February 6, 2004 Volume 19, Number 12
IBHE Recommends Funds For PAC, Quad Cities
The Illinois Board of Higher
Education (IBHE) has recommended the first phase
of construction funding for a Performing Arts Center
on Western’s Macomb campus and planning funds
for the renovation of the new Western Quad Cities
Riverfront Campus for the Fiscal Year 2005 budget.
General state operational funding for Western and
other public universities for fiscal year 2005 would
remain at the current FY2004 level. The IBHE approved
the budget recommendations Feb. 3.
The IBHE recommendation suggests
$22,319,300 for the first phase of construction
of a 110,000-square-foot performing arts center
with a 1,900-seat proscenium theatre auditorium,
a 300-seat thrust stage and a 150-seat studio theatre.
The total cost of the facility to be located in
the southwest quadrant of campus is $51.2 million,
including a prior allocation of $4 million for planning
(not yet released) and a future allocation of $24.88
Planning funds of $1,549,000
to renovate the 40,000-square-foot former John Deere
Tech Center on River Drive in Moline were included
in the FY2005 recommendations. Western has conducted
classes in the Quad Cities for more than 25 years
and serves more than 1,400 students in a facility
on John Deere Road in Moline. The current building
was opened in 1997 and by 1998 the University was
renting space to meet additional course demand.
The FY2005 capital recommendations include $1.58
million for capital renewal, infrastructure repair
and maintenance projects for the University.
Western’s FY2004 operating
budget is $94,075,100, which is $1.2 million less
than the $95,319,000 operational budget for the
year ending June 30, 2003 and $1.5 million less
than the FY2002 total of $95,639,800. The
IBHE funding recommendation for FY2005 includes
an additional $300,000 from Governor Rod Blagojevich’s
“Opportunity Returns” economic development
plan for Western to support additional faculty to
meet demand for classes in the Quad Cities.
“Our top priorities
will be to protect the instructional mission of
our university, provide salary increases and protect
our employees. However, the current budget recommendation
will require us to reallocate resources to meet
our collective bargaining commitments for salary
increases,” Western’s President Al Goldfarb said.
Years two, three and four
of the UPI contract provided for an annual salary
increase of 3.5 percent of the employee’s
previous year basic salary, with provisions for
dealing with additional or reduced state dollar
funding for the University.