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OK, but let’s see the brilliant plan

Tuesday, Feb 2, 2016

* Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno on the non-existent higher education budget

Lack of funding for higher education creates “uncertainty if you’re a student,” she said. But, she added, “some of these universities have cut some of their administrative costs –- sort of squeeze-the- beast theory.”

She said “global questions” about higher ed could now be asked.

“Should we have six, eight schools of education, everybody having a program and everything? I don’t know,” Radogno said. She noted a couple of two-year colleges went to four years, including what is now the University of Illinois Springfield.

“Maybe we ought to have more going from four to two,” she said.

Look, only a fool would defend skyrocketing administrative spending at universities and colleges. The Senate Democrats’ investigative report was a real eye-opener, but not all that surprising.

* So, we can probably infer from Leader Radogno’s comments and the governor’s own recent attacks on higher ed spending that the object here is to starve the beasts into submission.

In the past, universities have been too politically strong to ever force them to do anything. Their alumni organizations (particularly at the U of I) are fiercely protective.

But if the schools are starving, they will be more amenable to accepting significant reforms to stave off massive cuts or even closure.

At least, that appears to be the theory.

* Meanwhile, poor kids are losing their MAP grants (and with it their paths into the middle class) and adult education programs are closing (which shuts off career advancement for older, mostly poorer folks).

I would be far more comfortable with this idea if somebody in power had an actual plan. Just spitballing the closures of entire college programs isn’t really a plan.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

69 Comments
  1. - Anon - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 10:57 am:

    I guess you could just refuse to fund them and see which ones go bankrupt first and the ones that survive the longest are therefore the strongest?


  2. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 11:02 am:

    ===“some of these universities have cut some of their administrative costs –- sort of squeeze-the- beast theory.”===

    Like a GTCR-owned nursing home. Oy.


  3. - Abe the Babe - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 11:02 am:

    ==Just spitballing the closures of entire college programs isn’t really a plan.==

    Exactly. Radogno is pretty much asking if we should remodel the kitchen when the rest of the house is on fire.

    Call the fire department, put out the fire, then start rebuilding in the way the GA sees fit. Anything else is pain for pain’s sake. Ridiculous.


  4. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 11:02 am:

    This would be a perfect opening for Senator Rose: he’s a U of I grad, and this is a pet issue for him. I believe the phrase is “kill two birds with one stone”.


  5. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 11:03 am:

    Procurement presser starting. addressing higher ed-

    http://multimedia.illinois.gov/gov/gov-live.html


  6. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 11:03 am:

    Neither party has offered a real plan or balanced budget.

    Either could at any time they choose, or both could together, but winning the war, or as Madigan called it last summer the “epic struggle”, is more important to Madigan and Rauner than people. It is reprehensible.


  7. - Earnest - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 11:04 am:

    I find the methods abhorrent. It sickens me that Senator Radogno supports them. To her credit, though, she does say it out loud, doesn’t use the “Madigan won’t compromise” excuse.

    I might be able to swallow the destruction better if it were spread around equally and not confined to the poor and disabled.


  8. - Anon - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 11:04 am:

    == squeeze-the- beast theory. ==

    SQUEEZY!


  9. - TD - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 11:06 am:

    A hallmark of this adminstration, and by consequence, the current repub party, is to attempt to plow ahead on big ideas without getting input from all sides and working out the nuts and bolts. It’s more than just rhetoric because they do take action (or don’t act)…they just don’t seem to think it through.


  10. - A Jack - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 11:09 am:

    This starvation is destroying any long term benefit of the turn-around agenda. By lowering the overall education level of Illinois, companies will be looking to other states to get the technical expertise needed for today’s jobs.

    Rauner and the GA members he controls are trying to reshape Illinois into China. He wants the jobs for our children to be low-paying, low-tech manufacturing jobs.


  11. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 11:11 am:

    @A Jack

    Oh please. Like Rauner cares enough about our children to make sure they are employed. /s


  12. - RIJ - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 11:12 am:

    Well, considering that enrollment in education programs has dropped around 50% in the last six years, an increasing number of districts are finding it difficult to fill teaching positions, the last thing Illinois needs is to put up any barriers to access in that area.

    I know that there are plenty of weak programs at each University - those with low student enrollment and even lower graduation rates. Some degrees DO need to be offered at every institution. Get rid of/consolidate to another school the programs that are truly not needed. Stop picking apart majors to create more degrees. Consolidate majors that have been previously separated.


  13. - Not quite a majority - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 11:17 am:

    The problem is, today’s ‘weak program’ might just be the program we need in the future. A degree in computers might not be the lucrative when we have a glut of programmers and the technology has advanced far afield — not everyone gets to be cutting edge. My fear is that the programs that aren’t ’strong’ in hard times are the ones we will sorely miss (Civics, anyone?) as time goes on.


  14. - Graduated College Student - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 11:24 am:

    It could be that Radogno and Rauner just don’t value public higher education. I mean, Radogno’s a Loyola alum and Rauner’s dad bought him his way into Dartmouth.


  15. - Earnest - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 11:35 am:

    >This starvation is destroying any long term benefit of the turn-around agenda.

    Is it more about the destruction than the turnaround agenda? The coordinated press conferences seemed to me to be saying the hole is insurmountable and we have to tear everything down and rebuild because of it.


  16. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 11:37 am:

    Some private colleges are in a lot of pain right now without MAP. The silence from IBHE during this crisis is deafening.


  17. - Frenchie Mendoza - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 11:42 am:

    I suspect what we’re seeing now is the real Turnaround Agenda. The agenda that Rauner alludes to when he says he doesn’t need the legislature to cut — only to spend.

    The real Turnover Agenda is the eradication of higher education, the takeover of CPS, and the dismantling of social services.


  18. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 11:43 am:

    There is an intelligent way of doing this - and the current Rauner way. Rauner can’t play victim while doing the smart thing though, and everything he has done over the past 16 months has been completely political.

    There are ways of slimming down. You can starve, or you can set a series of goals - OR, you can justify that you are not fat. The state universities cannot justify their sizes. So they need to slim down.

    Starving them, right along with the citizens they serve and the future they mold - is bad governing.

    Set a plan. Work together. Compromise and be bipartisan at all times. That shouldn’t be hard with a real governor. Too bad, we don’t have one.


  19. - illini97 - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 11:46 am:

    Maybe the shift from two-year universities to four-year is indicative of the hiring market?

    Given that one needs a BA and years of experience for any entry level position, it’s not hard to see why more and more programs and institutions are moving to four year degrees.

    Unfortunately, that’s not something the legislature will have much say in. Are they going to tell employers to stop requiring a four year degree for even the most basic starter positions? Who would listen anyway?


  20. - History Prof - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 11:58 am:

    “Look, only a fool would defend skyrocketing administrative spending at universities and colleges.”

    Um . . . I’ve railed against administration myself. But here I have to say, Rich, that neither you, nor Rauner, nor anyone else has any idea what has driven the increases. You would have to compare spreadsheets year by year, correct for inflation, and then categorize any line increases or new lines. What I hear on my end is that many are in response to unfunded mandates. Student health is going to account for a good chunk, etc. But until we have the study, I’m afraid we don’t know who the fool is.


  21. - Last Bull Moose - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 12:09 pm:

    For long term change, get the Boards of Trustees to buy into and drive the change.

    Better accountability helps and the proposals in the Senate Democratic report seem good.

    We may need more 4 year degrees, that does not mean we need more institutions granting them.


  22. - Educ - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 12:12 pm:

    Yeah, a lot of “administrative bloat” at colleges (and at K-12 school districts) are due to mandates and increased federal and state reporting requirements. a 15,000-student district now has to have a four-person data team who just deals with student testing data, to meet the federal and state reporting requirements. University professors now have to go through a super-irritating extra attendance reporting step at mid-semester to comply with federal attendance audits relating to financial aid, and then there’s a couple of new people in the financial aid department who deal with nothing but those midsemester audits and their results.

    Auditing and data aren’t a bad thing, but compliance has costs, and those costs are generally ignored when putting in place new requirements — and then reviled when the number of non-academic administrators is brought up. Well, they’re not people the college probably would have hired on their own; they’re responding to legal mandates. You can’t have the data and the audits and the compliance without paying for the people to do it.


  23. - anon. - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 12:13 pm:

    - illini97 - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 11:46 am:

    Maybe the shift from two-year universities to four-year is indicative of the hiring market?

    The (now) UIS and Governor’s State were created to be a place for students to TRANSFER from the then new community college system AFTER completing two(less expensive) years. There was (and I suspect) is no particular reason other than bureaucratic inertia and empire building for either to have become four year + graduate program universities.


  24. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 12:13 pm:

    ====Given that one needs a BA and years of experience for any entry level position, it’s not hard to see why more and more programs and institutions are moving to four year degrees.

    THat’s way overstated actually–not you, but the consensus that apparently has developed. I think the two year liberal arts degrees absolutely need a four year to be competitive, but the community colleges have great two year technical programs, many of which pay very well right out of two year. Welding, Machining, computer programming/networking, and many more there are great careers out there. Heartland has a very innovative solar program.


  25. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 12:14 pm:

    Educ, congrats on a classic whine.

    There is no excuse for this bloat. What you said has some merit, but it doesn’t explain this away.


  26. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 12:16 pm:

    ===Auditing and data aren’t a bad thing, but compliance has costs, and those costs are generally ignored when putting in place new requirements — and

    When I was applying for jobs at Illinois State institutions, it was remarkable the amount of reporting they do that is largely useless.

    They were looking more for techs than analysts which is a horrible direction to be heading. Your data team should be identifying trends, looking how to find more students, determining how to retain students, etc. From what I could tell with the Illinois jobs they were looking for people to run Access and Excel to send the state reports of fairly raw data. That isn’t getting analyzed by anyone either.


  27. - thechampaignlife - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 12:20 pm:

    There is a plan. It’s called the Hunger Games. Starring Bruce Rauner as President Snow. Running time 2,102,400 minutes.


  28. - a nonny mouse - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 12:25 pm:

    Radogno:
    She said “global questions” about higher ed could now be asked.

    Should be asked; not only about higher ed but every activity of state government. Why are we performing all these activities and why do them in the same old way? We have reached or are reaching the limit of our resources.


  29. - Old School - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 12:30 pm:

    Gov has ignored higher education since the budget address, in which he pitted each sector against the other in an effort to keep them from speaking out. Slight cut in MAP grants kept privates quiet and no cut for community colleges kept them quiet, leaving the four years isolated to protest their 31% cut.

    Undoubtedly the four years have some trimming to do, especially in admin costs. But why not demand the same of community colleges? Procurement reform is great but benefits of it wouldn’t kick in right away.

    Gov made a point in the state of the state to pledge increased spending on K-12 and early childhood education. Didn’t identify a funding source. But we can’t find a way to fund higher ed? It’s disingenous at best and creating irreparable harm at worst.


  30. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 12:32 pm:

    So is this the reason that social services and universities are out in the cold?

    “Squeeze the beast” (phrasing!) to force “mergers” at a lower level of funding?

    Like the man said, let’s see the plans, rather than doing it on the sneak.


  31. - Ricardo - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 12:39 pm:

    This is classic Social Darwinism: starve everyone for a year or two, the heard thins, and the strong survive.

    Rauner is applying this theory to Higher Ed and the state’s social service safety net. He believes Illinois will emerge leaner and more efficient in the end. If a few thousand kids drop out of college in the process, they’re just collateral damage.


  32. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 12:44 pm:

    The report does a good job in terms of the Presidential level spending. One year severance, for example, seems reasonable to just about everyone.

    The trouble with the report is when discussing the increase in professional staff, it doesn’t address what the professional staff does now. In 1975, students showed up and took classes. We now provide a number of services to help students from mentoring to job placement that are far improved. In the period of 2002 to 2013 we see a six percent increase in graduation rates. Is that sufficient for the rise in costs? Probably not, but it’s not as simple as the report lays out. That’s a significant improvement in performance in that period of time.


  33. - Lurking MBA - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 12:48 pm:

    I am on the board of a private, non-profit higher education institution. I was dismayed last year to learn that the school that as a normal part doing business, it was completing five audits — accounting/finance, student loans, regional accreditation, US Department of Education and professional accreditations. The findings were good, but compliance requires a lot of professional skill.


  34. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 12:49 pm:

    Administrators running amuck have severely compromised some higher ed institutions: Chicago State University’s administration spun of control while its student enrollment plummeted by half. At the City Colleges of Chicago, $251 million was spent on the new Malcolm X College which was opened with construction debris lying about and air quality issues related to building materials unresolved. The plumbing has back up and if you use an automatic flush toilet prepare to be splashed because the valves were not tightened. Worst of all, most of the faculty, full-time and part-time with the exception of department chairs, were not provided with office space. The unelected board of trustees approved a $35,000.00 bonus for the chancellor who supervised this mess while raising quadrupling the tuition per credit hour. Not surprisingly enrollment declined.

    It is hard to advocate for more higher ed spending (which Illinois sorely needs) with underachieving titled bozos receiving six and seven figure salaries at CSU and CCC.


  35. - Lurking MBA - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 12:51 pm:

    I am on the board of a private, non-profit higher education institution. I was dismayed last year to learn that the school, as a normal part doing business, was completing five full audits — accounting/finance, student loans, regional accreditation, US Department of Education and professional accreditations. The findings were good, but compliance requires a lot of professional skill. [Typos corrected.]


  36. - Mama - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 1:04 pm:

    I believe Rauner has a plan, but he won’t share his plan because “people won’t like it”. I feel he wants to turn most public universities into private for profit universities & let the weaker one close.


  37. - steve schnorf - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 1:09 pm:

    For example, how many public universities do we have offering doctoral programs/degrees? At least 6, I think, some of them within 50 or 60 miles of each other. Doesn’t make sense to me. ISU, Eastern, UIUC, UIS all offering MBAs, each no more than 60 miles from the nest one. Make sense to you?


  38. - Federalist - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 1:09 pm:

    OK, if you are going to pontificate then immediately follow up with something that is specific.

    Her comments are rambling and incoherent.


  39. - History Prof - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 1:10 pm:

    Thank you ArchPundit.

    People, People. Many of your comments make it sound like Illinois actually pays for its universities when in fact state appropriations amount to %17 and declining at IS, for example. I say we should listen to the random clowns at the IBHE and in the legislature %17 of the time. That’s what we owe you. I think that would be fair.


  40. - Mama - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 1:10 pm:

    == History Prof - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 11:58 am: “You would have to compare spreadsheets year by year, correct for inflation, and then categorize any line increases or new lines. What I hear on my end is that many are in response to unfunded mandates. Student health is going to account for a good chunk, etc. But until we have the study, I’m afraid we don’t know who the fool is.”==
    History Prof, the study sounds like a good job for you & other college professors.


  41. - Federalist - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 1:16 pm:

    - Mama - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 1:04 pm:

    “I believe Rauner has a plan, but he won’t share his plan because “people won’t like it”. I feel he wants to turn most public universities into private for profit universities & let the weaker one close.”

    That would be his ideal. His second choice which might have the same effect, would be to stop state funding to the universities and expand MAP grants in the name of ’school choice.’ The problem is., of course, it is still taxpayer dollars and the state would have to surrender any type of control or expand control to include ALL (and that means private colleges as well)

    I believe Madigan, who is a total Catholic school product himself, would also jump on this idea but he knows he can’t get by with it in his own party.


  42. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 1:20 pm:

    I get that people don’t like Governor Rauner and are unhappy about what’s going on. But then the conversation on this site swings violently towards some theory that Rauner is some modern day General Sherman and he’s marching through his figurative South and burning things down. If the Senate Dems can release a report on university issues, then there’s a bipartisan need for change. Not everything is a conspiracy and not every policy initiative is a cash grab.


  43. - Federalist - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 1:23 pm:

    When the U of I system took over the old Sangamon State university and renamed it the U of I at Springfield, the bureaucrats immediately started expanding it from A Jr to MA. program with no dorms to a Freshmen through Doctoral program with dorms.

    This was a huge shift in policy direction and state funding. It was done at a time when state universities were already being squeezed by the State and when student populations were static.

    Made no sense then and makes even less since now.

    Of course, the U of I can get by with anything and the Governor and GA, at least in the past, have always given them wahat they wanted- the demi-gods of public universities.

    Interesting that this ‘history’ is never mentioned..


  44. - burbanite - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 1:24 pm:

    For profit colleges have been undergoing a lot of scrutiny in the past 5-10 years, as well as, facing a lot of lawsuits. I truly hope that is not the end game here. I figure he will let us know the plan after he is elected.

    Oh wait a minute…/s


  45. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 1:26 pm:

    ===For example, how many public universities do we have offering doctoral programs/degrees

    I think you are generally right with some caveats. The MBA programs are largely money makers for the colleges. Having many of them isn’t a bad thing for costs. This is something the state institutions have learned from for profits, but without the exploitation.

    In terms of the PhDs I think that is a better case, but look at Education PhDs. Mostly they are a net positive for the school financially and because people need them all over the state for professional advancement, that isn’t likely to save money.

    Where you could save money are in those programs that don’t have a direct professional tie. Even then though, you get cheap labor.

    None of this to say we shouldn’t look at programs, but it’s more complicated than it looks on the surface.


  46. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 1:27 pm:

    Cheap labor in the form of grad assistants.


  47. - Abe the Babe - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 1:34 pm:

    @teamsleep

    ==some theory that Rauner is some modern day General Sherman==

    Well can you provide reasons why this comparison isn’t true?

    Yes, there may be bipartisan agreement on this issue. But what there isn’t agreement on is holding students hostage to get that agreement. In fact only one party wants to do that. And we are feeling the consequences.

    If you cant see that distinction then I pity you.


  48. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 1:41 pm:

    @steve Schnorf -

    a lot of those mba programs 60 miles apart are tied into the local economy and some are weekend or weeknight programs.

    if isu having its own mba program is sonething that keeps state farm jobs in bloomington normal and attracts other corporate employers that is definitely a good thing for the state, no?


  49. - History Prof - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 1:43 pm:

    Mama,

    You read my mind. As we speak I am looking into the possibility.


  50. - Earnest - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 1:44 pm:

    >For example, how many public universities do we have offering doctoral programs/degrees?

    It’s a great question and a great point. But do we want to destroy our system of higher education (or human services) and build from the ones who can maximize their cash reserves or make informed and thoughtful choices while minimizing the impact on students and the poor or disabled?


  51. - Jimmy H - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 1:44 pm:

    The Democrats report recommends regulation of UPPER administrative compensation. It is not accurate to characterize all administrative positions as the same. Most administrative positions pay a modest wage; these positions are student services positions, such as advisement and are integral to student success. Drastically reduced State funding has contributed to increased tuition. Radogno’s comments make it clear that she has no understanding of how Universities function; to serve her agenda, she does not care to know. Starving the universities will only create a situation where they lose the ability to recruit students and retain students, which makes them less viable. Reductions in enrollment and funding loss will cause a long term hole that most institutions will not recover from. Clearly this is what Rauner wants to happen. If the Universities are not there, they will not need funding. Destroy government infrastructure, fundamental tea party values… Rauner’s idea of “fixing” Illinois is about neutering this Blue State.


  52. - History Prof - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 1:53 pm:

    Just to underscore a point made by ArchPundit once again: YOU ARE NOT GOING TO SAVE MEANINGFUL MONIES BY GOING AFTER THE UNIVERSITIES!!

    Are there some problems yes. Is the President paid way to much? yes. Does it amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world? NO, it really doesn’t.

    The best thing for the state economically would be to provide much cheaper higher ed at the publics. That would involve the investment of increased tax revenue, which in turn really necessitates a constitutional amendment allowing progressive taxation.

    Sure, looking under the hood of the publics briefly here might be helpful on the margins. But that’s it. If it leads to even more obtrusive oversight from completely amateur “business leaders” and such, it will do more harm than good.


  53. - Filmmaker Professor - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 1:58 pm:

    If you close some of our state universities, what will happen to the students who attend there? Do you really think there is enough additional capacity at the other universities to absorb all of those students? Instead, many of them will go out of state for school, and many of those will stay in the places they went to school, increasing the outflow of population from Illinois. Consider that the state universities might be bringing in students from out of state (and out of the country), many of whom will stay in Illinois after graduation and help increase our population.
    By the way, my university (UIUC) has never had more students. Apparently, students want to study here.


  54. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 2:00 pm:

    Abe - to be honest, I get your point and I can’t defend everything. But it’s also helpful to notice that the Dems - while in complete control of government - lopped over $100 million from higher ed’s budget from FY2010 to FY2011. That’s with the tax increase. And eventually it went from about $1.25 billion in FY2011 to under $1.2 billion in FY2015. Each year in between the totally dipped a bit, but according to the Senate Dems report education funding greatly increased during that same timeframe. Take a look at the tuition and fees from FY2005 to FY2015. There’s over a billion dollar jump! That’s during the Great Recession and after the state cut its obligation(s). Higher ed funding was suppressed while university spending ran off the rails. To act as though Rauner is the only reason for the struggles of higher ed is silly.


  55. - Excessively Rabid - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 2:01 pm:

    ==only a fool would defend skyrocketing administrative spending==

    Got a BIL who’s an engineering PhD and Harvard MBA. Whatever our political differences, he’s no fool. He was until recently a trustee of a well regarded private college in another state (resigned due to moving). I jacked him up about the administrative bloat issue and got a very detailed lecture explaining why it is pretty much ALL due to governmental mandates of one sort or another. Not 100% convinced, but I moved way away from the default position that it’s pure lard.


  56. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 2:05 pm:

    –But then the conversation on this site swings violently towards some theory that Rauner is some modern day General Sherman and he’s marching through his figurative South and burning things down. If the Senate Dems can release a report on university issues, then there’s a bipartisan need for change. Not everything is a conspiracy and not every policy initiative is a cash grab.–

    TS, take it up with Sen. Radogno. She’s the one who advanced the “squeeze the beast” metaphor (phrasing!)

    When social services have been zeroed out, and then DHS suggests they engage with a specific third party to address their “financial difficulties,” it’s reasonable to ask if there is an actual plan behind those two actions.

    When universities are being starved of funds, and then it’s suggested by the governor and his allies that there needs to be some consolidation and shutdowns of university programs, it’s reasonable to ask if there’s a plan behind those two actions.

    If not, then the funds shutoffs just remain hostage-taking to extort an unrelated political agenda from the General Assembly.

    Pick whichever makes you feel better.


  57. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 2:10 pm:

    Word - no argument about the context, but it’s a good question to ask and a good discussion to have. Otherwise, things are on autopilot. There’s nothing wrong with having an open and honest discussion about education reform and local government consolidation. Notice what I said - open and honest. I’m not a fan of what’s happening now. I’m also not going to defend the lack of a budget. But there’s nothing wrong with the dialogue.


  58. - Filmmaker Professor - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 2:14 pm:

    You want to reduce the administrative bloat at the U of I? Have Rauner instruct the Board of Trustees to do it. They answer to him. Problem solved.
    Now who are you going to blame?


  59. - walker - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 2:14 pm:

    TeamSleep 2:00
    plus 1

    for listening and reasonableness


  60. - Abe the Babe - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 2:15 pm:

    ==To act as though Rauner is the only reason for the struggles of higher ed is silly.==

    You make good points and I cant disagree with the numbers. And I don’t make the claim that rauner is the cause of all higher Ed ills. But he and the GOP are the cause of thousands of MAP grant students who now have no other option for this semester. Students who could be investing their career in Illinois were turned away by their own state politicians. This turnaround agenda has consequences.

    That said, there definitely is an agreement possible here. And others have pointed to unfunded mandates. Though I am skeptical of the degree to which that adds to spending.


  61. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 2:31 pm:

    Walker - thanks. This bummer of a rainy day makes for some good introspection. My reply was originally “NUH UH!” but I thought a bit deeper.

    Abe - good dialogue. I appreciate it.


  62. - ash - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 5:30 pm:

    As usual, people see the U of I and lump all universities together. Some are running pretty lean and have trimmed the bloat. Unfortunately, they see a $400,000 severance package and assume everyone, at all schools, is making that much. I doubt there are administrators, coaches, or ANYONE making that much at Eastern, Western, etc.


  63. - sal-says - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 5:33 pm:

    Governing? We don’t need no stinkin’ governing. C’mon. We got ideology on our side.


  64. - sal-says - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 5:35 pm:

    And, this is simply a play out of the vulture capitalist manual. Destroy it; pick up whatever pieces are still left; start over from scratch. Damage? What damage?


  65. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 8:52 pm:

    —-Sure, looking under the hood of the publics briefly here might be helpful on the margins. But that’s it. If it leads to even more obtrusive oversight from completely amateur “business leaders” and such, it will do more harm than good.

    They are public institutions so I’m good with oversight and we could fix some of it. That said, let’s actually compare some of the cost increases with performance increases so an informed decision can be made. The four year universities in Illinois do a decent job for not too bad of a cost. Always look for ways to improve that, but before jumping up and down and say decrease bloat, let’s have a serious discussion about what is bloat and what is helping students.

    Oh, and reduce the IHBE’s requirements for reporting when it isn’t used. Most of the accreditation bodies ask for reasonably good data.


  66. - History Prof - Tuesday, Feb 2, 16 @ 10:27 pm:

    Thank you once again ArchPundit.

    But wouldn’t it be nice if actual, um, academics were involved in the oversight? The boards of trustees and the IBHE are well meaning, but do they have a clue? And who appoints them? The State. Why? 17% of operating funds? I think the state rightfully deserves 17% representation on the boards — fair and square. Beyond that we should run like the privates with a self-replenishing board and majority representation of fully credentialed academics. Unless, that is, the G.A. and the Governor want to pony up. IN 1959, when THEY went to school, the state carried 99% of operating costs. He who pays the piper ought to call the tune.


  67. - Last Bull Moose - Wednesday, Feb 3, 16 @ 8:04 am:

    History Prof

    Not sure you want credentialed academics running the Universities. You need a mix on the Board of Trustees.

    Academics tend to run things to benefit themselves, not students or taxpayers. And yes the State should contribute much more.


  68. - Educ - Wednesday, Feb 3, 16 @ 8:46 am:

    “Educ, congrats on a classic whine.”

    Rich, that’s really unfair — and most of your other commenters here are repeating the same story, and I hardly think it’s a “whine” to point out that a lot of “administrative bloat” in the past 30 years comes from audit and compliance mandates.

    The sad part is that when slapped with a mandate to reduce “administrative bloat,” colleges end up reducing student-facing and academic-serving positions, because they can’t get rid of the auditors who perform legally-mandatory functions. There’s an entire infrastructure there that simply didn’t exist when you went to college, and if you go through administrative costs line by line, to come up with a plan, as you suggest, you will see how many of those “lines” are compliance-related.

    In fact, if I were still in an administrative position, I would probably break that out in my financial reporting — “administrative: academic” “administrative: operations” and “administrative: compliance.”


  69. - David - Wednesday, Feb 3, 16 @ 9:09 am:

    I wrote a paper with others at IERC showing that Illinois is a net exporter of its high school graduates. Almost 30% of the 4-year college enrollment goes out of state. Why? Especially since its more expensive out-of-state, with no MAP grant. The assumption is that our colleges and universities are doing a poor job and a large number of students do not find a value in attending an Illinois Public University.
    Possible causes: not having the programs students want, poor student service, not caring about positive student outcomes (like graduating in 4 years or graduating at all), having degrees that prepares and leads to a job, the quality and proximity of a college.
    My point is Illinois is losing the battle for our own HS students even with the MAP. Illinois ranked 51 of 52 states and territories for exporting their high school students. (kicking NJ butt!)Illinois Colleges and Universities need to start being competitive with the rest of the U.S. or we will continue to see this downturn no matter the budget impasse.


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