Budget Update [12/6/13]
December 6, 2013
Dear University Community:
As the semester draws to a close and we celebrate another graduation ceremony, I would like to update you on our budget situation. The University cash flow continues to remain a top focus. I am pleased that we have received two reimbursements from the State for FY2014. However, as of December 1, 2013, the State owes the University approximately $33.3 million. This requires us to continue to conserve and spend wisely. We continue to watch the enrollment levels for the spring and attempt new recruitment strategies in order to grow our enrollment.
We are disappointed in several of the elements in the pension reform bill (the approach to COLA and the cap on pensionable salaries) that has been signed into law. We believe this will have a negative effect and impact the retirement security of our former, current, and future employees. I will meet again next week with other public university presidents and chancellors to discuss pension reform and other legislative topics. We will continue to seek adequate funding for Western Illinois University and promote how higher education contributes to the economic development of the State of Illinois.
The leadership team and I continue to meet and plan for the FY2015 budget process. We are appreciative of the University Professionals of Illinois working with the administration to develop and ratify a new three year agreement. This will assist the University in addressing the financial difficulties that we face over the next few years. We are also in contact with the other collective bargaining units on campus and will continue to discuss possible changes to those contracts as well.
We will continue to provide a great education for our students, and we will meet the FY2015 challenges that we face. To this end, we will have an open campus meeting on Thursday, January 23, 2014, at 3:30 p.m. During this meeting, we will provide a budget update, discuss the challenges we face, and identify decisions that must be made with regard to the FY2015 budget. The meeting will be held in the Heritage Rooms and videoconferenced to the Quad Cities Riverfront Campus in Rooms 103 and 104.
Thank you for your continued support and for all you do at Western Illinois University.