University News

Budget Update: August 2015

August 13, 2015

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Dear University Community:

Recently, there have been a number of inaccurate statements circulating within our University and local communities about the budget situation facing Western Illinois University. We understand that individuals are concerned about the state budget for the new fiscal year and proposed reductions in state appropriations for higher education.

Due to proposed budget reductions and the continuing financial crisis facing our state, like other institutions, we have been forced to make difficult decisions at Western Illinois University. We have eliminated or changed the status of some service-related administrative and civil service positions, and we are consolidating select services to conserve our fiscal resources. The University has eliminated positions from across divisions. Most of the positions were open positions. We also continue to hold, when feasible, vacant positions at all levels of the University.

Given the situation facing higher education in the state of Illinois, we must prepare for worst case scenarios for this fiscal year and into Fiscal Year 2017. Several scenarios, based on potential state budgets and further reductions, have been presented to the University community. One such scenario that has been discussed among University and community members, involves the reduction of positions at the University. Some of the possible position reductions may come from not filling positions when individuals retire or resign from the University. However, at this time, it remains unknown as to the magnitude, and effect, of potential reductions in positions due to continued uncertainties regarding our state appropriations.

On Tuesday, I spoke to the Illinois Board of Higher Education (representing presidents and chancellors of the public universities) regarding the hardships and pressures facing higher education in the state of Illinois. Secretary of Education Beth Purvis recently visited WIU, and we discussed the pressures facing Western Illinois University and higher education in general. We will continue to work with the IBHE, and with our legislators, to stress the importance, and the necessity, of adequate funding for higher education.

We continue to be transparent about the decisions made that affect Western Illinois University, its students, and its employees. I will host town hall meetings following the start of the Fall 2015 semester to address the current, and future, fiscal year budgets. I will provide a University update at next week's Faculty Assembly, and the transcript of the address will be posted at We will continue to keep our University community apprised of the budget situation.

Thank you for your continued support.


Jack Thomas
Western Illinois University

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations