University News

President's FY04 Budget Letter

July 1, 2003

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July 1, 2003
Dear Campus Community,

With the completion of the FY04 Illinois legislative budget I am writing to share the strategies we are employing to address our priorities within our available resources for this fiscal year.

First let me thank each of you for your understanding and support this past budget year. Western has a loyal and dedicated faculty, staff, administration and student body. I truly appreciate everyone’s willingness to make and accept difficult budget decisions, improve efficiencies and keep our student instructional mission as our top priority.

We anticipate our total University operating budget will be $94,075,100 in FY04. This is less than the $95,319,000 operational budget we had for the year ending June 30 and also less than our FY02 total of $95,639,800. Our operational budgets reflect both a decline in state support as well as increases in University income funds. We have been fortunate to have some additional income fund support due to growing enrollment, even as we continue our innovative, well-managed cost guarantee program which freezes tuition, fees and room and board rates for incoming students at levels appropriate for those entering the University.

To illustrate the decline in state support, Western received $65,047,800 in state funds in FY02; the University’s FY03 state support was $59,357,800 and the FY04 state support level is $56,091,100. Additionally the University is required to allocate $1,944,800 of its state allocation for employee health insurance.

In that framework we must still find ways to move forward. We must continue to address salary needs for our outstanding faculty and staff. We are developing a salary increase plan for FY04 even in these challenging budget times. Our hope is to implement a plan providing a 2.5 percent salary increase in FY04 pending agreements with all of our collective bargaining units at the University. At the same time, we will continue to guard against layoffs of currently employed personnel.

To accomplish this and other priorities we will continue to reallocate our limited resources. While Western has an outstanding record of allocating resources toward its instructional mission we will continue to meet state-requested administrative cost adjustments by asking all local and bond funds at Western to provide five percent of their FY04 revenue toward a University administrative cost reallocation. This local and bond fund reallocation will generate more than $1.3 million to meet instructional priorities. The vice presidents, deans and directors will continue their reallocation efforts by moving an additional $1.89 million from general revenue to meet our budget shortfall. (This reduction will be just slightly more than what was returned to the base after the FY03 rescission.) These reallocations will also be used to help with salary increments. I am pleased that even in the midst of such dire budget circumstances we are able to provide salary increases

The new year also contains opportunities for the University. The gift of 20 acres of land along with the former tech center facility from Deere and Company for the development of a WIU Quad Cities Riverfront Campus also resulted in an award of $200,000 in state funds to begin formulating plans. The $4 million in planning funds for the Performing Arts Center project on our campus in Macomb was reappropriated for FY04 and we will work with state officials to have an architect named and funds released to start planning for construction. We also look forward to the arrival of our new Provost Joseph Rallo, completion of our strategic plan and another increase in fall enrollment.

It has been an intense, exciting and rewarding first year for Elaine and me at Western. Please know that I appreciate all of the support I have received and how much I look forward to our future at Western Illinois University. This is a remarkable university with outstanding faculty, staff, and students. We are honored to be part of the WIU community.

Alvin Goldfarb

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