* The Southern…
Southern Illinois University President Randy Dunn on Wednesday issued a difficult directive to the Carbondale campus to identify $30 million in potential cuts to address a structural deficit caused by a double whammy of declining enrollment and the “governmental abomination” playing out in Springfield.
The arduous undertaking has been underway for months, but Dunn, in a letter to the campus community, put a hard number to the immediate call for cuts: $30 million in cost reductions to be identified by July 1, on top of the $21 million in cuts the university previously identified.
Dunn also is planning to recommend that SIU Board of Trustees members declare a short-term financial emergency for the Carbondale campus. Dunn said that would signify that the Carbondale campus is operating in deficit mode — it will potentially dip into the red next month — and serve as a warning system to indicate that an even more serious situation could be on the horizon without corrective action. […]
“There’s no way you can cut $30 million dollars out of a human capital enterprise and not have it affect personnel,” Dunn said, in an interview. “There’s no way to do it otherwise.”
Colwell echoed that sentiment in his letter. The “challenging and painful” reductions “will almost certainly include layoffs,” according to Colwell.
That’s a 15.9 percent cut for Carbondale, by the way.
* WSIL TV…
Dunn blames three factors for the impact here:
- the state budget impasse
- declining enrollment
- the fact that the Carbondale campus has already tapped out about $80 million in reserves the school must now pay back.
…Dunn went on to say that if the university is in this mess six months from now, then its the fault of the state.
Their enrollment problems are at the heart of this situation. The impasse ain’t helping, however. There is zero certainty in higher ed right now. If I was a parent with a college-bound student, I think I’d be reluctant to recommend an Illinois school.
* Dunn also wants the Edwardsville campus to loan Carbondale some money…
In his email column, “The System Connection,” Dunn said he is proposing a short-term financial emergency for the university. Dunn said Carbondale will be asking for a loan of unrestricted funds from the Edwardsville campus.
“I fully understand there may be keen frustration — if not anger — at the fact that earlier cost-cutting efforts and strong enrollments at Edwardsville are being rewarded with that financial strength achieved now benefiting another campus … one which has shied away from making some difficult decisions over the past many years,” Dunn said in the column.
In Chancellor Randy Pembrook’s response to the announcement, he said he understands the potential frustration from the Edwardsville campus.
“At this point in time, we have an important role to play as part of the SIU System. Our campus’ financial strength will be critical to the system as we wait for a budget resolution from Springfield,” Pembrook said.
* And then there’s the medical school…
The $2.2 million in additional cuts that are being considered for Southern Illinois University School of Medicine related to the ongoing state budget crisis could lead to an undetermined number of layoffs, the medical school’s dean says.
“We’re really going to try to avoid anything massive,” dean and provost Dr. Jerry Kruse said Thursday. […]
Pay for SIU faculty doctors has been cut 5 percent, many positions vacated through attrition haven’t been filed, and several departments have been restructured to become more efficient, he said. […]
At least five to eight SIU surgeons have resigned over the past 20 months because of the budget uncertainty, he said.
The SJ-R also reports that a lot of new medical school graduates are choosing to leave Illinois for residencies in other states. Just 21 percent of graduating students signed up for Illinois residencies this year, compared to previous averages of between 38-45 percent.