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U of Illinois president: Cuts may be less than proposed

URBANA — New University of Illinois President Timothy Killeen says he is optimistic state-budget cuts will not be as deep as the 31.5 percent that Gov. Bruce Rauner initially proposed.

But in his first day on the job Monday in Urbana, Killeen said he is still preparing for reductions. He said any cuts needed on the university’s three main campuses in Urbana, Chicago and Springfield would start with administrative expenses.

Killeen said one of his top priorities will be emphasizing the value of the university to lawmakers as they work on a state budget. And Killeen wants to make the university a stronger part of efforts to revitalize the state’s economy.

Killeen replaces retiring President Robert Easter.

Killeen is the former vice chancellor for research at The State University of New York.