University News

Expense Prioritization FAQs [7/7/10]

July 7, 2010

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How much is Western Illinois University still owed by the State of Illinois for the FY'10 budget?

The State of Illinois currently owes WIU approximately $17 million.

When do we expect to receive payment for the remaining FY'10 budget that is owed by the State?

Governor Pat Quinn recently signed an extension to allow the State of Illinois to delay FY'10 payments to universities and other state agencies until December 31, 2010. It is expected that we will receive our full appropriation for FY'10, but we cannot be sure of the timing in which that will occur.

Why is spending being so drastically reduced when I still have a "budget" left?

The budget is a management tool. Budgeted amounts merely represent expense targets and do not necessarily equal the actual cash flow that is required to cover actual spending. Because of the State's shortfall in funding for WIU, the actual cash that is available cannot support spending the entire budget.

Does WIU plan to borrow money if needed to operate?

State legislators recently passed and the governor signed into law Senate Bill 642 which allows State universities to borrow to cover operational expenses in anticipation of payments from the state. It is expected that, similar to many other State schools, WIU may need to borrow to the extent allowed in the law in order to meet our obligations to students and employees.

Are employee furloughs being considered to save money?

There is no consideration by either senior administrators or members of the Board of Trustees to require furloughs for employees. The primary goal is to support current employees to fullest extent possible.

How much did we save by implementing cost-cutting measures in FY'10?

WIU will spend approximately $6 million less than budgeted for FY'10. The efforts of all employees to find ways to save are greatly appreciated.

Why are there still plans to move forward with new buildings on both the Macomb and Quad Cities campuses when budgets are so tight?

The funding for the WIU Quad Cities Riverfront Campus buildings and for the WIU Macomb Performing Arts Center was provided through capital funding legislation that was passed last year. Capital dollars must be used for the projects for which they were originally requested and cannot be converted into funds that can support the general operation of the University.

Describe the various sources of funding that are used to support operations, projects, and other priorities at WIU.

WIU receives funding from a variety of sources including State appropriations, tuition, room and board, fees, bond proceeds, and private donations. In most cases, the funds received from these sources cannot be used interchangeably. For example, State appropriations are intended to support payroll and other general operating expenses incurred by the University. Bond revenue funds, on the other hand, are used for the operation and improvement of residence halls and other specific auxiliary facilities. Bond revenue funds are restricted because of the repayment obligation we have to our bondholders, so these funds cannot generally be used to cover University operations. Furthermore, in some cases, private contributions and other Foundation funds are designated for specific projects or programs and cannot be used for other purposes.

Will Financial Aid or Student Employment be affected by the FY'11 budget changes?

Neither financial aid nor student employment is expected to be reduced in FY'11. We are committed to maintaining opportunities and assistance for our students and employees to the fullest extent possible.

[Prepared by VPAS]

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations