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You cannot ignore fiscal realities

Monday, Apr 16, 2018

* Tribune editorial

If you ask Illinois public university leaders why so many top high schoolers bolt for out-of-state colleges, you’ll hear a chorus of excuses … er, reasons. Many boil down to: We want more money. Few of those leaders acknowledge reality: Illinois’ public colleges are selling a product that progressively fewer students want to buy.

* But

Between 2000 and 2015, Illinois cut nearly $1.4 billion from General Fund appropriations to Higher Education—even before the ongoing budget crisis, which has cost Illinois colleges and universities over a billion addition dollars.

That CTBA analysis was published in January of 2017, months before the budget and tax hike overrides.

It’s not that the rest of the Trib’s editorial has bad ideas. Some are good. But sweeping aside the harsh reality of all too real funding cuts and not even mentioning the devastation done to higher ed budgets by the impasse is just willfull ignorance, particularly since that editorial board repeatedly cheered on the impasse. In other words, they pushed hard to squeeze the higher ed beast and now mock the battered shell for pleading poverty.

* Check out the U of I’s funding, for instance...

Notice anything?

* In other higher education news

After Thursday’s vote against a plan to shift more money from SIUC to SIUE, a state lawmaker with ties to Edwardsville wants to split the two campuses.

State Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Belleville) has suggested the idea several times over the past couple decades, but he still feels the effort could win approval, especially in light of this week’s events.

Hoffman said he feels like SIUE doesn’t benefit much from being in the SIU system. He also feels like the two universities have different missions, and having different governing boards for each one will allow both to thrive. […]

“I would provide money to adequately fund the university systems, which would, I believe, not end up with SIU Carbondale losing money but both the universities would actually see an increase in the money,” Hoffman said.

* More

Hoffman introduced similar bills to split the SIU system in 2003 and 2013, and Rep. Thomas Holbrook, D-Belleville, pushed such legislation in 2005.

Hoffman said he filed the bill this week because he believes SIUC and SIUE have two different missions.

“It seems that if you were simply to have separate boards that could focus on the needs and the strengths of each individual campus, it would make more sense and they would both flourish,” Hoffman said.

* Related…

* Why Would the Government Stop States From Helping Student Borrowers?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

40 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 2:00 pm:

    –But sweeping aside the harsh reality of all too real funding cuts and not even mentioning the devastation done to higher ed budgets by the impasse is just willfull ignorance, particularly since that editorial board repeatedly cheered on the impasse.–

    Meh, if they didn’t have willful ignorance coupled with a lack of self-awareness there’d be no point in getting out of bed; that’s what gets them through the day.


  2. - City Zen - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 2:03 pm:

    Why not have SIUE under the U of I umbrella? It’s the same distance to Springfield and Carbondale.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 2:07 pm:

    The RaunerS want those like Rep. Hoffman to do the final cuts do destroy higher education, while refusing to fund higher education for a whole fiscal years..

    The graph says it all.

    The stopgap, the overriden budget finally funding higher ed, those two acts… not by the RaunerS.

    The RaunerS support Dartmouth. Dormitory, library, endowments… Bruce refuses to fully fund higher education… and Rep. Hoffman is helping, as the RaunerS hoped others would.

    As @StatehouseChick says… “Simple”


  4. - Annonin' - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 2:16 pm:

    Let’s not forget the Tribbies continue to hype U of Alabama as a place to be. ‘Bama ranked #464 in the most recent WSJ ranking. UofI #48, UofIC #111 and SIUC #338 — best of the directionals. Hard to listen too hard to Tribbie rants. Especially in the shadow of the Zell/Ferro leadership death spiral.

    Mr/Ms City Zen hard to imagine U of I would care less about something that the Springfield, but giving them Eville might change all that.


  5. - 47th Ward - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 2:21 pm:

    The chart also shows how cuts to higher education began under Quinn (and probably Blagojevich), which pretty much destroys the tired talking points that Democrats never cut spending, they only raise taxes.

    This proves Democrats can do both, lol.


  6. - Maximus - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 2:34 pm:

    I’m going to draw a conclusion from this but I might be wrong. Is it safe to conclude that Illinois is NOT funding it’s education as much as other states? The other conclusion that could be reached is that Illinois universities are way more expensive to operate than other out-of-state universities. An interesting comparison would be to look at how much it costs to run some major out-of-state universities and compare that to some Illinois similar-sized schools and then also look at the amount of funding given to these schools.


  7. - Blue dog dem - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 2:41 pm:

    My question has always been,” why cant we lend kids money at a decent rate?”. Forget about the default rate. The federal govt has forgiven loans before. The pittance a student can borrow via fafsa as compared to commercial loans is where govt should be concentrating its efforts.


  8. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 2:42 pm:

    - Annonin -

    If you think the financial ruin of the Illinois universities and the enrollment numbers will be helped by “rankings”, good luck with that.

    College debt is too real, and students will avoid it, familesxwll avoid it too.

    The prestige of paying full price for college at UIUC, SIU,?ISU… versus getting tuition covered elsewhere, that’s the game.

    Plus, how many people are showing up to watch the Illini spring football game?

    Don’t think that matters?

    Ask Loyola alums and admission office personnel if that Final Four appearance means anything.

    A state not willing to make a run at students who are at the top 10% top 5% of the crop in its Home state, prestige or not, the whole system collapses on the weight of that decision.


  9. - Old and In The Way - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 2:50 pm:

    Maximus
    Illinois universities on the whole are just as cost effective and efficient as universities in other states. Not to say that there could be further improvements but the reason for not funding higher education adequately was never a question of efficiency but rather political. As the number of potential students declined after the baby boomers etc aged out there was simply not the political will. Same for k-12. I recall IBHE’s Dr. Keith Sanders predicting this long before it started. Unfortunately Illinois also had other funding needs ( such as pensions and corporate welfare) that exacerbated this malpractice. Dems and Republicans along with Raunerites are all guilty!


  10. - illini - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 2:52 pm:

    — A state not willing to make a run at students who are at the top 10% top 5% of the crop in its Home state, prestige or not, the whole system collapses on the weight of that decision.—

    And when you add the cuts in actual funding, the results should come as no surprise.

    In addition, while the dollar amounts are real, it is the diminished value of those dollars over the past 8 years that have further eroded the real value of those investments.

    It comes down to priorities.


  11. - City Zen - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 2:56 pm:

    ==Illinois universities are way more expensive to operate than other out-of-state universities==

    The University of Michigan system’s #1 source of revenue is medicine. UofI system’s #1 source of revenue is state payments on behalf of covering SURS contributions and employee health insurance.

    https://www.uillinois.edu/cms/one.aspx?portalId=1324&pageId=136765


  12. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 2:58 pm:

    ===And when you add the cuts in actual funding, the results should come as no surprise.

    In addition, while the dollar amounts are real, it is the diminished value of those dollars over the past 8 years that have further eroded the real value of those investments.===

    The funny thing about all this, and you’re spot on here, is that…

    “Well, we’re just better, and the enrollment abs those paying to be there says… “

    No.

    Illinois is losing students because the fiscal realities at families’ kitchen tables and at the tables of General Assembly hearings say the same thing…

    … the fiscal impact of not funding Illinois higher education and being competitive to keep Illinois’ students will close state universities like Diana and Bruce Rauner want.

    I gave examples of what I’d suggest, right or wrong, good or bad, but the goal is to 1) fully fund a competitive higher education system, 2) be competitive to keep as many Illinois students in the state of Illinois.

    The rest, other “goals”, seem to run counter to saving higher ed… so far.


  13. - Scamp640 - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 3:01 pm:

    The Tribune editorial is both right and wrong. It is right to say that one of the best ways to keep young people in Illinois is by fixing Higher Education. They are wrong in their prescription of the fix.

    Both Republicans and Democrats have failed higher education. State funding for higher education peaked in 2002, so Democrats are complicit. But the state budget impasse really hurt. And Republicans are surely to blame here. And simply “restructuring” or “streamlining” universities is not the answer. The Tribune editorial writers, like many conservatives, believe that cutting departments and pushing for efficiencies will *magically* make universities more affordable. The only way for the state of Illinois to entice more young people to stay in Illinois, is to invest *more* money in higher education.

    The idea that we should have each university specialize in a particular set of disciplines is also wrongheaded. When students arrive on campus, very few actually know what they want to do. Each campus has to offer a range of disciplines and courses to allow students to find their way. If Illinois universities become too narrow in their options, students will also go to other states because students want choice. It is surprising to me how many people, who have influence over the higher education policy debate, actually don’t know what they are talking about. They make prescriptions for fixing higher education without really knowing what goes on in the minds of 18 year olds and how 18, 19, and 20 years actually experience university. I know a little bit about this because I have kids currently attending public higher education in Illinois.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 3:09 pm:

    Let’s revisit…

    ===While Illinois went for more than two years without a budget, public universities like the U of I confronted smaller and less-reliable state funding, and many out-of-state students gave second thoughts to applying.

    “Given the financial challenges facing higher education over the past 25 months, our focus has been on protecting our students’ Illinois experience and ensuring their success,” Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Robert Jones said in a statement. “We are proud that despite the state budget crisis, our graduation rate, freshman retention rate, admitted student quality and reputation among peers and high school counselors all held steady or improved. Our class sizes crept up, but only slightly.”===

    Who was governor those 25 months cited?


  15. - AndyIllini - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 3:27 pm:

    For context, in 2010 pension contributions were 14% of the budget compared to 23% today.


  16. - City Zen - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 3:38 pm:

    Why not combine Illinois universities into 2 systems: UofI and Illinois State?

    UofI: Champaign, Chicago, Springfield, Edwardsville
    IL St: everyone else

    Each system would have presence across the state.


  17. - filmmaker prof - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 3:46 pm:

    Willy, got to call you on your claims about the relationship between sports success and student enrollment. Loyola will definitely see a flood of new applications — this year and maybe next; then it will go back to what it was before. You only get that blip one time, and it’s temporary. Think about it — why would the U of Alabama need to poach Illinois students by offering free tuition in order to fill their seats? they have the most dominant college football program for decades.
    Also, yes UIUC football and basketball are at one of their lowest ebbs. But, UIUC has its largest student body of all time this year, and applications are also at record highs.
    Sports success has no long term impact on either enrollment or applications, no matter how much money you pour into it.


  18. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 3:53 pm:

    === Think about it===

    I have. Read about it in the Trib too.

    ===…why would the U of Alabama need to poach Illinois students by offering free tuition in order to fill their seats?===

    What students are getting that “free tuition”?

    Students with 2.3 GPAs and 13 ACT scores?

    No.

    They are Illinois’ top tier students… 3.5 or higher… 30+ ACT or higher.

    These students aren’t garden variety for states. They are State scholars, National Merit scholars….

    ===Also, yes UIUC football and basketball are at one of their lowest ebbs. But, UIUC has its largest student body of all time this year, and applications are also at record highs.===

    Lower standards…the Trib did a whole article on the lowering of standards too.

    ===Sports success has no long term impact on either enrollment or applications, no matter how much money you pour into it.===

    Google “Doug Flutie Effect”

    Thanks.


  19. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 3:55 pm:

    ===Loyola will definitely see a flood of new applications — this year and maybe next; then it will go back to what it was before. You only get that blip one time, and it’s temporary.===

    Gonzaga, Virginia Commonweath, George Mason…

    Read about the “Doug Flutie Effect”


  20. - Ron - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 4:06 pm:

    I still don’t understand all the hand wringing. Illinois (really Chicago) is attracting the young and the educated from all over the country and the world. Why do we care if they we’re educated in Illinois or Massachusetts?


  21. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 4:09 pm:

    - Ron -

    Crain’s…

    ===Gov. Bruce Rauner long has argued that one of the state’s best economic bets would be to somehow bridge the 140-mile gap that separates two of its strongest assets: the University of Illinois main campus in Urbana-Champaign and the city of Chicago. He thinks he’s got it figured out.

    Joined by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and University of Illinois President Timothy Killeen, Rauner plans to announce tomorrow morning a project called the Discovery Partners Institute, which would be built on a 62-acre site along the Chicago River south of Roosevelt Road that is being developed by Related Midwest. Related calls the site “78″ in reference to hopes of becoming the city’s 78th neighborhood. The property also has been floated as a possible site for Amazon’s second headquarters, which the city and state jointly are pursuing. […]

    The institute would be funded initially by as much as $200 million in private donors lined up by the governor, according to people who’ve heard the pitch. Exactly what programs will be represented is unclear, but it likely would involve both the university’s flagship campus and the University of Illinois at Chicago and both research and instruction activities. In broad strokes, the idea is to get academics and companies to collaborate on “pushing the art of the possible,” said one executive who was pitched on the idea by Rauner. It’s part of a broader innovation corridor envisioned by the governor that has multiple “nodes.”

    With the clock running out on Rauner’s first term, the announcement would allow him to show some momentum on the economic-development front (along with hopes of landing Amazon and a Toyota-Mazda assembly plant, which the state also is pursuing). The question will be whether he can deliver.===

    Read that last paragraph.

    Thanks.


  22. - Ron - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 4:09 pm:

    In my office alone, we have graduates from, NY, OH, WI, IN, MA, NE, CA, FL just off the top of my mind.


  23. - filmmaker prof - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 4:16 pm:

    Willy, we’ve gone back and forth about this lower standards argument before. Average ACT and SAT scores for UIUC freshman haven’t gone down, even though the freshman classes have grown. More students with the same qualifications, not less.

    There are studies that show that the increases in applications due to sports success come from students below the average ACT & SAT for those universities. I’ll try to dig it out if you’re interested.

    When UIUC had the #2 basketball team in 2005, applications skyrocketed the following year. One year later, they immediately dropped down to where they had been before.


  24. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 4:25 pm:

    - filmmaker prof -

    Alabama is going after students that UIUC can have, but can’t compete with financially.

    That’s the game.

    Throw in 5 national championships in 9 years, and Illinois’ football prowess as of late… Alabama went to the NCAA Tourney in basketball…

    And let’s talk about that lower standard admission… for in-stare students… to pay tuition…

    Again, we’re talking about higher education devaluing IN-STATE students, to the flagship, which leads to Iowa State being chosen over SIU, Western Michigan being chosen over ISU…

    We’re losing our students with an overall package other schools tout, including showing that student loans are the same if you go to Kentucky or Western, and after we give you a break on tuition to in-state, you can go to Rupp Arena to evjoy your school’s basketball.

    “You really want to stay in Illinois?”


  25. - 47th Ward - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 4:26 pm:

    ===There are studies that show that the increases in applications due to sports success come from students below the average ACT & SAT for those universities.===

    Then tell us how acceptance rates affect university rankings. The academic profile of an unaccepted applicant means nothing. But a lower percentage of accepted students helps to boost a university’s academic ranking.

    Lots of studies will show that this is true. So anything to raise applications, ipso facto, improves a university’s reputation.


  26. - City Zen - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 4:27 pm:

    ==UIUC has its largest student body of all time this year, and applications are also at record highs.==

    UIUC’s entire enrollment gain is attributed to non-Illinois residents.

    UIUC out/in-state enrollment:
    1990 = 6,700/29,000
    2006 = 9,900/31,300
    2017 = 19,200/28,600

    UIUC’s in-state enrollment went down in 2007 and 2008, the years immediately following their Final Four appearance.


  27. - Barney - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 4:28 pm:

    This is just one example of fiscal malfeasance that has plagued the state for decades. It is hardly the only issue. As 10,000 people a day in this country turn 65, there are plenty of interested people waiting to see how Illinois addresses the problems. And if significant tax increases are the only recommendation that the great leaders come up with, many will opt out of Illinois.

    I get that student debt is a big issue. I also get that not everyone is excited about providing a free college education for everyone. Time for tough choices.


  28. - Ron - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 4:29 pm:

    And where do those Iowa State grads go after graduation?

    Chicago.


  29. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 4:31 pm:

    - Ron -

    I fed you, you won’t address what I gave you, but you want a drive-by…

    Nope. Do better.


  30. - Ron - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 4:40 pm:

    OW, there is nothing to respond to. Chicago is a magnet for educated people. I am not particularly concerned with politics and appearances. Economic greatly concern me though.


  31. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 4:43 pm:

    ===Why do we care if they we’re educated in Illinois or Massachusetts?===

    I explained why, using an example, and the example exposing why…

    ===Economic greatly concern me though.===

    Asked and answered.

    - Ron -, your trolling is tiring.


  32. - Burn it down now - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 5:20 pm:

    = In my office alone, we have graduates from, NY, OH, WI, IN, MA, NE, CA, FL just off the top of my mind. =

    Don’t forget yourself - Liberty U


  33. - City Zen - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 5:40 pm:

    Ron - Chicago metro has 2 of the Top 20 universities in the country and neither one requires state funding.


  34. - MyTwoCents - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 5:46 pm:

    Ron, the reason it matters is because as shocking as it is to realize a decent percentage of Illinois residents live outside of the Chicago MSA and that economy matters too. Universities anchor local economies throughout Illinois and their economic health is important. Also, it improves the overall economy in Illinois.


  35. - wordslinger - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 6:30 pm:

    – Chicago metro has 2 of the Top 20 universities in the country and neither one requires state funding.–

    Sure is swell of them to refuse that MAP grant money.

    How much do they pay in property taxes? Nothing? How did that happen?

    Does government guarantee loans that students fork over to private universities? Give out any grants?

    And are there any tax advantages to contributing to private university endowments? Like really big ones?

    Could go on and on and on….


  36. - Managing Millennials - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 6:39 pm:

    Ron - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 4:29 pm:
    - And where do those Iowa State grads go after graduation?
    Chicago. -

    Indeed they do Ron. But they come in making less, with more debt, and are less likely to buy a home (the research shows millennials’ aversion to homebuying, even without the property tax woes Chicago faces). My entire staff is millennial age. I’ve already had two leave to take jobs in Tennessee and Texas, respectively. They took two years here with the cost of living, and then moved on. Both were students from out-of-state universities as an FYI. They came here because they were “excited to live in Chicago,” but left because they couldn’t believe the costs here. And mind you I work for a company that pays at a rate that’s definitely above the mean. If we don’t find economic solutions that really address the issues and, as Barney noted in his response, start making some tough choices, everyone in the state is going to feel a whole lot more pain.


  37. - Ron - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 7:43 pm:

    Managing millennials, so higher taxes is the answer?


  38. - Ron - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 7:44 pm:

    City Zen, yep. And we have two other that attract a lot of students, De Paul and Loyola.


  39. - Ron - Monday, Apr 16, 18 @ 7:47 pm:

    Also Managing, the fastest growing demographic in Chicago is highly educated and highly paid people, the fastest shrinking is the poorly educated and lower income. We have no problem attracting talent to Chicago.


  40. - Blue dog dem - Tuesday, Apr 17, 18 @ 6:29 am:

    Sounds like Chicagos problems are over.


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* FEATURE: Trio of local residents visit baseball's best stadiums
* White Sox Minor League Update: July 16, 2018
* White Sox Minor League Update: July 16, 2018
* White Sox Farm Report – July 16, 2018
* Super Stats Pack: Team Stats
* Super Stats Pack: Team Stats
* Red Sox have been a hit, but MLB season has been a big whiff


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