Call to Action

The proposed budget outlined by Governor Bruce Rauner calls for a 31.5 percent -- $209 million -- reduction in state funding support for the University of Illinois. 

State support is paramount to the University of Illinois’s efforts to provide a quality education to a growing number of students and health care to some of the state’s under-served communities. The University’s activities are far reaching and support the state’s public service and economic development goals in many additional ways. 

U of I: An asset to the state

The University of Illinois is an asset to the state of Illinois. Here's why:

The U of I provides value and impact across the state

 The U of I provides value to citizens of the state through a wide range of educational and outreach programs and services. For example:

  • U of I Extension offers programs – from 4-H and urban agricultural education to the Illinois Tax School and the Forest Resource Center – in all of Illinois’ 102 counties.
  • The U of I Hospital in Chicago logs more the 465,000 patient visits each year.
  • WILL, the not-for-profit public media service of the College of Media in Urbana, provides more than 330 hours of Illinois-focused agricultural radio programming each year. Online audio features were accessed more than 93,000 times in 2014.

The U of I is a major driver of economic growth for the state

The University's nearly $1 billion research enterprise makes it a major driver of economic development and growth in the state. For example:

  • Urbana engineering alumni founded multibillion-dollar, Illinois-based companies Flex-n-Gate and W.W. Grainger, Inc. and the state’s largest African-American owned architecture and engineering firm, Milhouse Engineering & Construction.
  • Externally funded research creates jobs for 12,000+ faculty and staff (40% of total U of I employees). These employees stimulate their local economies as they purchase goods and services and pay taxes each year.

The U of I is a pipeline of talent for workforce development

Each year, the U of I educates thousands of students across all disciplines, preparing them to enter the workforce and be productive citizens.

  • The University of Illinois has more than 78,000 students and graduates 20,000 students each year.
  • U of I has 378,000 alumni living in Illinois.
  • UIS is a leader in online education. More than 1,250 Illinois residents across the state took UIS online courses in 2014.
  • One in six physicians in the state graduated from the UIC College of Medicine. One in three Illinois pharmacists and almost half of the state's dentists are graduates of UIC's College of Pharmacy and College of Dentistry.

Next Steps

The University of Illinois encourages you to voice your opinion on how these historic cuts will affect you, your work, and the student experience at the University of Illinois.

Illinois Connection gives you a quick way to contact your legislator and members of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the House Higher Education Appropriations Committee before the appropriations hearing on March 19th.

IC provides draft letters:

Contacting your legislator

  • When contacting your legislator, please be brief, polite, and positive.
  • Use your personal phone or personal email account. 
  • Communicate with your state representative before work hours, after work hours, or during any normally scheduled lunch or break using your work computer. Do not participate in this activity while at work if it will significantly interfere with your ability to perform your job effectively.
  • Important note: This process does not represent a prohibited political activity and it is not forbidden by the State Officials Employee Ethics Act.



Contact Jennifer Creasey, interim director for state relations, 217-333-1086