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Rauner returns to bashing U of I

Tuesday, Oct 9, 2018

* Could the U of I do better? Sure. But they wouldn’t have to raise so much money if the state was a reliable partner

“The University of Illinois has an extraordinary alumni network,” Rauner recently told Crain’s editorial board. “Only one of them, oh, actually two, have given any material amount of money to the university, and (it has) dozens of half-a-billion to billion to multi- to decca-billionaires. Most of them have never given a nickel. Why not? The U of I is atrocious at fundraising. They treated their alumni shabbily.”

Nonetheless, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign landed its largest gift ever this year, receiving $150 million from Chicago private-equity pro and alum Larry Gies, who donated to the school’s College of Business. And the system’s foundation, which raises funds across the university’s three campuses, Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield, reported a record $499 million for this year.

While Gies as well as big-name alumni such as Chicago venture capitalist Steve Miller and Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur Tom Siebel have given hundreds of millions of dollars to UIUC, there are others who have been lower-profile in their philanthropy, if not absent. Only 6.9 percent of the university’s alumni contributed to the school last year, compared with about 7.8 percent nationally for all institutions and 7.2 percent for public research institutions, like UIUC, according to the Council for Aid to Education. Also, U of I system’s $2.73 billion endowment across the three campuses is paltry compared to those of prestigious private schools, and even some public ones. […]

Public universities are increasingly focused on private donations as state funding declines. Illinois schools are particularly keen on it after a depletion of reserves during a recent two-year budget impasse that underscored the cash-strapped state’s unreliable support. Illinois allocated $600.5 million to the university system’s $6.8 billion budget this year for a record 85,600 students, including the biggest population, 49,340, at the system’s most prestigious campus, Urbana-Champaign. […]

“We are going flat-out on our overall fundraising efforts here,” University of Illinois System President Tim Killeen says. The system has raised more than half of its $3.1 billion goal.

…Adding… Let’s add a bona fide screwup to this post

Former SIU System President Randy Dunn’s lack of action on a key funding request may have hindered Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s recruitment efforts in his final months on the job, according to documents obtained by The Southern Illinoisan via a Freedom of Information Act request.

E-mails between top administrators show that Dunn declined to give final approval on $499,000 in recruitment spending at SIUC for more than two months this summer, setting back crucial and time-sensitive recruitment initiatives. Per SIU protocol, any expenditure over $100,000 must be approved by the system president.

The money was requested to purchase the names and contact information of students who took the SAT, ACT and other standardized tests. The name buys are standard practice at four-year universities, and are “critical” to new-student recruitment, said Jennifer DeHaemers, SIUC’s associate chancellor for enrollment management. […]

“When we can’t spend the money to purchase names, it slows our recruiting down,” DeHaemers said. “Other schools beat you in getting their information in front of students, which makes us play catch-up.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 10:28 am:

    –“Only one of them, oh, actually two, have given any material amount of money to the university, and (it has) dozens of half-a-billion to billion to multi- to decca-billionaires.–

    These kinds of statements — is it too much of the meds, or not enough?

  2. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 10:29 am:

    Rauner should donate the Puzo Papers to UIUC… the “centuries” of Rauner prestige at Dartmouth.

    A “needy” man, craving applause.

    Chancellor Jones? Thoughts?


    ===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.”===

    Rauner wants state universities closed, UIUC crippled.

    Blaming alums for refusing to fully fund, by his signature, for 3 fiscal years is on Rauner.

    Governors own.

  3. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 10:33 am:

    Didn’t he already get the News-Gazette endorsement? I guess he sees no downside to beating up on the Illini now.

  4. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 10:33 am:

    ==“Only one of them, oh, actually two, have given any material amount of money to the university, and (it has) dozens of half-a-billion to billion to multi- to decca-billionaires. Most of them have never given a nickel. Why not? The U of I is atrocious at fundraising. They treated their alumni shabbily.”==

    Good ol’ G-Droppin’, Harley-ridin’ Bruce, standing up for the billionaire donor class as it faces the scourge of public universities.

  5. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 10:36 am:

    Too many potential U of I donors spending money on the Rauner Wine Club?

  6. - don the legend - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 10:45 am:

    To wordslinger’s question. Has to be too much meds. Not one mention of blaming Madigan.

    The man is definitely not well.

  7. - In Urbana - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 10:53 am:

    I thought the Crain’s headline overstated the reporting in the story. According to the story, 6.9% of alumni are giving to the U of I. The national average for public universities is 7.2%. Not exactly some huge gap. And that number has been steadily increasing the last few years.

  8. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 10:55 am:

    That’s what I want in a Governor. A guy who constantly bashes the state and state institutions.

  9. - Roman - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 10:55 am:

    No governor has done more to damage higher education in Illinois, yet in typical Rauner fashion, he blames someone else for any problem.

    By the way, if you track alumni donations to public universities, you’ll find a strong correlation between the success of their sports programs and the money they raise.

  10. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 10:57 am:

    From the Crain’s article:

    “For his part, Rauner says he’ll announce big-name donors for DPI in November, though that’s likely to depend on whether he’s re-elected that month.”

    How much has Rauner donated to the U of I system, or to any Illinois University. Alumni or not, he should put his money where his mouth is and pony up since he’s proclaimed over and over again how much he loves this state. Instead, he’ll most likely take the “football” home with him after the election. And, if he’s not “given” a second term, then he could always devote those fundraisin’ talents of his towards helpin’ out the U of I system by donating his expertise in raisin’ capital.

  11. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 11:02 am:

    When seeking improvement everybody knows that ripping the subject of improvement is the best way to go. /s

  12. - Earnest - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 11:08 am:

    >and (it has) dozens of half-a-billion to billion to multi- to decca-billionaires. Most of them have never given a nickel. Why not? The U of I is atrocious at fundraising.

    Once again, Rauner chooses destruction and disparagement over trying to do some good for higher education or human services. Rather than shame the university, he could have used his megaphone to shame the people failing to support their alma mater. Or he could have made a big donation and strong-armed them to go along. So many options beyond destruction available.

  13. - Ryan - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 11:13 am:

    A Rauner campaigner came to my house the other day. I told him I work in higher education. He aid thanks, and left.

  14. - flea - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 11:42 am:

    Multi family members,lifetime alums, quit when they canned the chief……

  15. - Roman - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 11:47 am:

    Adding to my previous point about athletic success and alumni fundraising, look what happened at Loyola after their Final Four run:

  16. - Anon - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 12:18 pm:

    Any mail that my student(s) get from SIU goes right in the recycling bin, regardless of when it’s sent…no way I’m sending my kids or my money there.

  17. - Maestro - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 12:34 pm:

    As an alum, I can now assure the governor that any possibility of me voting for him went out the door with the latest claim.

  18. - Deadbeat Conservative - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 12:34 pm:

    =Any mail that my student(s) get from SIU goes right in the recycling bin, regardless of when it’s sent…no way I’m sending my kids or my money there.=

    That’s unfortunate: Their Spfld. Med School is impressive.

  19. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 12:40 pm:

    You complain Rauner doesn’t support U of I? Come on.

    He bought a brand new Illini hat, didn’t he?

  20. - Southfarmllama - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 12:55 pm:

    Nothing like bashing your flagship state institution in an attempt to win votes. Speaking as an alumni, he can go pound sand.

  21. - OldIllini - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 1:49 pm:

    For some private research universities, undergraduate alumni donations are in the 50-70% range, so 7% is a long way to go.

  22. - low level - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 2:05 pm:

    Champaign grad myself. I miss the days when governors had budgets that invested in public universities.

    Youd have thought $18 watch, “average Joe” guy would get that the three branches of U of I and the other taxpayer supported institutions of higher learning allow kids from middle to working class families to get a good education.

    Utterly cluess. Has learned nothing and doesnt care to feom
    The looks of it.

  23. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 2:12 pm:

    =You complained Rauner doesn’t support U of I=

    But he wears a U of I pin on his bikers vest.

  24. - 37B - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 2:27 pm:

    In the absence of a similar slow walk of funding for SIU-Edwardsville this seems like less screwup and more sabotage.

  25. - filmmaker prof - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 2:36 pm:

    Roman - only true with donations to athletics, not academics. Talk to the professional fundraising people at universities and they’ll tell you the same.

    Case in point, Univ of Illinois, Urbana all-time record high in donations. How are their sports programs doing?

  26. - Stumpy's bunker - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 2:48 pm:

    Yes, governor…we get it; the U of I just isn’t Dartmouth. Apparently you think EIU, WIU and Chicago State are really not like Dartmouth.

    Looking forward to you expounding more on this once you get settled in in Italy.

  27. - McLincoln - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 5:04 pm:

    “I miss the days when governors had budgets that invested in public universities.”

    - Public universities turn out a higher percentage of democrats than do Dartmouth and others like it. Additionally, many employees at public U’s are unionized. All part of the Koch master plan. This issue is not exclusive to Illinois.

  28. - blue dog dem - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 6:24 pm:

    To my alma mater. Do you think offering a course in Trumpaganda is helping your cause?

  29. - illini - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 6:40 pm:

    @BlueDog - can you be specific?

  30. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 7:08 pm:

    Illini. It’s a new 8 week course being offered. I think the idea is ok to explore, but the course title is sure to offend.

  31. - illini - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 7:18 pm:

    @Blue Dog - at UIUC or SIUC?

  32. - Blue Dog Dem - Tuesday, Oct 9, 18 @ 7:45 pm:


  33. - Truthfulguy - Monday, Oct 15, 18 @ 11:14 am:

    What the governor said is actually true. No major donation has come to the College of Engineering even when it has produced tech titans over the years.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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