Campus Connection

News for the WIU Community June 16, 2006   Vol. 21 No. 17

State Budget Provides Increased Support for Western

The budget agreement approved by the Illinois General Assembly includes a 1.5 percent increase in state funding support for WIU for the 2006-2007 fiscal year and a special grant award of $1 million for the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) to promote the advancement of corn to fuel alcohol and value added co-products.

The level of state support to Western in the FY2007 operating budget is $57,213,400, an increase of $822,300 or 1.5 percent from the past year’s funding of $56,391,100.

WIU President Al Goldfarb noted the grant award to the IIRA will result in a profound impact on rural economies and agribusiness. Such research should maintain and create employment opportunities in rural communities and help provide much-needed alternatives to traditional fuel sources.

The entire University community will also benefit from the addition of state budget support to increase Amtrak passenger rail service. A second daily round trip passenger train from Chicago through Macomb to Quincy will be established through support from the new state budget.

“We have advocated strongly for Amtrak and the vital role it plays for the University community,” Goldfarb said. “In our testimony before legislative committees we noted the high usage of the train by students and by employees who use Amtrak as a cost-effective way to travel to Chicago for professional conferences and meetings.

“We are thankful for the strong budgetary support we received from all of our legislators and from the Governor’s office. It is reflective of the outstanding community support we have received as we make continued progress on the implementation of our Higher Values in Higher Education strategic plan in Macomb and the Quad Cities,” Goldfarb added.

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