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*** UPDATED x1 - McGuire walks back comments *** McGuire says stopgaps could last through 2019 and universities could consolidate

Friday, Sep 16, 2016

* Joliet Herald-News

Illinois may be operating on stopgap budgets into 2019, a local legislator warned this week.

“I want to be blunt with you,” state Sen. Pat McGuire, D-Joliet, told the Joliet Junior College Board of Trustees on Tuesday. “I hear from more and more of my colleagues that we might force Illinois to subsist on stopgap budgets through fiscal year 2019.” […]

He said the forecast for more stopgap budgets is based on a belief that Gov. Bruce Rauner will continue to attach his turnaround agenda proposals to full-year budgets. Democrats have opposed the Republican governor’s turnaround agenda. […]

McGuire said funding problems facing higher education also has led to talk of consolidating some of the state’s nine public universities. Possibilities being discussed, he said, include combining Eastern Illinois University with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as well as combining Chicago State University with the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Thoughts?

*** UPDATE *** Oops…

Senator Pat McGuire, D-Joliet, issued the following statement to clarify his recent remarks regarding the status of higher education in Illinois.

“I am not aware of any discussions at any level of government about consolidating state universities. What I attempted to say at Tuesday’s Joliet Junior College Board of Trustees meeting is that absent any apparent plan to stabilize Illinois higher education, suggestions are being tossed about. I regret I did not communicate that clearly, and I regret any harm done to those schools named.

“I am eager to work toward an Illinois higher education plan.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

82 Comments
  1. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 11:18 am:

    - combining Eastern Illinois University with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign -

    Really? They are not really compatible academically and UIUC doesn’t have the room for more students. That would also economically destroy Charleston. Putting CSU under more professional leadership would be a plus, though.


  2. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 11:19 am:

    How do you “combine” institutions that are so different? And how much money would actually be saved by doing so?


  3. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 11:19 am:

    so will that mean UI-Charleston or just no Charleston?


  4. - illini97 - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 11:25 am:

    If the state expects U of I to start taking on the directionals, why not just emulate Missouri or California and say they’re all University of Illinois at (insert name here)?


  5. - Crispy - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 11:25 am:

    First reaction: “*Banned words!*”

    Second reaction: Not even Brucie has enough money to slither away from ownership of this in the next election.


  6. - Huh? - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 11:26 am:

    The dismantling of higher education seems to be a done deal. Limping along on stop gap budgets will be a disaster for the State.

    1.4% doesn’t care as long as he gets his personal agenda.


  7. - Rich Miller - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 11:26 am:

    ===How do you “combine” institutions that are so different?===

    They somehow managed the SSU merger with U of I.

    Some folks just can’t stand any change at all.

    Frankly, though, if I had my druthers, I’d merge SIU and EIU.


  8. - Earnest - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 11:28 am:

    We shouldn’t be talking about issues like this. We need to focus on Madigan and Rauner and their personalities and on hating and loving the TA. /S


  9. - MSIX - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 11:29 am:

    I’ve thought EIU might get scooped up by UIUC ever since Killeen talked about expanding enrollment by so much. It’ll be interesting to see how they accomplish the merge, though, if it comes to pass.


  10. - Rich Miller - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 11:31 am:

    ===I’d merge SIU and EIU===

    And then call it SEIU.

    Rauner’d never go for it, tho.


  11. - Almost the Weekend - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 11:31 am:

    Economically destroy Charleston?

    The voters of Coles County really have nobody to blame but themselves.


  12. - Aldyth - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 11:32 am:

    With fewer Illinois residents being willing to attend a university in Illinois, given the instability in programs and funding, I’m sure Rauner is gleeful at the thought of consolidation


  13. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 11:34 am:

    If Rauner could make Illinois Higher Ed reflect the SUNY system or the Cal State systems, that would be something.

    Just making U of I - Charleston or UIC - South (not “unlike Indiana University - East) isn’t something that someone like Ole Slip and Sue can sit around a table and change letterheads.

    I would like to see how the missions of Eastern or Chicago State are now possible by changing the letters on buildings.

    Making an Illinois styled Higher Ed that has elements, structure, and missions like a SUNY would be something a governor wanting Higher Ed to survive can make a case, as opposed to starving universities or discrediting institutions to lower their number.


  14. - Saluki Matt - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 11:36 am:

    An SIU-EIU merger sounds more plausible that merging it with UIUC.


  15. - Rich Miller - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 11:37 am:

    ===Economically destroy Charleston? ===

    What are you talking about?

    When U of I absorbed SSU, did it destroy Springfield? No. The university actually expanded.

    Take a breath.


  16. - WhoKnew - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 11:37 am:

    “I hear from more and more of my colleagues that we might force Illinois to subsist on stopgap budgets through fiscal year 2019.”

    The 1st Stop Gap for Rauner was 8 Billion out of balance. Imagine the hole 4 or 5 more Stop Gaps would put Illinois in./s

    Please do the doable.


  17. - RIJ - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 11:37 am:

    “Combination” makes no sense unless the plan is to actually close the institutions. Otherwise it’s just a financial shell game, especially as ALL printed items (promotional materials to letterhead to business cards, etc. - very expensive to reproduce everything with new logos).

    What would be saved? A few upper admin jobs? I guarantee lower admin jobs would increase to handle the lack of upper admin. Or do they forcefully down size each institution to a satellite, like WIU’s 1300 student satellite in the Quad Cities?

    Just adding schools to a system will not save much money, and the transition would be quite expensive. It would be better to just close EIU and disperse the resources. We all know CSU, despite their deep and decades long problems (I worked in higher ed for nearly 35 years, and From the day I began CSU was known as the most troubled institution in the state) is untouchable.

    I’m not advocating for the closure of EIU - it serves an important role in Eastern Illinois. But I’m not buying into this shell game as a money saver at all.


  18. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 11:39 am:

    A merger of SIU-EIU makes sense, even with the geography…

    If it can save both in the best ways and get Rauner to fund them AND save the towns… I’d like to see that game plan, for sure.


  19. - Bobby Catalpa - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 11:42 am:


    Otherwise it’s just a financial shell game, especially as ALL printed items (promotional materials to letterhead to business cards, etc. - very expensive to reproduce everything with new logos).

    But that’s exactly what they’re doing with Rauner’s new ‘Department of Innovation and Tech’ — DoIT. Jobs are the same, job locations are the same, but the only thing changed is the hiring of executives ($$$), new business cards, new email signatures, and a grossly — grossly — bloated procurement process. Thought CMS was bad? Wait till you try DoIT.


  20. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 11:42 am:

    If the issue is lack of money, how does “consolidation” without shutting down campuses save any? You don’t save money with name changes.


  21. - Because I said so.... - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 11:43 am:

    =Some folks just can’t stand any change at all.= Agreed Rich but this is a biggie and if one university gets combined, where does it end? Will it just be one huge U of I system and how much does it really save?

    Also agree with MSIX. Killeen did say he wanted to increase enrollment by a pretty hefty amount. Where else would they find the students besides other Illinois universities.


  22. - Rich Miller - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 11:46 am:

    ===You don’t save money with name changes.===

    Please. Have you looked at the admin overhead at those universities? Ridiculous.

    Also too, a brand upgrade could bring in more money.


  23. - Graduated College Student - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 11:48 am:

    It depends on what they mean by “merger”

    If you mean administratively fold the Chicago State and Eastern Illinois University into the University of Illinois system (as the UIC King Drive Campus and University of Illinois-East, presumably), then that’s workable, although the University of Illinois system might balk.

    If you mean shutter the campuses and move the students, we may have some problems.


  24. - Stones - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 11:52 am:

    I think it’s interesting and disheartening that Sen. McGuire believes we are in for a series of stopgap budgets until 2019. Doesn’t bode well for us as a state at all.


  25. - illini - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 11:56 am:

    Wow! Had not even thought about anything like this happening and don’t really know what to think pro or con about the concept.

    My first reaction is that a simple merger of CSU or EIU would be a disaster given the major differences between the institutions. If it is to happen, without adequate preparation - and this is not anything that should be considered except as a long term option.

    The UofI is already having problems retaining and attracting top level researchers and scholars.

    Diluting the value of an education and a degree of our Flagship institution is not an option.

    Adequate and stable funding for all our state institutions is the only viable short term solution while other options are being considered.


  26. - Brian Clinton - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 11:57 am:

    Want to save money?

    Legalize marijuana, and tax it.

    Then close 2/3’s of the prisons in this state.

    You’d think a smart businessman would think of this.

    Geez, louise.


  27. - The Dude Abides - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 11:57 am:

    Senator Radogno stated earlier this Summer that it could be a couple more years before the state has a full budget. If Rauner wants to get reelected he will need to get a full budget before November 2018. I could see him continuing the hostage game until sometime earlier in 2018 though.


  28. - Ducky LaMoore - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 11:57 am:

    Why don’t we just take all of the Universities except UofI, combine them all into one and call them the “Inferior Universities of Illinois”? Go IUI! Fight! Fight! Fight! Rollover! Sit! Beg! Fight! Fight! Fight! /s


  29. - RIJ - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 12:03 pm:

    Those upper admin jobs might disappear, but the money will be used to hire “assistant director” jobs. (The universities use the title so the the employees won’t be Union eligible, and pay them significantly more to do so.)

    Illinois has a whole cluster of universities in east central- and northeast Illinois. The real savings would be to close one of them.


  30. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 12:06 pm:

    ===The real savings would be to close one of them.===

    Then Rauner should be the governor, get in front of mics, and behind a podium with a state seal and choose which towns and regions lose their economic engine, and explain Rauner’s choice with questions too.

    Wonder why Rauner won’t?


  31. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 12:07 pm:

    – admin overheard–

    So the three U of I campuses have consolidated administration? The two SIU campuses? Shared financial aid, registrar, human resources, etc.? No duplications of administrative services?

    Since when?


  32. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 12:10 pm:

    It’s so much easier to have Western lose its accreditation, or Eastern and CSU be starved of funding…

    Rauner isn’t a leader here. Rauner wants the collapse to seem by total happenstance of “Decades” of whatever Rauner Word Jumble thinks makes sense.

    If Rauner wants universities closed, Rauner should say so instead of dismantling them, either by discrediting them, defunding them, of both.


  33. - illini - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 12:11 pm:

    — “Wonder why Rauner won’t? ” —

    Willy, as you have reminded us many times - Governors Own!


  34. - MSIX - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 12:12 pm:

    =Please. Have you looked at the admin overhead at those universities? Ridiculous.=

    I see comments like this all the time but never any specifics about which admin jobs are truly “ridiculous.” Take a look at EIU’s admin and pick out a few *specific* positions you feel are unnecessary and explain why they’re unnecessary.


  35. - thoughts matter - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 12:15 pm:

    ==I want to be blunt with you,” state Sen. Pat McGuire, D-Joliet, told the Joliet Junior College Board of Trustees on Tuesday. “I hear from more and more of my colleagues that we might force Illinois to subsist on stopgap budgets through fiscal year 2019.” ==

    Is ‘WE’ the Democrats or Republicans or all of them combined? Because Rauner can get a budget passed at any time when he stops tying it to other things.


  36. - PublicServant - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 12:23 pm:

    ===Please. Have you looked at the admin overhead at those universities? Ridiculous.===

    Exactly MSIX. Youre sounding like Rauner now, Rich…Let’s show some work.


  37. - Rich Miller - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 12:24 pm:

    ===and pick out a few *specific* positions you feel are unnecessary===

    It’s not necessary. Combining campuses would eliminate some duplicative admin costs.


  38. - Casual observer - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 12:24 pm:

    I’m confused, as usual. University consolidation and endless stopgap budgets. How can both proposals proceed in parallel? Wouldn’t consolidation require COFGA and legislative appropriations?


  39. - Rich Miller - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 12:25 pm:

    ===Youre sounding like Rauner now, Rich===

    Bite me.

    And learn how to spell if you’re going to insult somebody.


  40. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 12:26 pm:

    Rauner has been making the point about consolidating adminstrative functions across state government for a long time.

    With 7,000 units of local government and way too many school districts with just a handful of schools in them, this is long overdue in higher education as well.

    The other problem with Higher education is the lack of pension reform. More than 53 % of Illinois state budget for higher education is spent on pension costs- up from 17% in 2006.

    Clearly if we want more money to go into the classrooms instead of administrative overhead consolidation is essential.

    Rauner has made his suggestions for reforms clear. What are the solutions to these problems from the Democrats? They did not identify any in their budget proposals.


  41. - Rich Miller - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 12:31 pm:

    ===With 7,000 units of local government and way too many school districts with just a handful of schools in them, this is long overdue in higher education as well.===

    Agreed.


  42. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 12:33 pm:

    Tony Romo’s big chance to say he played for a Big Ten affiliated school.


  43. - PublicServant - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 12:34 pm:

    Yes! Finally made the bite-me club! Many wouldn’t consider sounding like Rauner an insult, but I’m glad you do Rich. That’s reassuring. I’ll work on my spelling, if you work on your likely 1.4% University Consolidation Saving plan.


  44. - Bobby Catalpa - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 12:36 pm:

    These schools and universities are already on the Higher Learning Commission’s radar — along with CSU — as universities at risk.

    I can’t imagine a consolidation — based on political circumstances solely predicated by Rauner’s much vaunted “persistance” — would put these universities at any less risk.

    Invoke “HLC” within earshot of any academic administrator — and you’ll instantly see fear. You’ll see an awareness that whatever is else wrong with a faculty member, a department, a university, or even a General Assembly — it’s “accreditation” that’s all that really matters. And political battles *risk* this.

    Consolidating universities — again, solely predicated by a governor’s political agenda — is inviting the HLC to remove accreditation. This means no federal loans — and (as if that’s not enough) it means *years* to get accredited again. And it also invites — as we see from ITT — and increasingly number of current (and past!) students *suing for relief* from their student loans. (Not to mention that sad, usually fatal fact of having a “closed university” on their resume).

    The ramifications here are staggering — and staggeringly expensive. Consolidation would very likely be the trigger that would send a bullet down a range where no one could possibly, possibly predict where it would stop or what target(s) it would hit. Certainly not Rauner — who, as I’ve said previous, will use this as predatory leverage.

    Someone here said once that the Rauner administation would cost the state more in legal fees than past governors *combined*. This — even talk of this based on HLC’s warnings — would throw so much litigation into the mix that it would boggle the mind.


  45. - Bobby Catalpa - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 12:37 pm:

    All that. And the post doesn’t appear.

    LOL.


  46. - Seriously? - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 12:37 pm:

    Not to mention the need to hire more development staff to ramp up fundraising to make up for non-existent state support…


  47. - Rich Miller - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 12:42 pm:

    ===is inviting the HLC to remove accreditation===

    Hmm. UIS seems to have done OK.


  48. - Anonandonandon - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 12:53 pm:

    ===Or do they forcefully down size each institution to a satellite, like WIU’s 1300 student satellite in the Quad Cities?===

    1,300 students at WIU-QC? Please. The Fall 2016 campus headcount came in at only 976 - with full-time equivalent campus enrollment of only 559.

    http://www.wiu.edu/IRP/enrollments/2017/fall/hc.php

    http://www.wiu.edu/IRP/enrollments/2017/fall/fte.php

    These are the lowest on-campus numbers there in the last 15-20 years - despite the fact that the State as “invested” close to $120 million in new buildings and operating expenses since 2008.


  49. - Scamp640 - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 12:54 pm:

    Consolidation might not be the worst thing in the world as a whole, but I really question where cost savings come from.

    Eastern might actually benefit from a marketing perspective by being affiliated with the University of Illinois. I speculate that Sangamon State University benefited from its affiliation with the U of I. So, maybe its a good idea.

    I wonder, do merged universities get to choose new colors and mascots?


  50. - PublicServant? - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 1:03 pm:

    What was the savings in consolidating UIS?


  51. - In 630 - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 1:03 pm:

    Handing the keys to Chicago State over to Northeastern or even both to NIU might be more doable than UIC. And EIU-ISU combo also makes more sense to me than EIU-UIUC.

    Or like was mentioned, UI-everything and consolidate certain admin functions on a regional basis.


  52. - Brendan - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 1:05 pm:

    Regardless of its origin, this is an opportunity to explore a (seriously needed) reform the organization and mission of Illinois public higher education (including the community colleges).


  53. - RIJ - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 1:10 pm:

    Read further in that WIU page. The total enrollment at WIU-QC is 1,430, including the extension students served by the QC campus, using QC campus resources.


  54. - Scamp640 - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 1:11 pm:

    @ Rich. I am not sure consolidation does eliminate positions. It may add positions.

    Consider the U of I system. Each campus has department chairs for each department on each campus. Each college has deans for each college on campus. Instead of a college president, each campus has a chancellor, who then reports to a system-wide president. The system-wide president is an added administrative position.

    Each campus has technology support. Each campus has health care. The only possible savings might be in purchasing, but universities could do that now without consolidating campuses.

    So, I don’t think we should hold up UIS as an example of a merged campus that has generated cost savings. It has done very well as part of the UI, but I don’t see any evidence that the merger of Sangamon State University has actually saved dollars. I think we need evidence to prove this point.


  55. - illini - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 1:11 pm:

    — “I wonder, do merged universities get to choose new colors and mascots?” —

    Great question. Now if we could only bring back Chief Illiniwek.


  56. - NIU Grad - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 1:12 pm:

    I think the individual consolidation discussion needs to evolve into an overall discussion of a statewide higher ed system. We currently have two systems (SIU, with two schools, and UofI, with 3) and independent universities, which is an odd statewide set-up. With a statewide university system, EIU and CSU would still be operating independently, but with an accountability mechanism. Without a strong IBHE, our ability to hold independent state universities to a high standard is incredibly limited.


  57. - Oneman - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 1:14 pm:

    Consolidating universities — again, solely predicated by a governor’s political agenda — is inviting the HLC to remove accreditation. This means no federal loans — and (as if that’s not enough) it means *years* to get accredited again.

    Oh please, unless I missed something when Sagamon became part of the U of I system they didn’t enter some sort of certification hell…

    Has a public university in this country lost accreditation over the last 40 years?

    The comment from one of the credentialing groups about Illinois budget problem was this….

    The commission said schools that have to suspend operations or close because of unavailable state funding could lose their accreditation if they don’t come up with plans for their students to continue at another college. It warned that the lack of state funding puts the state’s schools at risk and jeopardizes students’ futures

    So do you really think if the combined schools they would tell the students at one of them, good luck and that’s it?

    If you do, your point makes sense, if not it’s just fear mongering.

    As for going to a Wisconsin or New York or California system of the University of Illinois at Whatever as an NIU alum I actually think this is a great idea.

    After your first job (at least in my industry and field in general) no one give a heck about where you went to school.


  58. - Anon221 - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 1:15 pm:

    If you think battles are bad when K-12 schools merge/consolidate over sports teams and mascots, just wait until the Sports/Alumni Boosters at the university being “subsumed” get told get Orange or get lost. Rauner will be grinnin’ and front row center at that UFC match. (not all snark)


  59. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 1:18 pm:

    == Have you looked at the admin overhead at those universities? Ridiculous. ==

    Maybe; maybe not. Anyone look recently @ the mandates & grants they need to administer?


  60. - RIJ - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 1:21 pm:

    When Sangamon State merged with UI, it was a two year completion campus with an enrollment of 3-4,000. It’s not the same as what is being proposed - the nature of SSU was quite different.

    Also, how many of the students who attend CSU and EIU will not meet admission requirements at UI? I suppose it would be a boon to WIU. Or will UI lower their standards on those campuses? The regionals have a purpose.


  61. - Ryan - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 1:22 pm:

    I think better options for mergers would be with community colleges. For example: EIU and Lakeland, and maybe even IECC. CSU with CCC, and so on. Community college have long wanted the chance to offer bachelor’s degrees in certain vocational areas, now’s their chance.
    We have a decreasing number of high school graduate in Illinois and it’s going to continue for the foreseeable future. Those of us in higher ed have known this for years, and some of us have prepared for it, others, not so much.


  62. - Rod - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 1:25 pm:

    I agree with In 630 about Chicago State and UIC. The average ACT score composite at University of Illinois at Chicago is a 24 and the average at Chicago State The average ACT score at Chicago State University is 19 and believe me would argue that is a generous average score. UIC has been in a long struggle to make its profile look better, this merger would not do that.


  63. - Kathy - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 1:28 pm:

    I attended a meeting of community college retirees yesterday that Sen. Bill Cunningham spoke to. He suggested following what other big states do and place all the universities under two statewide governing boards. We had a similar set up here in Illinois until the boards of governors and regents were dismantled In the 90’s. Makes some sense. The universities could work together instead of competing against each other.


  64. - Rich Miller - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 1:28 pm:

    What Oneman said. Every, single word.


  65. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 1:31 pm:

    If I recall, the change from Sangamon State to UIS was strictly marketing — nobody could sell a Sangamon.

    “Consolidation” of administrative services could not have been an issue — Sangamon State was already in the then-Board of Regents “system” with NIU and ISU (not that they shared any administrative services; they all had presidents, vice preidents, deans, etc.).

    Let’s see the work on “consolidation of services” and “savings”; an open discussion. Is there a plan?

    Or is just a Darwinesque exercise of squeeze the beast, silently.


  66. - RIJ - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 1:37 pm:

    I do agree that if we’re going to merge, merge them all into one consolidated system. No half-tushed efforts.


  67. - Ducky LaMoore - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 1:51 pm:

    I am in no way against consolidation on the principle of savings, but there needs to be some level of openness if this is really a consideration. A presentation of actual cost savings would be nice (and not just from some IPI affiliate). It would seem that if consolidation happens in the manner that the State of Illinois is currently managed, it would make Obamacare look incredibly efficient.


  68. - City Zen - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 1:51 pm:

    ===I’d merge SIU and EIU===

    ==And then call it SEIU.==

    Ironically, if you combine SIU maroon with EIU blue you get SEIU purple.


  69. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 1:58 pm:

    - OneMan -

    That’s restaurant quality. Well said.

    Here is where I’m all in with ya…

    ===As for going to a Wisconsin or New York or California system of the University of Illinois at Whatever as an NIU alum I actually think this is a great idea.===

    If Rauner’s lasting legacy, besides the unprecedented criminal justice reform, would be to one huge legacy for Rauner, “fundamentally changing” Higher Ed.

    You’re on it.


  70. - RIJ - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 2:04 pm:

    Also, we need to look at why, if big systems are so great, IL went from the “system of systems” model to a more individualized one rather than consolidating into a “super-system” at that time (the reasons beyond political blather and unversity identity crises).


  71. - DownStateGrl - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 2:05 pm:

    Last time I checked EIU had the lowest administrative costs per capita and U of I had the highest of the Illinois publics. So yeah, let’s hand over the most efficient campus to the least efficient system.(see page vii -http://www.auditor.illinois.gov/audit-reports/performance-special-multi/performance-audits/2013%20releases/13-il-public-universities-full.pdf)


  72. - DownStateGrl - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 2:07 pm:

    Edit: Looks like it is CSU and THEN U of I….


  73. - thechampaignlife - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 2:15 pm:

    Consolidation is more likely to improve accreditation given the more stable governance and resources that could come with it. Definitely savings in areas such as IT to be had since those systems scale well. Heck, we could even get those savings without consolidating just by sharing services between universities.

    It all comes full circle, back to the system of systems.


  74. - Last Bull Moose - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 2:17 pm:

    Research Universities will have higher administrative costs than straight Teaching Universities. Keeping the grant paperwork correct and up to date takes people and time.

    Comparing Admin costs between U of I and Eastern is comparing apples to oranges.


  75. - Jaundiced view - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 2:19 pm:

    There is a strand of thought in Illinois politics that advocates privatizing the public university system. State Senator Bill Brady (R-Bloomington)has publicly advocated this course.

    The current stopgap created reductions in approps for public campuses on the order of 18%.

    If there are several more stopgap plans, I would bet higher ed would continue to take it on the chin because it’s NOT politically acceptable to do it to K-12.

    State support for public universities in Illinois has already declined to the 18%-12% of total budget level, depending on the campus.

    If stopgaps become the new normal, we might end up with de-facto privatization of operations. The state would still own the land and buildings, I suppose.

    The debate over public higher ed as a common good is pretty much moot at that point.


  76. - Amalia - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 2:22 pm:

    I like the illini97 idea to call it all U. of I at xyz campus. administrative costs must be cut. and while we’re at it, look at community colleges and administration for changes.


  77. - Come on - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 2:24 pm:

    Mergers are not impossible but I am doubting your presumed savings as a result. If there were savings as a result of the UI/Sangamon State move, they were not reflected in the tuition charged at UIS. It’s tuition increases were well above the average and it now sits in second place in terms of costs. 20 years ago it was one of the cheapest schools.

    According to federal data, currently UIUC has higher instructional and related costs per FTE than the regionals. Also, while Il public university costs per FTE are higher than the national average, our cost per graduate is below the national average. There is lots of room for improvement but these rather mindless university parings being proposed won’t likely produce a better outcome.


  78. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 2:34 pm:

    U of I and CSU = CSI


  79. - RIJ - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 2:47 pm:

    Frankly, if you want big savings, here is what has to happen:

    Complete merger of all state universities.

    Review of all programs at each institution and an allocation of need based on location and program strength. For instance, WIU might become the one institution to offer degrees in law enforcement, while UI focuses on hard sciences and agriculture, and education programs are offered at SIU, EIU and WIU. SIU would keep many programs because of its regional impotance, but degree programs in the north would be assigned to the institutions best able to serve the students who need that degree.

    Decide what community colleges are: the first two years of a four-year degree? Professional (terminal) degree programs? Vocational centers? Especially when a community college is located near a public university, they should not be duplicating that freshman/sophomore component.

    Increase online programming to extend access for the reduction in geographic coverage.

    Those are proposals that will truly save some real money, if we want to be realistic. McGuire’s proposal will not.


  80. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 2:59 pm:

    FYI, I believe this news story is the textbook definition of burying the lede.


  81. - DownStateGrl - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 3:00 pm:

    Last Bull Moose - I agree but the proposition is to merge an apple and an orange. Of course U of I has to have staff that teaching schools would not. Of course U of I has a higher payscale being a flagship/Big 10 institution. But those realities don’t make them better qualified to run a teaching university that prefers classes of 20 or less to allow for direct PhD and student interaction at the undergrad level rather than TAs teaching classes of 500 nameless coeds.


  82. - Last Bull Moose - Friday, Sep 16, 16 @ 4:35 pm:

    DownStateGirl,

    No disagreement here on your points. Were I Governor, I would have all the Boards of Trustees launch an overhead value analysis and look for opportunities to get rid of work, and then positions.


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