SIU President Randy Dunn says an increase in funding for higher education included in the proposed state budget is a welcome addition for colleges and universities.
Lawmakers included a roughly two-percent bump for higher education in next year’s budget. Dunn credits the legislature’s Higher Education Working Group for keeping up the fight for more funding.
“I think they saw with their own eyes and heard the testimony about the real needs that exist on campus. They see the numbers of students from Illinois we’re losing to other states, and really helped spark not just their own separate package of bills that they want to see move forward, but also a general appreciation for the investment that public higher education provides.”
Dunn says the increase will help colleges and universities as they continue to recover from the budget impasse that ended last year.
“We’re really heartened by that, given what we’ve been through over the past few years with the state budget impasse. I think this speaks well to the importance that the legislature sees for what higher education does for this state.”
He also points to small amounts of money included for repairs and small building projects – something he says campuses across the state need to take care of aging infrastructure.
The SIU System’s appropriation includes more than a million dollars for the Simmons Cancer Institute at the SIU School of Medicine, $1.2 million for the School of Pharmacy, and another million dollars for the National Corn-To-Ethanol Research Center.