Approves Budget For Western Illinois University
The Illinois General Assembly has adopted a
state budget proposal for 2002-2003 which includes $4 million
in capital funds for planning a multipurpose facility with a performing
arts center at Western. The budget bill must be signed by Governor
George Ryan, who previously included the WIU planning funds in
his recommendations. State legislators and the governor
completed the budget after numerous negotiation sessions made
difficult due to the decline in state revenues.
Western's operating budget for next year
is at the governor's proposed level of funding, a total of $95,470,000.
That is slightly less than the current FY02 operating budget of
$95,639,800. A change in state policy will require the University
to allocate more than $1.9 million of the FY03 budget to pay health
insurance costs of employees. The policy change reduces the University's
available budget to $93,525,200, a reduction of approximately
2.2 percent from the current year.
University priorities in the upcoming year
include planning for the multipurpose performing arts facility,
expanding WIU programs and services in the Quad Cities, securing
capital resources to support infrastructure improvements and gaining
approval for a doctoral degree program in educational leadership
for K-12 educators. Without additional state resources it will
be difficult to make progress on some of these priorities, WIU
President David Taylor added.
Taylor said it was too early to suggest
any salary increases for employees in the fiscal year starting
July 1. All faculty and many other WIU employee groups
are subject to collective bargaining negotiations. The change
in funding for health insurance and the need to receive final
budget numbers from the state will delay further discussions on
salary issues, according to Taylor.