Illinois State University President Al Bowman delivers the State of the University address on Sept. 27, 2012. (Photo courtesy YouTube)
By Eric Stock
NORMAL - The state of Illinois State University is strong despite continued funding uncertainty, that's according to ISU President Al Bowman who gave his annual address on Thursday.
"The phrase 'financial sustainability' carries a meaning that reaches far beyond ills that are cured through mere belt-tightening. For some institutions, these words strike at the very heart of economic survival," Bowman said.
Bowman said the state's pension 'mess' adds another layer of uncertainty. He said some reforms, if enacted, would drop state funding for public universities back to 1989 levels.
Bowman added that his top concern regarding pensions is that any reforms don't put Illinois at a competitive disadvantage.
"In my conversation with people in Springfield about it, I've been very clear that whatever reforms are put in place, we have to allow universities to continue to recruit and retain talented faculty and staff members," Bowman said during the question and answer portion of the address.
But Bowman said the university has overcome funding shortages by boosting fundraising, while making major facility upgrades and and setting records for graduation and retention rates.
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