Damage Done: Higher Ed Leaders: “It Will Take Years to Neutralize Harm”

Chicago, IL — With enrollment and rankings taking a dive, public university leaders agree: “it will take years to neutralize the harm” caused by Bruce Rauner’s 736-day budget crisis. After having state funding withheld by this failed governor, the damage done to higher education is lasting and substantial.
Here’s what higher education leaders had to say on the enrollment drop at schools across the state:

"It's clear that EIU's enrollment cycle was adversely impacted by the state's recent budget instability." — Josh Norman, associate vice president for enrollment management at Eastern Illinois University
"I don't think there's any question there's a connection." — Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities
"Students and parents were concerned about public higher education in Illinois, and many made their college decisions before the budget impasse resolved." — Jack Thomas, president of Western Illinois University
"What students often want is certainty. If they've seen a pattern of decline and resources, they have to wonder what this means — one, for their cost but also for their academic and overall student experience." — Rob Anderson, president of State Higher Education Executive Officers Association

"Bruce Rauner forced public universities to scrape by and drove away bright young students,"said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh. "Rauner leveraged our future and Illinois will pay the price for years to come."


Anna Rosenfeld