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WIU announces $20 million in cuts

Friday, Feb 26, 2016

* Press release

As a result of the budget impasse and probable reductions to state appropriated funding for higher education, Western Illinois University President Jack Thomas announced today (Friday, Feb. 26) the University plans to cut $20 million over the next two fiscal years (Fiscal Year 2017 and 2018).

Various strategies to conserve resources will be implemented in Fiscal Year 2017 including reducing contracts from 12 to 11 or 10 months for select administrative positions; closing and/or combining select offices/units; reducing 100 personnel (faculty and staff) across divisions; implementing a hiring freeze (effective immediately); and reducing the hours of various offices/units.

“We are making decisions that will preserve the educational enterprise,” Thomas said.

To date, for Fiscal Year 2016, the University has made appropriated budget reductions of approximately $5 million. However, in an effort to meet operational expenditures for July and August, the institution plans to further reduce its FY’16 expenses by an additional $4 million by June 30. Without a state budget and additional reductions across divisions, payroll obligations will be difficult to meet for July and August.

As part of the immediate cost-saving reductions for FY’16, the University will limit spending to essential needs only and travel is restricted. In addition, mandatory furloughs will be implemented for all non-negotiated personnel (both administrative/non-academic and civil service personnel not covered by unions) beginning April 1. Full details regarding the furlough program will be released next week.

“Because there is not a present path toward ending the budget impasse, we must move forward with plans to put furloughs into place for non-negotiated personnel. Additionally, we have upcoming contractual salary increases scheduled with collective bargaining units, and thus, we must move forward with further FY’17 reductions to protect our ability to implement these increases,” Thomas said. “We must brace for the difficult times ahead. We must protect the cash resources of the University in order to continue to provide services to our students and prepare for Fall 2016.

“Without these reductions, we risk jeopardizing the entire enterprise. Furloughs and reductions in personnel and programs are necessary to protect the overall University and this community. We are committed to protecting as many jobs as possible,” he explained. “We will continue to do what is best for this institution to ensure a strong and viable university that exists to serve students and its host communities for decades to come. Our hope is our governmental leaders will end this unprecedented impasse and recognize that our public universities need our state funds to operate and continue to support our students.”

* Meanwhile

Parkland College’s president says it will lay off about nine employees after Tuesday because of the state budget deadlock.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Politix - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 3:20 pm:

    Rauner’s Superstars will say this is a good thing - trimming the fat.

  2. - @MisterJayEm - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 3:23 pm:

    “Buh… buh… but we didn’t think that Rauner’s ‘Hammer and Shake’ would apply to the schools little Timmy and Suzie are attending!!1!”

    – MrJM

  3. - Ray del Camino - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 3:26 pm:

    We told you this would happen. . .

  4. - Stones - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 3:27 pm:

    You have to ask why anyone in their right mind would want to move to a State like Illinois with our dysfunctional government?

  5. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 3:29 pm:

    This is a beginning, not an end.

    The end is when all the state universities Rsuber can force to close, are closed.

    Dear Macomb,

    “You’re next.”

    Your economic engine is worth destroying, so says Gov. Rauner.

    Raunerites are not your friends, Macomb, learn who they are.

    Good luck,


  6. - Jack Stephens - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 3:30 pm:

    Bruce - N - Di,

    Not sure if you have email but there are cuts coming to Western Illinois University.

    “Illinois, We’re being run aground!”


  7. - Me too - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 3:31 pm:

    Good thing those aren’t “real” jobs being lost. Oh wait. At least money is being saved. People don’t need jobs when we save money. It is the magic pixie dust sprinkling hand at work.

  8. - Huh? - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 3:31 pm:

    Dear Colleges and Universities,

    You have 2 choices to make:
    1. Which arm do you to cut off?
    2. Do you want your arm cut off above the elbow or below?



  9. - Ryan - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 3:33 pm:

    This was Rauner’s plan all along. He want’s to destroy public higher education. A uneducated electorate is one that will continue to keep his ilk in power. (*See Trumo supporters)

  10. - AC - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 3:34 pm:

    More evidence that Rauner doesn’t care about public universities, or even believe in the concept.

  11. - ToughGuy - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 3:34 pm:

    This is so sad. This governor that has been in office a little over a year and is in the process of effectively dismantling higher education in the 5th largest state in the country. How do potential corporations look at this in terms of an educated and talented work force? The problem is this disaster is now in motion and picking up steam. It will not end quickly. As several other commenters have posted, the only hope to stop the Raunerites is in on March 15th and November 8th. Do your homework folks and vote accordingly.

  12. - forwhatitsworth - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 3:35 pm:


  13. - AnonymousOne - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 3:35 pm:

    So much for the wringing of hands over folks moving out of this state. What would the incentive be to attract anyone to move in with this blatant disrespect shown it’s citizens?

  14. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 3:35 pm:

    Maybe if Universities come out and speak against these cuts, perhaps the General Assembly could take action to stop this. Please universities advocate for yourself!

  15. - AnonymousOne - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 3:36 pm:

    What exactly is it that Rauner believes to be functions of government? Or should there not be one?

  16. - Ducky LaMoore - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 3:41 pm:

    You start messing the university I dropped out of… now it’s personal….

  17. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 3:46 pm:

    Think of the liquor tax revenues that will go away if colleges and universities close.

  18. - Qui Tam - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 3:48 pm:

    “We are committed to protecting as many jobs as possible.”
    Not sure if that should be WUI’s primary mission.
    But the dysfunctional way the Gov’s Office is downsizing state universities is bad management. If you must starve the higher-ed “beast”, why not do a comprehensive look at programs state-wide and eliminate/consolidate them?

  19. - Illini97 - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 3:49 pm:

    This is the new drumbeat. Closings, cutbacks, furloughs. Every day.

  20. - jerry 101 - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 3:54 pm:


    Next up?
    NEIU and GSU

    Further down the horizon:

    Given cash reserves, the only Universities that are strong enough to survive through FY 17 are ISU and U of I.

    More draconian measures than this are needed to keep WIU afloat, unless they’re planning to skip bond payments as well.

  21. - Nearly Normal - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 4:05 pm:

    Gov Rauner just appointed Tom Cross to chair the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

  22. - Illinois Manufacturer - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 4:09 pm:

    I think WIU can survive FY 17 but gravely wounded . A shout out to Noreen Hammond. Do you represent your district or Rauner?

  23. - bwana63 - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 4:16 pm:

    Nero continues to fiddle away…

  24. - Honeybear - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 4:18 pm:

    I’m also thinking about my girls right now. They both take music lessons at SIUE. It suddenly dawned on me that I’m sure the music programs like my kids participate in will be first on the chopping block in the squeeze. They both take piano and one studies viola. Grandma pays for the lessons and takes them every week. I know that’s nothing compared to what the students and staff will go through but my point is that it’s much more than just higher education. It’s also community and life enrichment. It’s like we’re experiencing a war. It’s starting to touch and effect lives in myriad ways.

  25. - Illini97 - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 4:21 pm:

    - Illinois Manufacturer -
    “I think WIU can survive FY 17 but gravely wounded . A shout out to Noreen Hammond. Do you represent your district or Rauner?”

    That’s the question everyone needs to be asking their reps. Are you going to stand for your district or Rauner? Who put you in that seat? Who can keep you there?

    Gee, isn’t all this consolidation great? Starve this beast, huh? How’s that going, Miss Radogno? Any plans to take the party back yet?

  26. - Bogey Golfer - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 4:21 pm:

    I know everyone here is concerned as to how this impacts Macomb, but 5000 also attends WIU Quad Cities campus. And a year or so ago, there was a Request for Proposals to construct a new riverfront campus at a cost of $35M. So maybe the admins may want to rethink that position along with cutting staff, programs, etc.

  27. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 4:24 pm:

    Twelve public universities, none of which have received a dime since July 1.

    What would Dunkin’s $160 million “emergency” approp. do — get them through next month?

    Forty-eight community colleges that haven’t seen a dime since July 1.

    What does Dunkin’s $40 million “emergency” approp. do — get them through next week?

    What a message we’re sending to the world, to prospective businesses and to our kids.

    Illinois’ new state slogan:

    “Want Some Fries with That?”

  28. - Norseman - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 4:28 pm:

    === Do you represent your district or Rauner? ===

    Do you represent your district or take orders from Rauner?

    There, I fixed it for you. Of course the answer is Rauner.

  29. - illinois manufacturer - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 4:30 pm:

    Yep Illini

  30. - ToughGuy - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 4:32 pm:

    ws-“Want Some Fries with That?”

    Couldn’t have been said better.

  31. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 4:36 pm:

    For those who didn’t see it earlier, here’s a Chicago mag piece showing that the only counties outside the Chicago area experiencing population growth are those anchored by universities.

    Pay no attention to what the governor says; watch what he does.

  32. - illinois manufacturer - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 5:06 pm:

    Word Warren maybe immigrants working at the Chinese owned pork plant and Peoria will be shrinking with Cat. Close the universities and close up downstate Illinois.

  33. - Old and In the Way - Friday, Feb 26, 16 @ 5:10 pm:

    Bogey Golfer
    You may want to get out more! The QC campus is about 90% complete! There will be an impact in the QC as well. All hail Bruce the Ruiner!

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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