Take Action

Home | Faculty & Research Overview | Research

Research Details

Ivory Tower Meets Smoke-filled Back Rooms of Politics: An Academic Perspective on Illinois, Public Budgeting and Finance


In anticipation of an upcoming legislative debate, in the early summer of 1996 public advocacy groups in Illinois contracted with the Institute of Government and Public Affairs of the University of Illinois to provide analysis of school funding reform proposals. The intent was to make the analysis and models widely available for use by government officials as well as concerned citizens. We prepared a report on options for Illinois to help focus the school funding discussion on the fundamental policy choices facing lawmakers. In this article, we summarize the process of and the university's contribution to the policy debate. Five illustrative alternatives to the current system are analyzed. While we think these options are of interest for their own sake, our primary goal in writing this article is to provide an example of how academic analysts can make a constructive contribution to heated political debate without advocating any particular plan.




Stephen T. Mark, David F. Merriman, Therese J. McGuire

Date Published



Mark, Stephen T., David F. Merriman, and Therese J. McGuire. 1998. Ivory Tower Meets Smoke-filled Back Rooms of Politics: An Academic Perspective on Illinois. Public Budgeting and Finance. 18(4): 22-35.


Explore leading research and ideas

Find articles, podcast episodes, and videos that spark ideas in lifelong learners, and inspire those looking to advance in their careers.
learn more


Review Courses & Schedules

Access information about specific courses and their schedules by viewing the interactive course scheduler tool.


Discover the path to your goals

Whether you choose our Full-Time, Part-Time or Executive MBA program, you’ll enjoy the same unparalleled education, exceptional faculty and distinctive culture.
learn more