President Glasser on the State of Illinois Budget

Below are President Glasser's remarks from a press conference with Illinois Governor Pat Quinn at the Neighborhood House on March 19, 2009.

Thank you Governor Quinn for recognizing that education is the foundation upon which the future of our children and our grandchildren will be built so they can compete in the global economy and enjoy the highest quality of life of anywhere in the world.

I truly believe that education and quality of life are inextricably linked. Education opens up doors of opportunity. It raises people out of poverty. It gives our young people hope, and it raises up all of us…and all of the communities where we live and work.

To educate the next generation of students, we need both public and private institutions of higher learning in Illinois to operate on all cylinders. The priorities in Governor Quinn's budget reflect the importance of higher education in two critical ways.

First, it allocates an additional 100 million dollars for desperately needed construction projects on private college campuses, along with significant new resources proposed for public institutions. At Bradley University – if we are fortunate to receive some of this assistance -- we intend to use these resources to build learning facilities – classrooms, laboratories – to educate teachers, nurses, health care professionals, the next generation of scientists for the 21st century and beyond.

These students – our children, your children -- will then become the highly skilled professionals who are vitally needed in our community, our state and our nation.

Second, this budget includes an additional $20 million in need-based aid for students who will be attending both public and private institutions. This support is critical because it opens doors to those who are most in need. This aid provides the kind of access that has long been the hallmark of higher education in Illinois, access that gives all Illinoisans a chance at a better, fuller, richer life – a chance to fulfill their own dreams.

I want to thank Governor Quinn for coming back to Central Illinois today and for his leadership in proposing additional resources for public and private higher education in Illinois.

I believe education, and specifically higher education, is the key to improving the quality of life for our children and for future generations. I am passionate that our future rests on educational opportunity and the necessary resources to open those doors.