University News

IBHE Recommends PAC,Quad Cities Funds For Western

February 3, 2004

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MACOMB, IL – The Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) has recommended the first phase of construction funding for a Performing Arts Center on the Macomb campus of Western Illinois University and planning funds for the renovation of the new Western Quad Cities Riverfront Campus for the Fiscal Year 2005 budget. General state operational funding for Western and other public universities for fiscal year 2005 would remain at the current FY2004 level. The IBHE approved the budget recommendations Feb. 3.

“We are pleased the IBHE recognizes Western and the region’s need to create a performing arts facility which will attract more opportunities for performances and enrich the fine arts instructional experience on campus and to expand our facilities at the Quad Cities campus,” WIU President Al Goldfarb said. “The University also understands the state’s economic challenges and we are mindful the recommendation for funding at the same level as FY2004 is a measure of positive support. We will work with state officials on making best use of our resources.”

The IBHE recommendation suggests $22,319,300 for the first phase of construction of a 110,000-square-foot performing arts center with a 1,900-seat proscenium theatre auditorium, a 300-seat thrust stage and a 150-seat studio theatre. The total cost of the facility to be located in the southwest quadrant of campus is $51.2 million, including a prior allocation of $4 million for planning (not yet released) and a future allocation of $24.88 million.

Planning funds of $1,549,000 to renovate the 40,000-square-foot former John Deere Tech Center on River Drive in Moline were included in the FY2005 recommendations. Western has conducted classes in the Quad Cities for more than 25 years and serves more than 1,400 students in a facility on John Deere Road in Moline. The current building was opened in 1997 and by 1998 the University was renting space to meet additional course demand. The FY2005 capital recommendations include $1.58 million for capital renewal, infrastructure repair and maintenance projects for the University.

IBHE Recommends FY2005 Funding.. page 2

Western’s FY2004 operating budget is $94,075,100, which is $1.2 million less than the $95,319,000 operational budget for the year ending June 30, 2003 and $1.5 million less than the FY2002 total of $95,639,800. The IBHE funding recommendation for FY2005 includes an additional $300,000 from Governor Rod Blagojevich’s “Opportunity Returns” economic development plan for Western to support additional faculty to meet demand for classes in the Quad Cities.

“Even in light of these difficult budgetary times, our top priorities will be to protect the instructional mission of our university, provide salary increases and protect our employees. However, the current budget recommendation will require us to reallocate resources to meet our collective bargaining commitments for salary increases,” Goldfarb said.

Years two, three and four of the UPI contract provided for an annual salary increase of 3.5 percent of the employee’s previous year basic salary, with provisions for dealing with additional or reduced state dollar funding for the University.

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