Campus Connection.
          

March 5, 2004 Volume 19, Number 14

Gov. Suggests Drop in Higher Ed Funding, Supports Western Quad Cities Initiative

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s operating budget plan for FY2005 reduces state support for public higher education while including additional funds for the Western Illinois University-Quad Cities initiative. The Governor’s FY2005 recommendation for Western of $55.2 million in state support is $822,000 less than Western’s current FY2004 state allocation of $56 million.

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 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 and a two percent reserve/reduction in state tax support.

Governor Blagojevich will make his FY2005 capital budget recommendations in late March. Previously the IBHE recommended the first phase of construction funding for a Performing Arts Center on the Macomb campus of Western Illinois University and planning funds for the renovation of the new Western Quad Cities Riverfront Campus.

The IBHE recommended $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 million.

Planning funds of $1,549,000 to renovate the 40,000-square-foot former John Deere Tech Center on River Drive in Moline were also included in the IBHE recommendations. Western serves more than 1,400 students in the Quad Cities. 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.

 

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Campus Connection is produced by the Office of University Relations at Western Illinois University. It is distributed each Friday when the University is in session and approximately four times during the summer.

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