U of I cuts nearly 500 non-instructional positions

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URBANA – As a result of the state fiscal crisis over the past 18 months, the University of Illinois system has cut 484 jobs and reduced spending in other areas.

U of I President Tim Killeen says this staff reduction could lead to long-term savings of as much as $1.5 million per month.

Killeen explains the reductions came mostly through attrition, and nearly half to the jobs eliminated, or 202 employees, were in central University Administration (UA), where very constrained hiring has been in place since July 2015.

He also points out that this cut, which is about 3 percent, is smaller than reductions made in the past.

The reduction in UA staff to 1,099 in September 2016 from 1,211 in February 2015 was a 17 percent cut.

The System universities in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield also reduced non-instructional staff by a total of 282 people over the same time period. Non-instructional staff includes academic professional and civil service personnel at the three universities.

A salary freeze for nearly all employees was also imposed for fiscal year 2016 and was extended for fiscal year 2017, which began July 1.

Killeen also note that through management of resources, the system has reaped additional savings through reduced utilities costs and debt refinancing. Energy conservation measures resulted in $14 million in savings for fiscal year 2016. Meanwhile, the refinancing of some bond debts saved $4 million.

Despite staff decreases, the University of Illinois has seen record enrollment.

77,074 students were enrolled system-wide at the start of the current academic year. Online and off-campus students are counted later in the year, and university officials say that will set another record high of more than 81,000 students.

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