Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Local colleges see effects of state backlog

As of late last week, the state owed the University of Illinois about $323 million, with $233 million of that owed from fiscal 2011. About $10.5 million of that is owed UIS.

Susan Koch, chancellor at UIS, said the university’s responses to the shortfall were implemented before she started her position this summer.

“We’re being very, very prudent in financial management,” she said. “We’ve implemented an extra step with every hire, even replacement hires. We’re asking, ‘Is the position needed? Can duties be reorganized to cover it?’”

Koch said UIS is “constantly engaged in budget planning, sometimes weekly.”

A system-wide administrative review and restructuring program has saved $26 million. That effort includes leveraging purchasing power among the three U of I campuses.

“We’ve benefited greatly from that,” she said.

However, UIS hasn’t shortchanged the learning process, despite the state’s financial woes.

Koch's comments were featured in an October 19, 2011, article in The State Journal-Register.