U N I V E R S I T Y   O F   I L L I N O I S


February 3 , 2000 Contact: Susan Trebach, 312-996-3771, strebach@uillinois.edu
  Mark Rosati, 312-996-5546, rosati@uic.edu


Governor Ryan's strategic support of higher education and his economic development initiatives show tremendous vision and leadership—these are precisely the actions the State of Illinois needs at this time. His five-year, $1.9 billion plan to strengthen the state's technology infrastructure reflects far-sighted leadership and a keen understanding of the growing technology sector of the State's economy.

For the University of Illinois, the Governor's budget translates into extraordinary capital and operating support—more than $270 million—for critical pieces of our high technology effort, including: $80 million for a post-genomics institute and $31 million for the National Center for Supercomputing Applications building, both at Urbana-Champaign; $71 million for a Chemical Sciences building and $53 million for a Pharmacy Building at UIC; and substantial commitment to technology transfer in both Chicago and Urbana—all under the umbrella of the Governor's Illinois VentureTech program.

We are extremely heartened by the Governor's recognition of the strong linkage between university-based research and a prosperous, forward-looking economy.

His plan focuses on economic development through information technology and biotechnology, two areas of enormous strength at the U of I. Many of our faculty in agriculture, in engineering and computer science, in medicine and pharmacy are already deeply involved in basic research, applied research and commercial applications that create new products and processes that improve life and create jobs.

The University has a track record and the desire to build on its reputation and history in assisting Illinois economic development. We trust the General Assembly will see the enormous practical benefit to this state and its people. We pledge to work vigorously with the governor and the legislature to achieve the goals of VentureTech.

The Governor's endorsement of the Illinois Board of Higher Education's recommendations for the general operations of the U of I would provide very generous funding for enhanced undergraduate educational programs and library improvements, including:

  • Expansion of the freshman Discovery Program at Urbana-Champaign and an increase in the number of students who can participate in exciting living-learning programs;
  • Getting ready for the Capital Scholars Program at Springfield, which, starting in fall 2001, will give freshmen and sophomores interested in public affairs an excellent opportunity to live and learn in our State's capital; and
  • Expansion of course availability in areas of greatest student demand in Chicago and for K-12 partnerships at UIC.

Recommendations for $1.6 million in library improvements and $500,000 for further development of University of Illinois Online round out the University's ability to serve not just its existing students but the people of Illinois. The Governor's recommendations also acknowledge the importance of good teaching and learning through the $4.3-million Faculty Excellence Program and student financial aid through continuing generous increases to the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

His FY 2001 budget underpins the idea of higher education as absolutely essential to a strong state. We hope the Illinois General Assembly concurs in this spring session. We believe our thousands of Illinois alumni, our many friends in business and industry and citizens across the state will join us in support of the Governor's plan.


Copyright © 1999 by B&P Consulting, Inc. and University of Illinois at Chicago. All rights reserved.
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