University News

President Thomas: FY19 Budget

June 5, 2018

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Dear University Community,

I am pleased to share the news that the General Assembly passed a state budget bill that provides appropriated funding to Illinois higher education institutions. On Monday, Governor Rauner signed the bill into law. Western's allocation of the higher education state appropriation is $47.2 million for fiscal year 2019, an increase of 2 percent from FY18.

The state appropriated budget also provides level MAP funding. In addition, $25 million has been allocated for a new institutional aid program to be divided between the public universities. The new FY19 state allocations also provide a $50,000 grant for the Gwendolyn Brooks Memorial Park on the site of the former Brooks Center (Adams Street), and the WIU Center for Performing Arts is under consideration ($89 million capital development funds), along with possible funding for capital improvements.

I would like to thank our legislative leaders for passing a budget by the May 31 deadline, and for providing funding for Western and Illinois public higher education. As the new fiscal year gets underway July 1, we will continue our work in Springfield to keep Western at the forefront.

The state appropriated funding will provide essential operating dollars for our institution, which will allow us to continue our mission and tradition of providing a quality, well-rounded, and comprehensive educational experience to the citizens of Illinois and beyond. It is our hope that the timely passage of the FY19 budget is a positive sign for our state and Illinois public higher education.

However, due to the projected decline in enrollment, along with contractual obligations and future budget-related uncertainties, and the continued impact of the previous years' budget impasse, we must continue to be fiscally conservative. My leadership team and I will evaluate how state appropriations and enrollment will impact the University's overall budget, and we will consider all options that provide cost-savings.

I offer my gratitude to our faculty and staff for their sacrifices. To our faculty, thank you for voting to ratify a new contract. I would also like to thank the members of the UPI Local 4100 and University negotiation teams for their tremendous efforts to reach a sustainable agreement.

Your continued support of Western Illinois University is deeply appreciated. Together, we will continue to be Leatherneck strong.


Jack Thomas

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