President's Letter to Campus on FY05 WIU Budget
July 26, 2004
Dear Campus Community,
As you have probably heard, the legislature and the Governor reached agreement on the FY05 budget this past weekend. We are thankful that in these very difficult budgetary times our general revenue funding will remain at the same level as FY04 and that there was an agreement that protects higher education against a late year rescission. In addition, we are greatly appreciative that the legislature and the Governor provided an additional $300,000 for us to hire new faculty and staff in the Quad Cities. I would like to thank the Governor, Senators John Sullivan and Denny Jacobs and Representatives Rich Myers, Mike Boland and Patrick Verschoore for their support of Western Illinois Universitys Macomb and Quad Cities campuses.
Capital requests continue to be reviewed and new capital will be discussed during the November veto session. We will work with our legislators to gain the release of planning funds for the Performing Arts Center in Macomb and for the architectural and engineering funds for the first building on our new Moline Riverfront campus. Again, I am extremely thankful for the public support we have received from all of our legislators for these projects.
As I have indicated in the past, our major priorities are to continue to fund our instructional programs, prevent layoffs, and provide the agreed-to 3.5 percent pay increase to our employees. I believe that we will be able to meet all of these goals this year. (Employees are being notified when they will begin to see their pay raises, all effective as of July 1 since most payrolls had to be run prior to the budget agreement.)
A 3.5 percent salary increase requires a $2.8 million budgetary commitment. Furthermore, I do not believe that it would be fiscally prudent for us to enter FY05 without a reserve of approximately 2 percent ($1.1 million) to protect us against emergencies. In order to do so, we will need to ask all Vice Presidential areas to identify a 2 percent reallocation. Should there be no emergencies, we will return these funds near the end of the fiscal year for top priorities identified by each Vice Presidential area.
Again, I am very thankful for the budgetary support we received from all of our legislators and from the governors office. I look forward to us making continued progress on our strategic plan in Macomb and the Quad Cities. And as always, I appreciate all of the support I have received from the campus community during these challenging budgetary times.