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UIUC President and others Questioned by Senate

April 15, 2010

Ikenberry, other university presidents grilled in Senate

Repost from the News-Gazette Online
Thu, 04/15/2010 – 2:00am | Tom Kacich Contact Author

SPRINGFIELD – Tough budget times translated to tough questioning of three public university presidents in the Illinois Senate on Wednesday, and no one faced more difficult questions than Stanley Ikenberry, the interim president of the University of Illinois.

Ikenberry, who returned as president last Jan. 1 to succeed former President B. Joseph White in the aftermath of a UI admissions scandal, was grilled by senators about everything from the salary paid to a retiring chancellor at the school’s Springfield campus to his own salary and the university’s affordability.

Ikenberry, president of the UI from 1979 to 1995 – in much better budget days – grinned when asked about the reception he got Wednesday.

“I think this stacks up with the very best I can remember,” he said. “The tongue’s a little bit in the cheek, yes.”

The interim president said that the UI is owed $464 million, or about 56 percent of its current year appropriation, by the state.

“That is a frightening figure in its own right, but it becomes more perilous as one thinks ahead three months, six months, nine months and going into next year,” Ikenberry said. “This is a difficult time for us. I’m concerned the reputation of our state is being damaged during this period, and I’m concerned that our university may slip as well.”

More in Thursday’s News-Gazette.

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