University Park, IL,
17:01 PM

President Maimon Stands with University Presidents for Increased Higher Education Funding

Governors State University President Elaine P. Maimon recently traveled to Springfield to advocate in support of a capital bill for campus improvements and construction, as well as for appropriations for overall university operations.

In two separate press conferences, Dr. Maimon stood with university presidents, lawmakers, laborers, and leaders in education and healthcare.

In the first conference, a coalition for infrastructure projects across the state or “vertical construction,'' unveiled "Build Up Illinois," a comprehensive building plan for billions of dollars in projects.

The Capital Development Board, which oversees the design and construction of state-funded facilities, estimates repairs to state facilities will cost $7.8 billion, with just under $6.7 billion needed for projects at public universities.

In a separate press conference that addressed much-needed state financial support for higher education, President Maimon said public institutions need much more support because public universities are still recovering from the budget crisis that ended at the beginning of FY19.

The lack of state financial support for higher education created a crisis of confidence in the state’s public universities which resulted in decreased enrollment.

“Restoring funding public to universities at appropriate levels is an investment not only in Illinois students, but an investment in the state,”  President Maimon said during the conference led by House Appropriations Higher Education Committee Chair La Shawn K. Ford, D-Chicago.

In the conference, Ford urged his fellow legislators to provide more funding for public universities, which are still reeling from a two-year budget crisis. Though a budget was eventually passed in 2018, more investment is needed for public universities, he said.

“Last year’s funding level is not adequate,’’ Ford said. “We simply cannot maintain the status quo of asking higher education every year to do more with less. This year’s budget will have a significant impact on our universities now and moving forward, which makes it critical that lawmakers prioritize the need to improve funding levels for our institutions,” he said.

President Maimon has been a strong advocate for increased state funding for colleges and universities.  Read more of her comments at the conference here.