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When the state slashes its appropriation for the University of Illinois, the UI administration claims that the cuts mean no pay increase or, at best, only a modest, cost-of-living raise for faculty is possible.

When the state increases the university’s budget, the chancellor claims that state funding is basically irrelevant to a salary program.

Since the state funds but a small part of the university, only a modest, cost-of-living pay raise for faculty is possible.

It seems that no matter what the state does, there is never money for a reasonable faculty merit pay program.

The chancellor owes the faculty at least the courtesy of a better argument in support of his prefabricated policy.