URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois has selected its first 17 "investment for growth" projects that are designed to boost its income and enhance the university's academic mission.

The university's colleges and other academic units pooled $11 million to underwrite the projects as a way to help absorb state-funding cutbacks, The News-Gazette reported.

"We can't just cut our way out of these things," said Paul Ellinger, associate chancellor and vice provost for budget and resource planning.

The projects were chosen from 39 proposals. The 17 projects, some of which involve several colleges, range from new buildings to online courses to profitable professional degree programs and industry partnerships.

"It isn't just to make money," Ellinger said. "That was kind of the theme behind it. But it's also things we should be doing."

Some of the projects will include an engineering teaching center and a partnership that will allow high school students in China to take courses at the university online. Other projects were already available like the online "iMBA" program, which launched in 2016. Ellinger said those programs that show promise will likely be expanded.

The projects will be funded for one to three years and will receive $220,000 to $7.5 million over that span.

Ellinger said the second round proposals are currently being evaluated. He said about $5.5 million will be available to those proposals chosen.

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Information from: The News-Gazette, http://www.news-gazette.com