University News

IBHE Staff Recommends Partial Funding for Performing Arts Center

December 4, 2002

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MACOMB, IL -- The Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) staff has recommended a $22.5 million FY04 appropriation to Western Illinois University for partial funding for construction of a performing arts center on Western’s campus. The proposed 110,000 gross square foot center will include a 1,900-seat proscenium theatre, a 300-seat thrust stage theatre and a 150-seat black box seat theatre with supporting facilities for a total cost of $49 million.

The IBHE will meet Dec. 11 in Chicago to consider FY04 budget recommendations for colleges and universities, and the staff report suggests a 3.7 percent increase in operating funds for Western next year. The funds to support the increase would come from state tax support and tuition revenues.

“We are pleased in these difficult budget times the IBHE has recommended partial funding for the performing arts center in FY04 and for full funding in a future year,” said Western President Al Goldfarb. “We will approach the IBHE the following year to seek the remainder of the funds to construct the facility.”

The IBHE staff recommended an operating budget of $98,849,700 for Western in FY04. Western’s FY03 budget was $95,319,000, less than the FY02 operating budget of $95,639,800. Approximately $1.95 million of the FY04 allocation has been committed toward the State's group health insurance program in accordance with a ruling put in place during the FY02 budget year. A state funding increase of 2.4 percent is estimated. Tuition rates for FY04 are to be considered by the Western Board of Trustees at its March 2003 meeting. The additional new funds would be used for faculty and staff salary increases, to recruit and retain critical faculty and staff and to enhance the student experience.

Staff budget recommendations must be approved by the IBHE Board and submitted to the Governor and General Assembly for consideration. Final budget action will take place during the legislative session which begins in January 2003.

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