February 13, 2003
LAVISTA PLEDGES IBHE COOPERATION ON COST STUDY
SPRINGFIELD - Daniel J. LaVista, Executive Director
of the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), said today
that the agency is prepared to cooperate fully with Governor
Rod R. Blagojevich's request for a review of administrative
costs at public universities.
"The Governor has identified a significant issue-the
smart use of taxpayer dollars-and the IBHE will begin work
immediately with the Bureau of the Budget to examine administrative
costs and efficiencies and prepare recommendations for the
Governor to consider," LaVista said. He added that the
agency also was eager to undertake a longer range study sought
by Governor Blagojevich of policies and practices that could
reduce costs in other areas.
Noting the Governor's concern over increases in tuition, LaVista
said: "We in the higher education community also are
concerned over rising tuition, which is one reason that the
IBHE budget recommendations for fiscal 2004 propose the restoration
of most of the cuts experienced by the Illinois Student Assistance
Commission (ISAC) this year." He said the state's need-based
Monetary Award Program (MAP) program has been a funding priority
for the Board for many years.
LaVista also pointed out that the Board has joined with ISAC
in a joint Committee on Affordability that is taking a thorough
and thoughtful look at the issues of access and affordability
and will consider preliminary recommendations in April, to
be presented to the Board in June. "In fairness to universities,"
LaVista said, "They have been pinched between rising
costs and declining state support, a squeeze that has included
not just cuts in appropriations but reallocation of resources
to pay group health insurance premiums. Also, some institutions
have reallocated dollars to make up for the 5th year MAP recipients
who lost their grants this year."