Rauner's Higher Ed Funding Proposal for FY '17 Includes More Cuts

Feb 22, 2016

SIU's President says Gov. Bruce Rauner's proposed budget includes some tough medicine for higher education again this year.

Rauner's plan includes a nearly 20% cut for public universities in Illinois. But SIU President Randy Dunn says there's also a pension issue - something he calls a "poison pill."

SIU President Randy Dunn

"For highly compensated employees - anyone paid above $180,000 a year for any of the state universities - there is a shift in pension costs that appears in a different spot in the budget book that would then be charged to us, instead of paid by the state."
Dunn says when you combine Governor Rauner's proposed cuts for this fiscal year with his plan for next year, it would cost the SIU system a six-figure reduction.
"We cannot say 'it is OK' to take from SIU $100 million, over two years' time, and expect our university system to look anything like what it does today."

Dunn says he's working with other university leaders around the state to fight for funding for this fiscal year, and working on a strategy to alleviate some of the pain in next year's plan.