University of Illinois officials say the likelihood of cuts in the school's state appropriation means they should plan to rely more heavily on private fund-raising. Thomas Farrell is president of the University of Illinois Foundation, the school's fund-raising arm. He tells university trustees the foundation's goal is to double cash donations and the size of the school's endowment over the next decade. Under Gov. Pat Quinn's new budget proposal the state would reduce the university's appropriation next year by about $33 million to $634 million. The state currently provides about 13 percent of the university's roughly $5 billion operating budget. The university's endowment is now about $1.5 billion. Last year the university was given about $211 million in cash donations. U of I leaders say they need to increase returns on investment in the endowment and find more donations, particularly at higher levels of contribution.
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