URBANA — As expected, University of Illinois trustees approved a slightly larger budget Friday, as the university faced a decrease in its state appropriation, but a small uptick in income from tuition, grants and contracts.
The total budget is $5.4 billion, but a good portion of that — $1.02 billion — is payments-on-behalf, pass-through-type of money from the state to the university that goes to employee health care benefits and pensions. Not including payments-on-behalf, the UI's operating budget for fiscal year 2013 is $4.4 billion. The Urbana campus portion of that is $1.96 billion, up 3.8 percent from last year.
The downward trend in the state's appropriation to the UI continues. This fiscal year's amount, at $667 million, was down $42.5 million or 6 percent from last year. The decrease was anticipated.
The drop, however, now puts the appropriation level below fiscal year 1997 in nominal dollars, said UI Chief Financial Officer Walter Knorr. When adjusted to inflation, it's below 1966.
Earlier this year, trustees approved tuition increases on all three campus, including a 4.8 percent increase for freshmen who enrolled in Urbana this fall, and as a result, income from that fund will be up this year. The university income fund will rise 7.8 percent from $939 million to just over $1 billion.
Also at their meeting on Friday, trustees approved a new $104 million Advanced Chemical Technology Building at UI-Chicago. The building will focus on interdisciplinary research in biology, chemistry and physics.
"This has been a long time coming," UI President Bob Easter told board members Friday.
Trustees began planning for the building back in 2003 and designs were approved in 2004. It had been on hold pending the state's release of money to pay for its construction. Last month, Gov. Pat Quinn stopped by the Chicago campus to announce the state was releasing $64 million for the building's construction.
The building, nearly 145,000 square feet, will be home for faculty researching drugs, neuroscience, nanoscience and other areas.
Venture capital board
For the first time since its board was formed over 10 years ago, IllinoisVentures will have a board of directors that will include more members representing outside industry.
The venture capital subsidiary of the UI, which invests in Illinois start-up businesses, will now include six rather than four voting members from business. The board will include Edward McMillan, current UI trustee also serving on the IllinoisVentures board; James Foght, Warren Holtsberg, William Tai and Michael Tokarz, who have been serving on the board and come from business; plus two new members, Brendan Fox, a former Eli Lilly executive, and Franklyn Prendergast, an M.D.-Ph.D. with Mayo Clinic ties.
Ex officio members will include the vice chancellors for research on the Chicago and Urbana-Champaign campuses, the directors of the Office of Technology Management from Urbana and Chicago campuses. Non-voting members will include UI Vice President for Research Larry Schook, the Vice President/Chief Financial Officer and Comptroller Knorr, University Counsel Tom Bearrows, Senior Associate Vice President for Business and Finance Mike Bass, and IllinoisVentures CEO/Managing Director John Banta.