ISU Trustees Approve Budget, Major Project Requests | WGLT

ISU Trustees Approve Budget, Major Project Requests

Illinois State's Board of Trustees on Friday approved the university’s official operating budget of about $426 million for fiscal year already underway.

Trustees also decided how much to ask for from Springfield next year, as the university becomes less reliant on state funding. ISU President Larry Dietz said he believes the state isn't treating the university fairly despite ISU's successful track record. Dietz said the university must continue to do more with less.

“Based upon the current appropriation funding formula, Illinois State frankly is not being treated fairly even though we have increased or exceeded expectations in about every category that one would define as success of the university,” said Dietz.

Dietz pointed out the university's strong enrollment numbers and ability to operate during the state's historic budget impasse. Illinois public universities receive an average state appropriation of approximately $7,000 per student, while ISU receives about half of that amount.

Trustees also voted to send lawmakers the same wish list of major construction and rehabilitation projects on campus as they did last year. Trustees approved the $301 million capital appropriation request for fiscal year 2019, which begins next summer.

Dietz said these projects are vital to the university.

“As you also know, maintaining new and existing facilities is critical to the university and our needs continue to increase,” Dietz said to the board.

Projects included in the wish list include construction and rehabilitation to Milner Library, a new Mennonite College of Nursing building, and a University High School replacement. It is not clear whether state lawmakers will approve the request, as no new state funds were appropriated to support university capital projects last year.

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