In this Jan. 22, 2014 photo, University of Illinois Chancellor Phyllis Wise talks with university President Timothy Killeen in the provost’s office at the Swanlund Administration Building in Champaign, Ill. Wise says the budget at the university’s Urbana-Champaign campus is her top priority for the coming year. She says that Gov. Bruce Rauner has said to expect budget cuts. But Wise says furloughs and staff cuts aren’t among the options the campus is considering as it prepares for life with less state funding. | John Dixon / AP

University of Illinois chancellor: Budget is top priority

SHARE University of Illinois chancellor: Budget is top priority
SHARE University of Illinois chancellor: Budget is top priority

CHAMPAIGN — With warnings from the new governor that money from the state will be cut, the budget is the top priority ahead for University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus Chancellor Phyllis Wise.

How the university spends its money will be even more important than usual after Gov. Bruce Rauner’s warning, Wise said in an interview with The News-Gazette in Champaign.

“He’s already given us notice that we have to count on budget cuts,” she said. “At these kinds of times, it becomes even more important that we are strategic, that we continue to invest in what is essential for the long-term vibrancy of the campus while we decide where we’re going to have to make some cuts.”

But personnel moves such as hiring freezes and furloughs are not possibilities, she said.

In the interview, Wise said she thinks President Barack Obama’s idea to provide two free years of community college education could be a good one, provided the money to pay for it isn’t taken from funds now devoted to four-year schools.

Wise also discussed the importance of having winning sports teams as a sort of gateway to the university.

Illinois’ football team has endured three straight losing seasons. The other most visible team on campus, the men’s basketball team, missed the NCAA Tournament last season.

“Insofar as athletics is an ambassador to the rest of the academic house, it’s important,” she said.

Wise said she has great confidence in athletic director Mike Thomas.

The Latest
On May 18, 1978, a group of about 100 Chicago Latinos protested in the post office’s unfair hiring practices. Here’s how it turned out.
LaVar Ball is known to “speak it into existence,” and did so with ESPN 1000’s David Kaplan. Not only did the father of point guard Lonzo Ball feel his son would be ready by fall camp in rehabbing his knee injury, but will do so under his watchful eye the “right way.”
The boy was shot Wednesday night after he jumped from the car and began running in the 800 block of North Cicero in Austin, according to a preliminary statement from police.
The woman, 21, was found in the basement bathroom of the home in the 200 block of West 105th Street with a gunshot wound to the head.
A veteran living with a mental illness, he lays out hundreds each month on coffee, fast food and marijuana while his four children go without.