss of state funding without considerable damage to its core missions, eroding a nearly 150-year legacy of excellence that would be far more costly to rebuild than sustain.

Along with operating funds, the fiscal year 2018 state funding request includes $414.4 million for capital projects, and $25 million in Medicaid support for the University of Illinois Hospital & Health System.

The funding requests will now go to the Illinois Board of Higher Education and state agencies for review.

In addition to the annual funding request, trustees also approved a resolution supporting a proposed new performance-based agreement with the state that would provide multi-year funding in exchange for U of I System commitments to achieve goals that serve the needs of students and the state. (See accompanying news release).

Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Trustees also approved a new curriculum and doctor of medicine degree for the Carle Illinois College of Medicine, scheduled to open in the fall of 2018 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The four-year degree program incorporates engineering concepts into traditional medical training. The medical school is being developed in partnership with the Urbana-based Carle healthcare system to promote breakthroughs in treatment and equipment by integrating medicine with technology, data science and systems-based approaches.

Core coursework, required clinical rotations and electives will allow students to pursue individual areas of clinical and engineering interest.

Planning has been underway for more than two years to launch the medical school, the first new college in Urbana-Champaign since 1957. The innovation-focused medical school will complement the existing College of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), the nation’s largest medical school and a leader in clinical training.

King Li took office on Oct. 1 as the new medical school’s inaugural dean and chief academic officer. Li, a renowned medical researcher, educator, inventor and clinician in molecular imaging and radiology, had been senior associate dean for clinical and translational research at Wake Forest School of Medicine and deputy director of the university’s comprehensive cancer center.


The board also approved the appointment of Barbara J. Wilson as executive vice president and vice president for academic affairs for the U of I System. She has served in a designate capacity since Sept. 26.

Wilson moved into the newly restructured post after serving for 13 months as interim chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Robert J. Jones, former president of the State University of New York at Albany, took office as permanent chancellor on Sept. 26.

In the newly created role of executive vice president, Wilson serves as second-in-command to the president and senior operating officer, with responsibilities that include coordination of planning and budgeting across the System.

As vice president for academic affairs, she serves as the System’s senior academic officer, collaborating with university officials on educational and student programs. Wilson replaced Christophe Pierre, who resigned to become provost of the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey.

Wilson joined the Urbana-Champaign faculty in 2000 as a professor of communication and became the Harry E. Preble Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) in 2014. She retained her title as dean while serving as interim chancellor, but left the post after taking her new position. Executive Associate Dean Brian Ross, who had led LAS while Wilson served as interim chancellor and after he assumed her new role, retired from the university on Oct. 31.

The board approved the appointment of Martin Camargo as interim dean of LAS, pending an internal search that officials hope to conclude by the end of November. He had served in a designate capacity since Nov. 1.

Camargo is currently associate dean for humanities and interdisciplinary programs in LAS. He earned his doctorate at Urbana-Champaign and joined the university’s faculty in 2003 as a professor and head of the English Department.

He received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University and earlier was on the faculty at the University of Missouri, where he served as chair of the English Department from 2000 to 2003 and as director of Graduate Studies from 1990 to 1993.


The University of Illinois System is a world leader in research and discovery, the largest educational institution in the state with more than 81,000 students, 24,000 faculty and staff, and campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield. The U of I System awards more than 20,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees annually.


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