Statement from Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet):
“I recently had a very interesting meeting with Urbana campus Chancellor Robert Jones and Provost Andreas Cangellaris where they brought up efforts in other states to create ‘Rainmaker Funds’ to recruit the next generation of top-tier research faculty talent. They impressed upon me the enormous start-up costs involved in such world-class recruitment efforts due to the lab equipment necessary to get people interested. They estimated it would take $100 million to really get in the hunt for top-shelf talent and put Illinois at the head of the pack.
So today I am filing this legislation to do exactly that. I think it is an important ‘marker’ to place as the state’s budget negotiations pick up steam next month. I am a realist and know that new concepts in Springfield can take time to percolate to fruition. The ‘Aim High’ program, for example, took 3-4 years after I introduced the original concept to become reality. Nonetheless, the first step is for someone to ‘start the drumbeat’ and today, I am pleased to take that step.”
“Rain-maker funds” are utilized in other states including: New York, Tennessee and Texas. He announced his legislation at the Capitol on February 26th during the University’s annual budget hearing. Rose’s legislation is aimed at supporting engineering, business, math, and the hard sciences at the UIUC campus.