Damage Done: Illinois Public University Rankings Plunge After Rauner’s Budget Crisis

U of I, ISU, SIU Drop in Latest U.S. News & World Report Rankings

Chicago, IL — Illinois public universities have seen their rankings plummet after the damage done by Bruce Rauner’s 736-day budget crisis. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois State University and Southern Illinois University are among the schools that have suffered lower rankings under this failed governor. Here’s what Crain’s had to say:

Crain’s Chicago: The state's budget mess hits U of I anew: its U.S. News ranking
 
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is citing Springfield's long budget stalemate as a culprit in its fall on the latest U.S. News & World Report ranking of U.S. colleges and universities. The downstate campus dropped to 52nd from a tie for 44th.
 
While Illinois went for more than two years without a budget, public universities like the U of I confronted smaller and less-reliable state funding, and many out-of-state students gave second thoughts to applying.
 
"Given the financial challenges facing higher education over the past 25 months, our focus has been on protecting our students' Illinois experience and ensuring their success," Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Robert Jones said in a statement. "We are proud that despite the state budget crisis, our graduation rate, freshman retention rate, admitted student quality and reputation among peers and high school counselors all held steady or improved. Our class sizes crept up, but only slightly."

“Bruce Rauner starved Illinois public universities for funding, forcing students to leave, teachers to be laid off, and now rankings have plunged,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. “Rauner’s damage is done to our public education system.”

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Anna Rosenfeld