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October 1, 2010

Finding A Better Way To Fund Higher Education For Illinois

Finance commission to discuss recommendations to restructure higher ed funding

SPRINGFIELD – The Higher Education Finance Study Commission will roll up its sleeves and begin deliberating on ways to link state funding of colleges and universities to state goals at a working session October 5th at Oakton Community College in Des Plaines.

The Commission has met three times and heard from national experts on higher education productivity, performance funding, and financial aid. Commissioners will now turn to recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly to address the goals of the Illinois Public Agenda for College and Career Success, the state’s blueprint for increasing college attainment for more Illinoisans.

“As a distinguished group of Illinois leaders knowledgeable about higher education funding policy, the Commission members have worked throughout the summer gathering facts and receiving input from leaders on the national higher education financing scene,” Carrie J. Hightman, Chairwoman of the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), said. “That necessary groundwork will now inform their deliberations as they forge a new path for Illinois to fund college access and success.”

The finance study commission, comprised of state legislators, academic finance experts, and a broad cross-section of education, business, labor, and nonprofit leaders, will meet at 9:30 a.m. at Oakton Community College, Room 1608, 1600 East Golf Road, Des Plaines.

The Commission was created by Senate Joint Resolution 88, sponsored by Senator Ed Maloney and Representative Fred Crespo, both of whom serve on the panel. Other legislative members are Senator Pam Althoff and Representative Bob Pritchard. SJR 88 was passed unanimously by both the Senate and House.

The Commission’s purpose is to examine higher education funding and develop recommendations to the Board of Higher Education, the Governor, and the General Assembly that will explicitly link the goals of the Illinois Public Agenda for College and Career Success to the state’s higher education budgeting process.
The Commission’s charge is to:

  • Evaluate current funding for Illinois higher education and compare it to peer states and institutions around the nation.
  • Develop a comprehensive funding strategy that connects state appropriations, tuition policies, and need-based student aid.
  • Consider alternative funding mechanisms to advance the goals of the Illinois Public Agenda, including improved student retention, program completion, and graduation.

Additional information about the Commission can be found at: http://www.ibhe.org/SJR88/default.htm.

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