- Associated Press - Thursday, September 11, 2014

URBANA, Ill. (AP) - University of Illinois trustees on Thursday approved a $5.64 billion budget for the current fiscal year. That’s an increase of $11.1 million, or .2 percent.

University President Robert Easter said the small increase reflects in part of the university’s hope that it can keep students costs from rising too rapidly. A year on campus at the flagship campus in Urbana-Champaign costs a student more than $20,000.

The vote by the Board of Trustees approving the new spending plan was unanimous and made without comment.

The new budget includes $4.5 billion for daily operations at the three campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Springfield and Chicago.

The state appropriation this year is $667.5 million. Tuition provides $1.1 billion.

The budget includes money for merit pay raises that will average 2.5 percent, which Easter called critical to hiring and holding onto key faculty.

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