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Ives threatens higher ed funding cuts

Monday, Feb 5, 2018

* More from Tom Kasich’s interview of Rep. Jeanne Ives

She said she was willing to go into Champaign-Urbana — into what she called “the belly of the beast” — and say that “we’re going to tell higher ed that you either bring your tuition and fees in line with your conference peers or we’re going to bring your state spending in line with your conference peers. We’re No. 3 in terms of state support for higher education. It’s just that one-half of it goes to pensions.

“But the truth is that higher education in Illinois is unaffordable and it’s forcing our best students and our middle-class families to choose another place. That is wrong. We’re going to reverse that trend.”

The plural of anecdote is not data. I get that. But I was in Walgreen’s Sunday afternoon and a couple of employees were talking about going to another state for graduate school. One of them was my cashier. He told me that after what happened the past few years, he just couldn’t depend on a MAP grant and was looking elsewhere.

* With that in mind

The pace at which Illinois high school graduates are leaving the state to attend college is accelerating at the same time most public universities are struggling to maintain enrollment — and that has state higher education officials worried.

“It’s deeply troubling and I choose those words carefully,” said Al Bowman, executive director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education and former president of Illinois State University. […]

“Illinois has had a history of out-migration for many, many years,” said Bowman. “The difference is it has accelerated during recent years, particularly during the budget impasse” when the state went without a full-year budget in fiscal years 2016 and 2017 and higher education saw significant funding cuts. […]

The pool of 18-year-olds in the Midwest is shrinking and the composition of the pool has changed. There are more students from underrepresented groups with historically lower college participation rates than the general population, he said.

“It’s a highly competitive marketplace,” added Bowman. “Some universities have learned how to compete in that environment. For others, it’s a learning curve.”

* And

There was a bit of role reversal last week at a meeting of the Illinois Senate Higher Education Committee. Instead of college and university officials being told by senators what they should be doing or what they’re doing wrong, there were appeals for ideas, information, suggestions from two senators who are on a separate higher education working group.

“Our purpose truly at this point is to consider ways to help Illinois and higher education thrive again,” said Sen. Pat McGuire, D-Crest Hill, who chairs the Senate Higher Education Committee. “We’re asking now what are you doing to recruit, retain and graduate Illinois students? And it’s been a fascinating conversation.”

Separately, Sen. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, practically begged for feedback on his legislation, introduced last October, that includes a wide-ranging reorganization of public higher education in the state. But the idea behind SB 2234, he said, was “to start a conversation” about the higher ed system.

“We need your help. It’s been 3 1/2 months. Please start giving us your ideas,” he said.

The early reaction to Rose’s legislation was skeptical, with many higher education leaders viewing it as an attempt to eliminate programs and downsize particular institutions. That’s not his goal, Rose insists.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

54 Comments
  1. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 10:59 am:

    MAP grants can’t be used for graduate school.


  2. - PJ - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 10:59 am:

    In what universe are we #3 in state support for higher ed given the budget impasse? I know this is Ives we’re talking about here, so she could have pulled the number from her vast imagination, but … where is that from?


  3. - Swift - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 11:06 am:

    So after the Ives ad are we to believe she solely objects to high tuition and fees or is this a thinly veiled attack on liberalism on college campuses?

    A fiscally conservative candidate would typically not object to high college costs since colleges are charging what students are willing to pay, just like any other economic exchange, of course with colleges, supplemented with loans, etc.

    Pre “hate ad” I could accept Ives as being sincerely concerned with college costs, post ad, it’s an attack on liberals. Same with her stand on sexual harassment in Springfield, valid concern, post ad, I have to ask was her standing up with Silverstein’s accuser another attack on liberalism or worse signaling anti-Semitism to the far right?


  4. - Blue dog dem - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 11:09 am:

    Contrast this with the Biss promise of free public university education for all. Which of these ideas is more realistic?


  5. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 11:09 am:

    ==We’re No. 3 in terms of state support for higher education. It’s just that one-half of it goes to pensions.==

    The half that goes to pensions is not “support for higher education.” It’s mostly support for past borrowing by the GA. The reality is that the money actually going toward higher ed puts us near the bottom.


  6. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 11:12 am:

    ==Contrast this with the Biss promise of free public university education for all. Which of these ideas is more realistic? ==

    The idea of free higher ed is actually not that expensive if you fund the first two years at community college and get to free with public funds that cover the gap between financial aid grants and other support.


  7. - City Zen - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 11:13 am:

    ==The half that goes to pensions is not “support for higher education.”==

    Pensions are part of the cost. I’d be curious to know what our ranking was 20-30 years ago when pension contributions weren’t such a large slice of the funding pie.


  8. - NoGifts - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 11:14 am:

    There was a time when free high school didn’t seem realistic or affordable. It turned out to be a pretty good investment.


  9. - PJ - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 11:14 am:

    ===The idea of free higher ed is actually not that expensive===

    It’s also the reality in most of Europe. So it’s not like this is some crazy idea for anyone but Americans, who are numb to having to take out a second mortgage to pay for a kid’s college.


  10. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 11:20 am:

    There’s a case to be made for restructuring of higher ed governance and eliminating duplication at some universities.

    That requires serious executive leadership. Social Darwinism via vivisection ain’t it.


  11. - Blue dog dem - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 11:21 am:

    I totally support the European and Asian models of education.


  12. - DuPage Bard - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 11:22 am:

    So Illinois taxpayers should make sure that Universities get a bailout just like Chicago?
    Another bought and paid for Raunerite nice work Senator Rose


  13. - TaylorvilleTornado - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 11:22 am:

    The GOP really hates education. It makes it harder for them to sell their “message”.


  14. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 11:23 am:

    Free community college, an educated workforce, attracts employers. Not unlike EDGE grants.


  15. - Retired Prof - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 11:29 am:

    Skpping pension payments and blaming universities is lame. How many times does higher ed get reorganized. Anyone remember the Priority, Quality, Productivity initiatives or Lt Gov Kustra’s elimination of board staff by giving each university a board? Everything is approved by the BHE.


  16. - Retired Prof - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 11:31 am:

    Not to forget the Univ boards are all appointed by the governor…


  17. - SSL - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 11:33 am:

    It will be very hard to reverse the trend of Illinois students going to out of state universities. There are several reasons why this trend started, but cost is certainly one of them. Not only have neighbor states targeted businesses, but also students. You can get a great education in Illinois, but you better have the means to pay for it.

    I don’t see the trend reversing anytime soon. Too many residents are sick and tired of the already significant tax burden, and the pension nightmare is decades away from improving.

    I have only sympathy for those parents with high school students who can no longer consider U of I due to the cost.


  18. - OneMan - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 11:39 am:

    Think her numbers on wrong, but I did find this…
    https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/slideshows/states-investing-most-in-higher-education-per-person

    Illinois is one of the five states that spent more per student on higher education in 2015 than they did before the recession of 2007-2009 and is the only ‘big state’ out of the 5, the others were ND, AK,WY and MT


  19. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 11:39 am:

    We are number 3 in state spending on higher education but we use the money to pay Democratic special interest groups not educate young people. Only in Illinois


  20. - dbk - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 11:40 am:

    I’d be interested to hear how she came up with that #3 in state funding for higher ed data point.

    The link below is from USNews, April 2017, ranking Illinois 35 for state funding of higher ed, 29 for funding of ed overall.

    https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/slideshows/states-investing-most-in-higher-education-per-person?slide=4

    There’s alot of wide-open space between 3 and #35.


  21. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 11:40 am:

    ===I have only sympathy for those parents with high school students who can no longer consider U of I due to the cost.===

    No, your logic is wrong here.

    Students look, not at the costs.

    Students talk about what they will “get”

    UIUC could cost $24,000 a year, just fur a number…

    If a student gets a merit scholarship for $18,000 for 4 years, they see that as getting $72,000 in schoooling.

    Poaching universities speak to this directly.

    “If you come here, we’re prepared to pay your out of state tuition and fees, room and board as well

    Is UIUC prepared to offer you a $100,000 education on your merits right now?”

    The state of Illinois is losing its best and brightest by the buckets-full because… “… you can go to UIUC and have six figure debt, or you can go here and have no debt.”

    They’re selling what they give, not the cost.


  22. - Actual Red - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 11:45 am:

    To the question of higher ed costs — Illinois has a gdp and population fairly similar to the Netherlands, which is able to provide quality higher education, with each person paying $1,400/year. Obviously there are many other factors involved, but at bottom it’s a question of resource distribution. Significantly cheaper higher ed is not some pie in the sky pipe dream.


  23. - JS Mill - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 11:56 am:

    =Pensions are part of the cost.=

    You are actually referring to the cost of debt. The debt was accrued by the state due to their failure to properly fund the pensions. It isn’t part of the current cost, it is repayment for services rendered as long as 90 years ago.

    Ives, Rauner, Brady, and Madigan would like you to think it is current costs. But it isn’t.

    Ives is funny, she got a free, taxpayer funded, college education, but no one else should in her mind. That is a real laugher.


  24. - Rich Miller - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 12:07 pm:

    ===fairly similar to the Netherlands, which is able to===

    That’s a federal government.


  25. - Blue dog dem - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 12:12 pm:

    The Netherlands income tax averages 13%. Add to that a VAT of 21%. Nothing is really free, is it?


  26. - Flyer - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 12:18 pm:

    The affordability issue is killing opportunity for deserving students.


  27. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 12:22 pm:

    West Point is free?

    “Upon graduation, you will be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army and serve for five years on active duty (if you choose to depart the Army after five years, you will be required to serve three years in the Inactive Ready Reserve (IRR)). During your senior year, you’ll find out which specialized field, or “branch,” you will enter. Both the needs of the Army and your preferences will be considered.”

    Only if you consider an 8 year commitment free


  28. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 12:22 pm:

    What does she mean in line with conference peers? Illinois should be in line with Michigan, not Rutgers.


  29. - DuPage - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 12:36 pm:

    Ives is counting pension payments that are large because of the state not paying in their share for many decades. It is not the fault of the colleges and universities. She is now demanding that they pay back the money owed by the state.
    Also, Rauner went a whole year with $0 to higher education. How is she going cut more then that?


  30. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 12:45 pm:

    ==skipping pension payments and blaming universities is lame==

    Or blaming anyone else other than the legislators. No employee ever had the luxury of opting not to pay their share.

    Sick to death of dumping on employees


  31. - City Zen - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 1:05 pm:

    ==You are actually referring to the cost of debt. The debt was accrued by the state due to their failure to properly fund the pensions.==

    That would mean the state would’ve had one of the most poorly funded higher ed systems in the country just a few decades ago. Were they? Because the spending yesterday is directly correlated to the debt today.


  32. - Demoralized - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 1:07 pm:

    == but we use the money to pay Democratic special interest groups==

    Who exactly would that be?


  33. - City Zen - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 1:16 pm:

    == Illinois should be in line with Michigan, not Rutgers.==

    Conveniently skipped right over the most comparable conference school: Purdue. Probably doesn’t fit your narrative though, huh?


  34. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 1:20 pm:

    ===Conveniently skipped right over the most comparable conference school: Purdue. Probably doesn’t fit your narrative though, huh?===

    “Conveniently skipped right over the most comparable conference school: Purdue, which will be experimenting with a 3-year track to make Purdue more affordable. Probably doesn’t fit your narrative though, huh?”

    http://bit.ly/2xM2oR2

    ===The affordability issue is killing opportunity for deserving students.===

    - Flyer - is looking at it as students do.

    It’s like asking customers what they want (affordability) and delivering an inferior product as the response.


  35. - Demoralized - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 1:27 pm:

    ==Nothing is really free, is it?==

    They have different values and are willing to pay for what they believe is important. It’s called being a responsible society.


  36. - Because I said so.... - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 1:31 pm:

    What always fails to be mentioned when discussions of Illinois Public University costs and tuition is deferred maintenance, or more appropriately, the lack of funding.

    These are state owned buildings that the state no longer supports financially. When a universities get their appropriation cut by 70% like in FY16, universities burn through reserved funds and the state does not provide any maintenance funding, those dollars meant for students often times are used to keep the roof from leaking or crashing down on students.

    The current backlog of deferred maintenance at the public universities is staggering and nothing is being done to address it.


  37. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 1:34 pm:

    ===“Upon graduation, you will be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army and serve for five years on active duty (if you choose to depart the Army after five years, you will be required to serve three years in the Inactive Ready Reserve (IRR)). During your senior year, you’ll find out which specialized field, or “branch,” you will enter. Both the needs of the Army and your preferences will be considered.”

    Only if you consider an 8 year commitment free===

    How many Academy grads (West Point, Annapolis, USAFA) do you know?

    I’m fortunate enough to have in my family graduates from each.

    Your take, selfish and probably lacking what Midshipmen, or Cadets, seem to understand by going to the service academies.

    It’s about serving their country, they do proudly, with respect to they’d own character and what selfless service means.

    The ideal is understanding they gladly serve the United States. They do it with eyes open, with open hearts too.

    Otherwise the mental aspect of attending, they wrk find difficulty to complete their education, let alone the service after


  38. - Keyser Soze - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 1:52 pm:

    The Champaign News-Gazette just published that more than 600 University of Illinois employees had annual salaries over $150,000. In days of old faculty members were well paid, albeit probably less than they might have made in the private sector. Of course, this was offset by advantages of the academic life style. That life style doesn’t seem to have changed but pay levels sure have.


  39. - City Zen - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 2:19 pm:

    ==They have different values and are willing to pay for what they believe is important.==

    Amazing what homogeneous populations can accomplish.


  40. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 2:23 pm:

    ===Amazing what homogeneous populations can accomplish===
    Wait, Illinois voters are all human, no dolphins or space creatures. So we ARE homogeneous.


  41. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 2:26 pm:

    ===Amazing what homogeneous populations can accomplish===

    What do you mean, in this context?

    Besides, 20% of the population of the Netherlands is not Dutch; 11% was born outside of the country.


  42. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 2:54 pm:

    ==pay levels sure have==

    Welcome to the 21st century. We say we value education but begrudge having to pay the highest educated people more than scraps. So what’s education worth then?

    Im astounded by what people earn these days—as in shockingly too much for their education level.


  43. - JS Mill - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 3:00 pm:

    =Only if you consider an 8 year commitment free=

    She also gets paid for that “commitment”, she didn’t do it for funzies. And yes, she paid no tuition during her stay at Westpoint. Taxpayers wrote that check.

    LP- you sure don’t understand math very well.


  44. - JS Mill - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 3:03 pm:

    =Because the spending yesterday is directly correlated to the debt today.=

    @CZ, another math challenged right wing zealot.


  45. - Anon - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 3:27 pm:

    Interestingly enough, Ives running mate is a highe r Ed instructor in Moline.


  46. - blue dog dem - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 3:36 pm:

    Anon. Maybe he knows something.


  47. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 4:15 pm:

    ==The Champaign News-Gazette just published that more than 600 University of Illinois employees had annual salaries over $150,000.==

    That is for the entire U of I system, which has over 6000 employees on the Urbana campus. Many of those high salaries are in administration.

    Also of interest: ===UI professors are constantly being wooed by other campuses with offers of higher pay or better research support. The uncertain financial climate in Illinois over the last three years prompted a 40 percent jump in outside offers at the UI’s three campuses, Wilson said. The UI usually tries to match them, “and it can get expensive,” she said.===

    We now learn about another hidden cost of the past three years of fiscal uncertainty.

    The accompanying article provides more context: http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2018-02-04/the-money-salaries-rising-ui.html


  48. - JS Mill - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 4:30 pm:

    =The Champaign News-Gazette just published that more than 600 University of Illinois employees had annual salaries over $150,000. In days of old faculty members were well paid, albeit probably less than they might have made in the private sector. Of course, this was offset by advantages of the academic life style. That life style doesn’t seem to have changed but pay levels sure have.=

    With your obvious qualifications in higher ed, please share what these folks should be paid. Because, you know, it is just one big monolith. /s


  49. - Texian - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 4:52 pm:

    And of course not only administrators but faculty and staff are leaving the state. We talk about the students leaving (which is most important) but we also should note that so are the best faculty and staff. I had to leave due to uncertainty and, frankly, much better pay down south. I really liked Illinois but it had become a dead end.


  50. - City Zen - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 5:12 pm:

    @JS - If you’re unable to answer an honest question, or feel the answer doesn’t fit the narrative you’re peddling, then simply don’t answer it. This “zealot” won’t persecute you for it. I always fancied myself a Pharisee anyway. How are the Essenes these days?


  51. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 5:41 pm:

    What exactly is it that folks don’t like about the highest educated people earning a decent amount of money? Don’t you like education? Do you think we shouldn’t go past 8th grade or something? Why do you send your own children to college if you don’t value it in others? Oh–only for you, not for anyone else?

    Why should academics have to constantly defend themselves?


  52. - blue dog dem - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 5:54 pm:

    Anony. Sometimes people don’t really want what they think want. It cracks me up when conservatives want free market principles in some areas, but not others. Similarly, I find it sorry when folks rally around a European education system, but want to keep Outdated and costly elements of the American system. Same way with health care. I call it hypocrisy.


  53. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 7:02 pm:

    I would like to draw everyone’s attention to the Downstate article on SIUC’s International Festival. This says it all about the Universities trend towards extinction.


  54. - east central - Monday, Feb 5, 18 @ 9:01 pm:

    If you want to compare funding to state universities, include the pension normal cost but exclude the pension debt cost.


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