April 14, 2021

Duckworth Meets with University of Illinois Schools System Administrators, Trustees, Alumni and Students to Discuss President Biden’s American Rescue Plan


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today hosted a virtual “fly-in” with administrators, trustees, students and alumni of the University of Illinois System to discuss federal support to higher education as part of President Biden’s recently-enacted American Rescue Plan. Duckworth was joined by several members of the University of Illinois System including Executive Vice President and VP for Academic Affairs Dr. Barb Wilson, UIUC Chancellor Dr. Robert Jones, UIC Chancellor Dr. Michael Amiridis and UIS Interim Chancellor Dr. Karen Whitney. The group also discussed the importance of affordability, inclusion and accessibility in higher education as well as the University of Illinois System’s covidSHIELD, a saliva-based COVID-19 test.

“In every round of COVID relief legislation, I’ve called for support for higher education,” Duckworth said. “We know our state’s educational institutions have been hurting – which is why it’s important for colleges and universities to receive support from the federal level. It’s one way we can help ensure Illinois students, educators and schools have the resources they need to recover from COVID-19.”

Senator Duckworth advocated for the American Rescue Plan which included $1.27 billion to Illinois colleges and universities to support necessary re-opening measures such as COVID-19 testing, purchasing PPE and sanitation supplies and helping students with emergency expenses that arise from the pandemic. In September 2020, she helped lead the Illinois Congressional Delegation in sending a bipartisan letter to the Department of Health and Human Services urging federal resources to support the expansion of SHIELD T3, a COVID-19 testing and tracing system, developed by the University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign.

The University of Illinois System consists of three universities: Chicago (UIC), Springfield (UIS), and Urbana–Champaign (UIUC). Across its three universities, the University of Illinois System enrolls more than 90,000 students.