December 4, 2002
IBHE TO ACT ON $2.7 BILLION BUDGET
SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Board of Higher
Education (IBHE) will vote next week on a proposed fiscal
2004 budget of $2.7 billion, an increase of nearly $124 million,
or 4.9 percent, in general funds spending over the current
The $341.8 million capital budget would fund 31 projects, and includes $30 million for repair and renovation projects at each public university and community college. The capital recommendations also support $50 million for the third year of a five-year, $250 million construction program at community colleges.
The capital budget is targeted at projects designed to protect the state's investment in higher education facilities, and the request is just $3.5 million, or 1 percent, higher than capital spending approved by the Governor and General Assembly for fiscal 2003.
In other business, the Board will receive a report on the issue of undocumented students, review the fourth annual Results Report outlining progress in meeting the goals of The Illinois Commitment, and, following the Board meeting, the Committee on Affordability will meet to hear from a panel of national experts on college costs.
The study of undocumented students was directed by House Resolution 892. It found dramatic demographic shifts in the 1990s. During that decade, the Hispanic population in Illinois grew 69 percent, and now makes up about 12 percent of the state's population. Meanwhile, Hispanic enrollments in college grew 80 percent between 1990 and 2001. Even so, though Hispanics make up 12.3 percent of the population, they constitute just 7.4 percent of enrollments in higher education and 6 percent of degrees awarded.
The study also found differences in the admissions policies of public institutions with respect to students who are not citizens.
Board members also will examine the Statewide Results Report, an accountability tool for gauging progress in meeting state goals under the higher education strategic plan, The Illinois Commitment. The report shows progress on several fronts including movement to strengthen teacher education efforts, assess student learning, and implement performance indicators for evaluating statewide and campus performance according to various criteria. The report noted slippage in affordability resulting from the current year increases in tuition and reduction in student aid.
After the Board meets, its special affordability committee will convene to hear presentations by nationally recognized authorities on the subject. Appearing before the committee will be Pat Callan, president of the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, a group that issued a report earlier this year concluding that there was a growing gap in making college affordable to low-income students. Also appearing will be Brian Fitzgerald, staff director of the federal Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance, and Jane Wellman, senior associate at the Institute for Higher Education Policy.