University of Illinois leaders say the school is operating in a tough financial environment but they plan to give faculty merit-based raises this summer that will average 2.5%. Christopher Pierre is the university's vice president for academic affairs. He says any raises will be questioned with the school's state funding dropping by $44 million this fiscal year. But Pierre and others gathered at a meeting on the Urbana-Champaign campus said the university has to keep salaries competitive to draw and retain top talent. Associate Vice President for Planning and Budgeting Randy Kangas says other Big Ten schools are planning raises of 1% to 3%. Officials say the raises aren't automatic and some employees may not get them.
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