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Illinois Universities Look for Cash Solutions

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Illinois Universities Look for Cash Solutions

Pedestrians walk past the Alma Mater statue on the University of Illinois campus in Urbana, Ill. (AP)

Public universities in Illinois are facing cash flow problems because of slow state payments. Illinois’ Board of Higher Education is remaining neutral on a plan to let universities borrow money to pay bills.

Some colleges and universities want to borrow. Others aren’t so sure they want to go down that road.

Illinois lawmakers could discuss giving the schools the power to take out loans to make payroll and cover other costs.

Board of Higher Ed Director Judy Erwin says borrowing would ease some of the current cash flow difficulties, but the plan would mean colleges and universities would have shell out more money to pay interest, while having no guarantee the state funding will come through.

ERWIN: Not only is the state totally negligent in terms of their responsibility, but it is effectively privatizing higher education. We’re very close to that now, as it is, but we’re looking at schools that may not be able to keep their doors open to the end of the semester.

Erwin says the Board of Higher Education has remained on the sidelines when it comes to the borrowing proposal, as not all schools are in favor.

The university of Illinois remains opposed. Interim President Stanley Ikenberry says the preferred solution is for the state to begin paying what it owes.

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