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Adding insult to injury in higher ed

Thursday, Feb 23, 2017

* Tony Arnold

About 260 Northeastern Illinois University students may be forced out of their campus jobs because of a new rule put in place as a result of the Illinois’ ongoing budget impasse. […]

(A) new rule put in place in December by the State Universities Civil Service System, the organization that administers university employee rules, is creating new headaches for Northeastern officials as they try to save money. The rule states that if a university is going to force its employees to take unpaid days off, then it has to prove it’s doing what it can to save money by first kicking students out of their part-time campus jobs.

Northeastern is believed to be the first Illinois school to be pursuing furloughs that will trigger this new rule.

“I can’t figure out right now a way around it. And I just find that exasperating,” said Richard Helldobler, the interim president of Northeastern.

A university spokesman said if the school goes through with the furloughs, it’s unclear how long the students will be out of their campus jobs.

Helldobler said the state currently owes Northeastern $17 million and over the last few years, the university has taken several measures to save money, from reducing personnel by more than 100 positions to furloughing many of its employees for six days last year.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 3:26 pm:

    “Well, while we’re closing Eastern and Chicago State, do we really need Northeastern Illinois?” - Fake Bruce Rauner.

    It’s heartless to think its a “business decision” that students working for the school they are learning at takes away their chance to pay for school… Because of Term Limits, and destroying Prevailing Wage, and Collective Barginging is more important than a budget stalemate.


  2. - Last Bull Moose - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 3:34 pm:

    This is adding injury to injury. The insult is to our intelligence.

  3. - titan - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 3:35 pm:

    Well, the students will just fall back on their MAP grants … right?

    Oh, never mind.

  4. - Rogue Roni - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 3:38 pm:

    So the GOP has a problem attracting college graduates? Make less college graduates. Problem solved!

  5. - Now What? - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 3:39 pm:

    Lots of potentially new Democratic voters if this goes through. Leverage!

  6. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 3:40 pm:

    Thanks Rauner!

  7. - Signal and Noise - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 3:40 pm:

    That trampling sound you hear is the hoard of prospective students fleeing across state lines. The damage to the system is already done.

  8. - downstate commissioner - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 3:42 pm:

    Can they just furlough the students for the same amount of time they lay off the regular help?

  9. - IllinoisBoi - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 3:51 pm:

    College graduates are dangerous: educated people are harder to lie to, harder to fool, and harder to exploit. So there must be fewer of them.

  10. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 3:52 pm:

    I mean, who do those students think those schools are for? Them?

  11. - Honeybear - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 3:53 pm:

    I hate this. I got through Undergrad by working all four years for the food service. I was a student supervisor. It allowed me to get my first job out of college as a Catering supervisor. These jobs help these kids service financially.

  12. - Midway Gardens - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 3:59 pm:

    Thanks Unions and Civil Service protections.

  13. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 4:03 pm:

    ===Thanks Unions and Civil Service protections.===


    “If it wasn’t for those meddling unions and pesky constitution?”

    Your victimhood is noted.

    However, the victims are of Bruce Rauner’s choosing.

  14. - Earnest - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 4:06 pm:

    There would be a lot more people employed if Illinois had a stable, balanced budget. These students are just a recent hit…social service employees, state vendor and contractor employees, on and on. I maintain the best thing we can do for our state economy is pass a stable, balanced budget.

  15. - m - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 4:09 pm:

    =However, the victims are of Bruce Rauner’s choosing.=

    No, the civil service rule is deciding WHO the victim is, or at least who gets it first.

    These types of rules don’t do the unions any favors in the court of public opinion. Surprised IPI hasn’t already jumped on this with a response.

  16. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 4:19 pm:

    Wheh the Civil Service crews make budgets as described by Article VIII, Section 2, (a), get back to all of us

    Rauner is choosing who to hurt.

    Higher Education is on the list to crush by Bruce Rauner.

  17. - Name Withheld - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 4:20 pm:

    Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think the State Universities Civil Service System is a union organization.

    From their website, it appears they deal in personnel administration and were created by legislative statute back in 1952 by the GA.

    So I’m not sure why anyone would blame the unions for this.

  18. - Puddintaine - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 4:23 pm:

    Socialist incubator in danger of shutdown!
    Their hero Mao knew how to get some usefulness out of Academia, he sent them to the fields. Any of you professors ever walked beans or detassled corn?

  19. - Huh? - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 4:23 pm:

    How many of the students are required to work on campus as part of a work/study type of grant or scholarship?

    There is a federal work-study program. What happens to these kids?

  20. - Honeybear - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 4:24 pm:

    M- so who should get cut the student who probably doesn’t have a family to support or the full time employee who probably does? As much as I empathize with the student workers, let’s try to save the ones with families

  21. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 4:26 pm:

    When the students drop out and enrollment plummets, will the full-time workers still have jobs?

  22. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 4:28 pm:

    Just another day for a fiscal conservative promoting common-sense economic growth policies.

    Seriously, how many times does Rauner have to tell you, kids? Get out.

    Your fancy book learnin’ in the skilled trades and the sciences and such will not be needed in the “new economy” he’s buildin’.

    From experience, I can tell you that Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana and Michigan are rollin’ out the red carpet for the smart Illinois kids.

    They ain’t lookin’ for T-shirt makers, either.

  23. - m - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 4:30 pm:

    = As much as I empathize with the student workers, let’s try to save the ones with families=

    I’m not trying to pick the victims, just noting the reality that the rule is picking them, and the reality of the image that creates.

  24. - Blue Bayou - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 4:34 pm:

    From Rauner’s twitter feed:

    “It was an honor to present Duncan O.C. Harris the Carnegie Medal today for saving a boy’s life while on vacation in the summer of 2015.”

    He added: “I then told him I was sorry I was destroying higher ed and crushing the boy’s dream of an in-state education.”

  25. - CEA - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 4:47 pm:

    All because two people in Springfield can’t bear the thought of the other one getting a “win.”

  26. - Higher Ed - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 4:48 pm:

    @Honeybear =As much as I empathize with the student workers, let’s try to save the ones with families=
    I get where you are coming from and it is an understandable position.

    It shouldn’t be one or the other. If we had a budget, decisions like these would not be forced on the workers and students of Illiois.

  27. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 5:25 pm:

    word, I don’t think the Gov wears the jacket on this one. Wherever it’s theoretical place on the big org chart, since inception, this group doesn’t go to the can without the approval of the Big U.

  28. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 5:28 pm:

    AA, I’m not following you on the Big U reference.

  29. - HistProf - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 5:40 pm:

    Puddintaine “Any of you professors ever walked beans or detassled corn?”

    In paying for my Ph.D. I worked almost every kind of labor you can name. I had over 10 W-2 forms for several years. I never got to be a mason’s helper, which I regret, because I’m pretty sure that when I was younger, at 6′2″ 240 and buff I could have run a wheel barrow up a 2 x 12 faster than anybody. But I know I could of destroyed puck closet queen Republican like you in any form of labor, physical or mental, musical or menial.

    F you too!

  30. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 5:47 pm:

    –. Any of you professors ever walked beans or detassled corn?–

    I did. I also went to school and the library.

    But I’m not a professor. I did have professors who spent time in Nazi concentration camps and Soviet gulags.

    What’s your point, anyway, Einstein? (whoops, my bad; I’m sure you wouldn’t want to be associated with a socialist Jew professor who didn’t detassel corn before escaping the Thousand Year Reich).

  31. - illini - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 5:51 pm:

    @HistProf - I could echo your comment, but I stopped with 2 MA’s.

  32. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 6:01 pm:

    The Big U, The Top Dog, the 800 pound Orange and Blue gorilla. The University of Illinois.

  33. - Scamp640 - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 6:27 pm:

    @ Puddentaine. How dare you. I did not detassle corn. But I shingled roofs, put up vinyl siding, painted houses, cut timber, and mowed grass. I also served in the air force. I have been an academic for over two decades, working as a teacher. What have you done of value for anybody?

  34. - illini - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 6:56 pm:

    @ArthurAndersen - while I greatly respect your comments on this site, I am questioning you on this one. And you may be privy to some information and have insights that I do not have.

    That being said, I honestly am not certain that the UofI dictates policy and the agenda of the State Universities Civil Service System which covers all impacted institutions.

    If I am wrong it will not be the first time!

  35. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 7:11 pm:

    As someone who is sometimes affiliated with NEIU, I know of several recent cases of students who went from being HS drop outs and/or low level service economy workers to earning B.A.s and going on to grad school and law school.

    Now, these young people are on track to do and are doing very important jobs, paying taxes, and being good citizens.

    Investing in relatively low cost edu institutions is an enormous win for the state economically and socially. It is unconscionable and short sighted and unpatriotic to screw over university students like this for political leverage.

  36. - Classy Freddy Blassy - Thursday, Feb 23, 17 @ 10:07 pm:

    I’m sure all those NEIU employees, you know the ones who may have kids and spouses to support, as well as bills and mortgages to pay, appreciate the fact their President thinks a rule helping protect their jobs is stupid.

  37. - Gene Debs - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 7:53 am:

    By failing to produce any kind of budget, the governor can immediately force the most vulnerable in the state to endure the “cuts” portion of his “turnaround agenda”. He does not have to consider any tax increases. They are anathema to good Republicans anyway. The question becomes: exactly how do layoffs in the communities of educational institutions, a domino effect, get labeled a “job creation”?

  38. - NorthsideNoMore - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 8:31 am:

    Unfortunatly NEIU would be a logical choice for closure. Closing downstate schools will decimate local economies, EIU SIUE WIU will remain open. They should however focus on recruiting across their borders and other nearby states as well. They All offer great education opportunities at a good price.

  39. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 8:37 am:

    - NorthsideNoMore -

    Closing state universities because a governor, specifically Bruce Rauner, refuses to fund them isn’t an acceptable option.

    If Rauner wanted Eastern, Chicago State, NEIU, a SIU campus closed, why didn’t Rauner say so during his campaign?

    Rauner is choosing not to fund higher education. When Rauner had a chance, Rauner vetoed all higher education funding.

    No university should passively be closed by someone who has a library and a dormatory named for them at Dartmouth.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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