Campus Connection.
          

June 10, 2005 Volume 20, Number 18

Illinois General Assembly Approves Western Fiscal Year 2006 Budget

The Illinois General Assembly has approved a fiscal year 2006 operating budget for Western which includes base funding equal to the University’s FY2005 allocation and capital funding re-appropriations for the design and planning of a Performing Arts Center on the Macomb campus and the renovation of Memorial Hall.

“We appreciate the General Assembly supporting Western at a level at least comparable to our previous state allocations and has continued to reappropriate funds for the Performing Arts Center planning and rehabilitation of Memorial Hall,” said President Al Goldfarb. “While we recognize the fiscal challenges faced by the state, we also are concerned that there have not been new state resources provided to higher education during the past two fiscal years. We are disappointed there are no new capital funds nor is there an announced release of Performing Arts Center planning funds. However we remain hopeful regarding our Quad Cities project since we know it is a high priority of the Governor.”

The base budget provides a state allocation of $56,391,100 to Western in FY2006, the same allocation as FY2005. In the past four years Western’s operating support from the state has declined from a high of $65,047,800 in FY02. Additionally, the University is required to allocate $1,944,800 for employee health insurance.

Capital budget allocations for FY2006 include re-appropriations of $12 million for Memorial Hall renovations and $4 million for first-phase planning for the Performing Arts facility. No new planning funds were included for the expansion of the Western Illinois University Quad Cities Riverfront campus. An allocation of $2.3 million for planning and design to expand the Quad Cities campus had been recommended by the Illinois Board of Higher Education in its FY2006 budget plan.

“Despite difficult budgetary times our top priorities will continue to be protecting the University’s instructional mission, providing salary increases and protecting our employees from layoffs. However the state budget will again require us to reallocate resources to meet our commitments for salary increases this year,” Goldfarb said.

“While the legislative session is completed, we will continue to work with legislative leaders and the Governor’s staff to keep our capital projects at the top of state priority listings. Macomb area community and University officials will continue to seek release of funds for a Performing Arts Center in Macomb and funds to design the renovation of our Moline Riverfront campus,” Goldfarb added.

 

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