University News

General Assembly Passes WIU Budget

June 3, 2002

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MACOMB, IL – The Illinois General Assembly has adopted a state budget proposal for 2002-2003 which includes $4 million in capital funds for planning a multipurpose facility with a performing arts center at Western Illinois University.

The budget bill must be signed by Governor George Ryan, who previously included the WIU planning funds in his recommendations. State legislators and the governor completed the budget after numerous negotiation sessions made difficult due to the decline in state revenues.

WesternÂ’s operating budget for next year is at the governorÂ’s proposed level of funding, a total of $95,470,000. That is slightly less than the current FY02 operating budget of $95,639,800. A change in state policy will require the University to allocate more than $1.9 million of the FY03 budget to pay health insurance costs of employees. The policy change reduces the UniversityÂ’s available budget to $93,525,200, a reduction of approximately 2.2 percent from the current year.

“We are pleased the final budget includes planning funds for the facility which will include a performance center,” said WIU President David R. Taylor. “This is an extraordinary year with the challenges the state faces in this budget. We hope that when the governor signs the budget state support will stabilize.”

University priorities in the upcoming year include planning for the multipurpose performing arts facility, expanding WIU programs and services in the Quad Cities, securing capital resources to support infrastructure improvements and gaining approval for a doctoral degree program in educational leadership for K-12 educators. Without additional state resources it will be difficult to make progress on some of these priorities, Taylor added.

The WIU president said it was too early to suggest any salary increases for employees in the fiscal year starting July 1. All faculty and many other WIU employee groups are subject to collective bargaining negotiations. The change in funding for health insurance and the need to receive final budget numbers from the state will delay further discussions on salary issues, according to Taylor.

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