University News

Stop-Gap Funding Update [5/3/16]

May 3, 2016

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May 3, 2016

Dear University Community,

Nearly two weeks ago, Senate Bill 2059 was passed, which provided a portion of emergency/stop-gap funding and MAP funding for Western Illinois University and other public universities in the state. Western's allotment totaled approximately $21 million, and as of April 29, all of this funding has been received by WIU.

We remain optimistic that we will receive additional funding for this fiscal year. Our legislators and the Governor have indicated that a budget for higher education is essential. However, even with the recent stop-gap funding, if we do not receive additional state appropriations for FY'16, the University will be forced to utilize restricted (Auxiliary Facilities Systems) funds in late summer.

Because of the limited cash available, and the continuing uncertainty surrounding the state's budget for not only FY'16, but also FY'17, the University must continue to limit spending. P-Cards remain suspended. Travel is restricted, approval will only be given for essential expenditures and we will continue the current hiring freeze. There is no change in the recently announced plans to lay off approximately 110 staff members or to eliminate the furlough/voluntary pay reduction program.

As announced in February, we are making approximately $20 million in reductions over the next two fiscal years ('17 and '18). When decisions are made, I will announce them to the University community. We continue to work with our state leaders on passing a full FY'16 higher education appropriation budget, as well as the FY'17 budget that provides full MAP funding for our students and sufficient operating funds for Illinois public universities.

On May 4, I will present the University's budget testimony before the House Higher Education Committee. I know many members of our WIU family have been affected by this unprecedented budget impasse. It is our hope that the legislators will support full funding of higher education.

We will be coming before the University community this summer with the plans to move Western Illinois University ahead. I appreciate the support, loyalty, and courage of our University community. Together, we will ensure that Western Illinois University continues its outstanding legacy of educating and graduating productive citizens to serve our state and beyond.


Jack Thomas

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