From a massmail sent by Easter to all UIUC students early this morning:
As we approach the spring semester I write to inform you of the current
financial situation at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
As is the case with all public universities in the state we currently face
a cash crisis. In the current fiscal year that commenced on July 1, 2009,
we have only received 7 percent of our annual appropriation from the
state. As I write this letter the state of Illinois owes the University
more than $436 million of its appropriation. That number increases every
As a response, we have instituted a number of measures on campus to ensure
that we have the necessary resources to get through the semester with an
eye to confronting a similar fiscal shortfall in the next fiscal year. Our
faculty and administrative staff will begin mandatory furloughs in
February. (A furlough is a leave of absence without pay.) We have also
been cutting costs at all levels of the university and we are looking at
ways we can consolidate services to garner even more savings. Finally, we
continue to draw on cash reserves, but these are finite and we can no
longer continue to go down this path.
Please understand that we are doing everything we can to protect our
students - our number one priority - from the impact of these cost-cutting
measures. We believe that each fiscal decision we make must not compromise
the education of this state's greatest assets, its daughters and sons.
Please share this letter with your parents and family members. Great
public universities such as ours must be preserved and supported to ensure
that Illinois and the nation stay competitive in a global economy.
Thank you for your support,
Robert A. Easter
Chancellor and Provost (Interim)