UI trustees approve budget requests through 2010

UI trustees approve budget requests through 2010

University of Illinois trustees on Thursday approved the university's budgets through 2010, increasing money for faculty and staff raises as well as for utilities and other areas.

The university's 2010 budget asks for $113 million more for the year ending June 30, 2010. The bulk of the increase is for strengthening the UI's academic quality, including salary raises that would average 3 percent for faculty and staff and boosting the amount of money available for recruitment, retention and filling in the salary gaps between pay for new hires and longer-term employees.

The total amount set aside to meet inflationary and other cost increases in utilities, payroll and the library collection is $17.3 million.

The budget request initially asked for $109 million, but was increased after trustees and administrators expressed concern about the university's ability to compete with peer institutions in faculty salaries.

The 2010 budget will be forwarded to the Illinois Board of Higher Education. After that it goes to the state Legislature and eventually to Gov. Rod Blagojevich's office.

Topping the list of capital budget requests for the 2010 fiscal year is $22.6 million for university-wide building repairs and renovations, followed by $56.3 million for Lincoln Hall and several other projects.

Funding for Lincoln Hall's renovation is included in the current capital bill being debated in the state Legislature. While that debate continues, the building has been vacated and no classes are being held there this fall, said UI President B. Joseph White, who said he remains hopeful the state will have a capital bill.

"What we're trying to do is stabilize Lincoln Hall in anticipation of a major renovation," he said.

In other board action Thursday, $8 million in construction contracts were awarded for the first phase of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications Petascale Computing Facility.

The building, which has a project budget of $72.5 million, will be built at Oak Street and St. Mary's Road in Champaign. Work is expected to begin in October.

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