March 12, 2003
BOARD TO HOLD HEARING ON FISCAL 2003 SPENDING CUTS
SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Board of Higher Education
will hold a hearing for university executives and other higher
education leaders to detail the effects of cutting 8 percent
of their annual operations budgets during the remainder of
the fiscal year.
The Board will meet at 9 a.m. Monday, March 17, at the State
of Illinois Center in Chicago to hear testimony from university
presidents on the classroom consequences and other impacts
of meeting the request of Governor Rod R. Blagojevich to set
aside 8 percent of FY2003 appropriations for operations. In
a special teleconference meeting held March 10, 2003, Board
members requested additional detail regarding the effects
of potential spending cuts in the current fiscal year. The
Board asked to hear amplification of information contained
in impact statements submitted to the Board of Higher Education
and the Bureau of the Budget.
"The higher education community is ready to do its part
in helping Governor Blagojevich and the General Assembly resolve
the fiscal crisis facing the state," Steven H. Lesnik,
Chairman of the Board, said. "To date, colleges and universities
and higher education agencies have communicated their ability
to place funds in reserve that falls short of the goal articulated
by the Bureau of the Budget. Board members wish to determine
what campus leaders believe the impact additional cuts would
have on the quality of academic programs and on students."
The 8 percent reserve of FY2003 operations funding would total
nearly $113 million across higher education institutions and
agencies. "This total figure represents more than 30
percent of funds budgeted for the remaining three-and-a-half
months of the fiscal year," Chairman Lesnik said.