$209 million 'significant hit' to UI's funding

$209 million 'significant hit' to UI's funding

The University of Illinois goes through a lot of money in a year — more than $5 billion, in fact.

But most of it is restricted to specific uses — gifts from donors for a designated building; grants for a particular research project; income from the medical clinics in Chicago. It can't be used to pay an English professor (unless it's designated for that purpose).

So when the governor talks about cutting nearly $209 million from the university's appropriation — 31.5 percent of its state funding — it is a "significant hit," says Randall Kangas, UI associate vice president for planning and budgeting.

The UI gets about $667 million in state general revenue funding, plus more than $1 billion in state-appropriated tuition income, or $1.765 billion in total. That $209 million represents a 12 percent cut to the UI's unrestricted funding, Kangas said.

"State funds really are the skeleton of the university," Kangas said.

What does $209 million buy, in university terms?

Two Springfield campuses, and then some, in terms of total budget ($88.8 million) — or four if you consider just their $53 million in unrestricted funding.

At Urbana, it covers 60 percent of the campus instructional budget ($345 million), or nearly the entire budget for the huge College of Liberal Arts and Sciences ($232.4 million).

Even the State Farm Center renovation ($170 million) wouldn't use it up.

"It's a very large number," Kangas said.

Making a list

Here's what $209 million could buy at the UI:

+$90 million

Electrical and Computer Engineering Building

+ $46.2 million

University Library budget

+ $36 million

Four years' tuition, fees and room/board for 360 students

+ $25.6 million

Chancellor's office budget

+ $5 million

Naming rights for 'Traditions' premium seating area at SFC

+ $4.19 million

Salaries for 10 highest-paid UI football coaches

+ $1.3 million

Krannert Art Museum budget

+ $468,000

UI spending on Research Park

+ $360,000

Alma Mater restoration

+ $8,000

Four club-level seats for Big Ten tournament on StubHub

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Marty wrote on February 20, 2015 at 2:02 pm

I'm curious, the U of I seems to be admitting a very large number of asian student at the expense of Illinois stuednts. I can certainly see the draw with the higher tuition, but I wonder how this will affect donor giving years from now. Will this come back to haunt them?

Bulldogmojo wrote on February 20, 2015 at 4:02 pm


Well that post wasn't racist at all. UGH


Sid Saltfork wrote on February 20, 2015 at 4:02 pm

Maybe, it depends on who the donors source of finances?  Many corporations are international, but the donor is not.  It is possible that an alumni donates to certain colleges, and does not care whether any nationality is a student or not.  They maybe only interested in funding research.  Without the donors list being public information, it is hard to speculate on continuing donations.