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.
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.