UIS called textbook example of where to put blame for higher ed crisis
The Illinois Policy Institute says the state’s higher education crisis is manifesting at the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS) in the form of significant increases to tuition, which more than doubled over the course of a decade.
In a report, Ted Dabrowski, the institute's vice president of policy, and policy analyst John Klingner, show the average cost of UIS tuition and fees was $5,965 in 2006 and $12,411 in 2016, a 108 percent increase and the second-highest growth rate among the state’s public universities over that period.
“The higher-education crisis has not resulted from Illinois’ budget gridlock,” Dabrowski and Klingner wrote. “Rather, skyrocketing pensions, bloated administrative costs and soaring tuition and fees for students have caused it. These are all self-inflicted wounds.”
The number of administrators in Illinois’ public universities has spiked in the past decade, hitting a ratio of one administrator to every 45 students in 2011, they wrote, adding that the high costs of increased administrative staff -- more than half of public university administrators have a base salary of $100,000 or more -- are a significant factor in the higher education crisis.
More troubling are the retirement costs of the state’s public higher education institutions, the report said. The State University Retirement System’s annual pension benefits hit $37 billion in 2014, an astronomical increase from the 1987 figure of $4.2 billion. Pensions now account for more than half of state funding for higher education.