from the Illinois Board of Higher Education

Contact: Ross Hodel, 217/782-2551

Don Sevener, 217/782-3632

February 18, 1999


IBHE Officials React to Governor Ryan's Budget

SPRINGFIELD - Jerry D. Blakemore, Chairman of the Illinois Board of Higher Education, and Keith R. Sanders, Executive Director, issued the following statement concerning the FY2000 budget presented today by Governor George Ryan:

"Governor Ryan's budget will enable us to make significant strides in implementing the Illinois Commitment, the policy agenda recently adopted by the Board to guide higher education into a new century," Jerry D. Blakemore, Chairman of the Illinois Board of Higher Education, said today. "It contains substantial new dollars for student financial aid and will therefore help keep college affordable. It also expands the reach of technology as a learning tool in the classroom and promises increased access to college for citizens everywhere. And it helps our colleges and universities make even stronger contributions to the economic growth of the state, particularly in high-demand fields such as information technology."

"In addition," Blakemore said, "the Governor's budget will allow us to pursue important new initiatives and partnerships, including the University Center of Lake County, the first-of-its-kind educational institution in Illinois, and an alliance with elementary and secondary education for the essential work of preparing college-ready kids and classroom-ready teachers."

"Governor Ryan's budget advances the cause of higher education as we move into a new century - a century in which higher education will be more important than ever before," Keith Sanders, Executive Director of the IBHE, said. "We thank the Governor for making education the top priority of his Administration."

"Colleges and universities will make prudent use of tax dollars and tuition dollars by emphasizing those programs and activities of greatest priority to the people of Illinois, and pledging to achieve additional gains in productivity, accountability, and quality," Sanders said. "We in higher education commit to working with Governor Ryan and members of the General Assembly to enact these budget recommendations."

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