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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."

Contact

Don Sevener

Sevener@ibhe.org


217.557.7334

217.836.7395

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