Illinois approves funding request

By Galvin Kennedy

NIU has not been greatly affected by battles in Springfield over education funding, as the university will receive about $119 million for operations in fiscal year 1990.

With respect to the money allocated toward higher education, opponents of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s plan apparently argued in vain because “the final figure of $119,078,500 is the exact amount initially requested,” said Eddie Williams, NIU vice president for finance and planning.

The allocation includes an 8 percent increase in faculty salaries compared with FY88 appropriations.

Williams pointed to a “major cost increase problem” as the reason for an 11 percent increase in library materials.

Other changes from last year’s budget include a 5 percent increase in utility costs and a 5 percent general price increase “intended to compensate for inflation,” Williams said.

About $2.8 million will be allocated to a variety of NIU programs such as writing projects at the College of Business, the CHANCE program and several other academic programs, he said.

According to a summary of FY90 appropriations for higher education operations and grants, NIU is not the only school to benefit. All other state universities will receive a percentage increase in operations and grants equal to NIU’s increase.

The single largest sum of money will be allocated to an addition to NIU’s Faraday Hall, the summary states. The project, which has been in the preliminary steps for three years, will cost $20 million, all of which is provided by the state and is separate from the $119 million for university operations.

“The addition will be on the west side of the existing Faraday extending out toward Normal Road,” Williams said.

“We understand that the governor may sign a bill which would provide NIU with almost $900,000 to be spent on the planning of a new engineering building,” he said.

“We have not finished allocating funds to the separate departments yet, so a detailed breakdown of where the money is going is not possible yet,” Williams said.

“This is the first time in many years that we have been given the opportunity to address some of the major concerns and needs of the campus, so we are pleased with the outcome,” he said.

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