University News

Goldfarb: Statement on State Budget Proposal/Cash Flow Update

March 11, 2010

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Dear WIU Campus Community:

In his public address March 10, Gov. Pat Quinn recommended a FY2011 General Revenue Funds budget of $56.2 million for Western Illinois University, which would result in a $3.7 million decrease from Western's FY2010 appropriations. While legislative hearings will have to be held and the legislature must still pass a budget, it is clear we are facing a difficult fiscal year.

Given the uncertainty of the state's economic condition, I'm asking that departments and divisions begin to plan for a reduced Fiscal Year 2011 budget. Our priorities for FY'11 will be to continue to provide quality academic programs, to implement a cost increase that will allow us to remain affordable for students and families, and to retain faculty and staff.

In order to meet these priorities, I have asked each of the vice presidents to reduce their respective division's total budgets by 3.5 percent for Fiscal Year 2011. Each vice president will meet with their divisions to determine appropriate reductions within their areas. In addition, we will seek input from the campus following the annual report presentations [Thursday, April 29 and Friday, April 30], where each vice president will share cost-saving measures.

In addition, cash flow in the state remains a crisis. Currently, Western is waiting on reimbursements from the State of Illinois totaling $30.3 million. Because of the University's current cash flow situation and the expectation of a decrease in appropriated funding in FY'11, I regret to announce that the Pay for Exceptional Performance program, which would have rewarded meritorious performance, has been put on hold. This decision was based on discussions with the vice presidents and feedback provided by the campus community. Please know that I appreciate the work that has been done to date by participants in this program, and that we are committed to re-establishing the program when the state and University budgets stabilize. The accomplishments performed by program participants will be recorded and archived with the employee's supervisor for consideration when the program is reinstated.

In order to meet our payroll obligations and provide the necessary services to our students, we are continuing to conserve as many resources as possible. All departments are required to limit spending to immediate operational needs only, and we continue to halt numerous events and most travel in an effort to save money. Non-essential vacant positions for the Spring 2010 Semester continue to be held open, and we must now look at the feasibility and viability of leaving some positions open for Fall 2010.

All cash flow and budget-related letters and information, including Gov. Quinn's budget proposal [WIU: Chapter 5-33/34], can be found by visiting and clicking on the "Cash Flow/Budget Information" link in the Highlights section.

Thank you so much for your understanding, cooperation and support.

Al Goldfarb

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Office of University Relations