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*** UPDATED x1 *** NEIU to cut 180 jobs

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

* Forwarded by two different readers…

TO: Faculty and Staff

FROM: Richard J. Helldobler, Interim President

DATE: May 30, 2017

RE: Northeastern to cut 180 positions; Town Hall at 3 p.m. today

I writing to inform Northeastern’s faculty and staff that the University will begin the implementation of layoffs as a result of a two-year state budget impasse that has deprived us of both an FY16 and FY17 appropriation.

The University has a $10.8 million projected cash flow shortfall through September 30. To address this and the lack of a state appropriation, Northeastern will be eliminating at least 50 Administrative and Professional (A&P) positions and approximately 130 Civil Service positions, which account for about 25 percent of each of these employee groups. In total, that is about 180 positions. Layoff notification and the Civil Service bumping process begin immediately and will take place during the next several weeks.

This is difficult news to share and also difficult to communicate completely through one email. You can get more information in an FAQ document that our Office of Human Resources has posted in the new “Furloughs and Layoffs” channel of NEIUport.

I invite all employees to join me at a Town Hall meeting that I will host in Alumni Hall today at 3 p.m. This event will not be livestreamed. During the meeting, there will be an opportunity to ask questions.

Emphasis added.

*** UPDATE ***  DGA…

“Today more Illinois residents lost their jobs and the state’s university system took another hit thanks to Bruce Rauner,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Thriving state universities and colleges have the potential to lift a state’s economy and secure a family’s future, but under Bruce Rauner these institutions are on life support and families are struggling to send their children to school. NEIU’s announcement should be a wakeup call for Governor Rauner to show real leadership and pass a budget.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 12:22 pm:

    “25%? We’re 75% away from goal!” - Fake Gov. Rauner…

    … maybe.

  2. - Old and In the Way - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 12:27 pm:

    Get ready for more announcements like this absent a budget for higher education. Even the community colleges are hurting at this point and the damage continues. To what purpose? Very bad for the State of Illinois!

  3. - PublicServant - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 12:37 pm:

    All is proceeding according to plan…Winning!

    - Governor Gridlock

  4. - Keyrock - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 12:44 pm:

    Rauner: “We have to destroy this State in order to save it!”

  5. - Cassandra - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 12:50 pm:

    I don’t know what to think. Are all government layoffs anywhere bad? Some commenting here would likely say so. But we have been hearing for years that universities, public and private, not just this one, tend towards bloat in their administrative staffing. And automation has changed administrative functions a lot. I note that they don’t appear t be laying off any teaching staff. Perhaps this decision allows them to retain teaching staff in today’s difficult budget climate.

  6. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 1:01 pm:

    === Are all government layoffs anywhere bad? ===

    Don’t argue like a child, please. Thanks.

  7. - Ed Higher - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 1:02 pm:

    Cassandra: majority of cuts will be to rand and file civil service: maintenance staff, office managers, and clerks. Sure, some expensive heads are on the chopping block, but these are muscle-and-bone cuts.

  8. - Msix - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 1:03 pm:

    There’s certainly no bloat at our university. Quite the opposite, in fact. We’re ridiculously shorthanded.

  9. - Joe M - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 1:08 pm:

    Keep in mind that if NEIU is like any of the other Illinois state universities, they are already down a lot of faculty, administrative, and civil service members from not being able to fill positions from retirement and from faculty leaving to take positions at other institutions, usually out of Illinois.

  10. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 1:15 pm:

    - Downstate -

    Then Rauner should run on closing state universities.

    Why won’t Rauner?

  11. - taxation = civilization - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 1:19 pm:


    The stat implies victim blaming
    It also doesn’t account for how people use/attend the universities and /or who does, e.g. students who are poor drop out when their car breaks not because the school stinks.

  12. - Joe M - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 1:27 pm:

    Downstate, a substantial number of NEIU undergraduates are part-time students, many of whom have jobs. Also, NEIU is a commuter school, unlike EIU and others that are primarily residential campuses.

  13. - Anonymous - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 1:34 pm:

    Top 50 pensions in the state are educators retiring at age 50, on my back no less. This is why kids can afford school, and are graduating with 70k mortgage payments on tuition, NOT homes, and are not buying homes. The entire millennial generation. HELLO?
    Highest paid one, lives in Highland Park raking in 500k plus a yr!
    They SHOULD lay off people.
    I can not afford their pensions. But you can continue to pay them

  14. - Thomas Griffin - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 1:37 pm:

    I hope I am not on the block after 25 years. The cuts of teaching faculty have been going on since the post 9/11 recession. Classes are canceled early in the registration season to avoid paying adjuncts. For every two tenured professor who retire, we only get to hire one replacement. We had salary freezes and layoffs already during the Blagojovich budget impasses. 130 is almost half our local union membership. If IT and maintenance is outsourced we can expect a very filthy campus and choppy Internet connections for those of us who will still be there.

  15. - Downstate - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 1:40 pm:

    My point in noting NEIU’s graduation rate is that colleges are like any business. They “sell” the experience and outcome. (It’s why most colleges on their college tours like to show the workout facilities and pools to prospective students.)

    But the overselling of college has led to students with the highest level of student debt, ever! A Reuters report, today, noted that a majority of millenials intend to buy a home, but have less than $1k in savings.

    Colleges have oversold their product. Parents and the students are becoming more discriminating buyers. Colleges in other states, that aren’t having financial problems, are also facing eroding admission numbers.

    I apologize if my earlier comment (now deleted) came off as victim blaming. That was not the intent.

  16. - NorthsideNoMore - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 1:40 pm:

    Bang the Drum Slowly ….State universites in Illinois are dying a slow and dispicable death.

  17. - Ed Higher - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 1:47 pm:

    Anonymous — sure you can stare at the far end of the bell curve but most of the civil service people I know have side gigs to make ends meet. State university pay is substantially *less* than private sector. For the past year, NEIU has had an employee food bank to help staff weather the furloughs.

  18. - offonoff - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 1:57 pm:

    Anonymous - make no mistake, the rank and file civil service people losing their jobs did not create the pension mess and are certainly not at the level at which you speak. Most are hourly people who long ago applied for a job at state university with benefits. The pension system was put in place LONG before many even began their positions. A lot of these employees, like those at EIU, have put in 25+ years and like EIU, were within reach of retirement. Get your facts straight and quit blaming the working people for a problem they didn’t create.

  19. - illini - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 1:58 pm:

    @Anonymous - “Top 50 pensions in the state are educators retiring at age 50″ Last I checked this was not true. Good talking point for those who will believe what they chose to support their pre-concieved notions. And pick a name!

    @ThomasGriffin - I feel for you and good luck. Hundreds of others in Higher Ed share your concern.

    @Downstate - Maybe my nephew was fortunate but 6 months after he graduated from UIUC he bought a home in Champaign. His parents are not rich and for part of his college time he had two sisters in college as well, one at ISU and another in a private college.

  20. - Joe M - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 2:02 pm:

    Anonymous 1:34, to your rant about pensions. The Illinois Better Government Association recently released a report that the median State University Retirement System (SURS) pension is $26,101.00

  21. - filmmaker prof - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 2:02 pm:

    Median pension for a retired State University employee is $26,000, with NO Social Security (See the BGA for data). Wow, how extravagant!

  22. - City Zen - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 2:03 pm:

    ==students who are poor drop out when their car breaks not because the school stinks.==

    Not if they went to Universal Technical Institute.

  23. - JPC - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 2:04 pm:

    @Downstate: most of NEIU’s graduates are transfers and so the graduation rate state is hugely misleading. For transfers the grad rate is quite high.

  24. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 2:05 pm:

    The - @MisterJayEm - rule on “Anonymous” is a rule that makes sense every time comments like that happen.

    To the Post,

    The argument isn’t about pensions, “today”, yesterday, or tomorrow…

    The argument IS… jobs like these being lost are due to the lack of a budget.

    That’s what’s going on.

    The rest is diversion… to the actual happening of Rauner wanting state universities closed.

  25. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 2:10 pm:

    ===Colleges in other states, that aren’t having financial problems, are also facing eroding admission numbers

    There were declining numbers after 2011 due to the economy improving, but now the numbers enrolled are heading up again. Some sectors aren’t recovering as much such as private for profits and 2 years, but overall enrollments are increasing again.

    The student loan crisis is a bit oversold when discussing public undergraduate education especially.

    Three types of borrowers are hit the hardest
    1) Grad students
    2) For Profit attendees
    3) Dropouts

    The astronomical numbers you hear about for most undergrads are if they attend a private university and their parents take out loans to pay for their share. An undergrad attending a public institution is somewhat limited in the amount they can rack up. If you only take out loans through the federal programs the max one can take out is $31,000 total or $23,000 subsidized. At $23,000 you probably are paying in the range of $225 a month. That’s manageable and a reasonable amount to invest in your own education by my mind.

    Is there waste that can be cut? Sure, but like most claims of cutting waste it’s not nearly as much as people think.

  26. - Thomas Griffin - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 2:25 pm:

    Students’ time to degree outlasts their financial aid. That’s the biggest reason for the dropout rate. NEIU spent its reserves to float MAP grants but I imagine most of those students left because it’s still not enough. The biggest complaints I hear from most students is that it takes too long to finish a major because the required courses are offered once per year if they do not get canceled to the austerity measures to reduce class offerings. Students want to buy classes, not dorms, nor gardens, nor four assistant provosts. If somebody must have four assistants it should be the financial aid director to help cut through the long lines and back logs at that office. The system is so centralized that only a director can actually fix a student’s problem with financial aid while the rank and file are stuck doing grunt work without the authority to find and fix a problem. Students get impatient and drop out if the T’s are not crossed and the I’s are not dotted to get financial aid from year to year. Those who pay cash have a better chance of finishing a B.A. It’s slowly Turing our school into a private school with a “state” branding, and hurting our social mission of raising the education of the masses into a school for the upper classes. Not what I signed up for 25 years ago when I started working here and not what I signed up for when I stated attending in 1984. I think the ultimate goal is to close it and the suits can pat themselves I=on the back how they saved the state money for the corporate suits who buy their votes and policies. I am still a blue collar bungalow belt bum living paycheck to paycheck, despite a B.A. and knowing two other languages. If I get laid off I am back to SSI and link cards, because my employment prospects are slim at age 50 and legally blind. The public sector served me well to keep me form passing the had in the subway, and let me pay it back to students who are like me, but now the house of cards is falling out from under my feet. I will have to face production quotas and private sector abuse for being slow but good, because they want fast but good which isn’t always possible for the disabled.

  27. - Anonymous - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 2:31 pm:

    There is fat in the higher ed budget, but it is in 1) construction 2) legal consultancies and 3)bloated administrator salaries.Firing these other people is like having the department of the interior close the Washington Monument in response to a budget cut.

  28. - illini - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 2:37 pm:

    @Anonymous@2:31 - The MisterJayEm rule applies to YOU

  29. - NEIUFactcheck - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 2:37 pm:

    @Downstate–NEIU is recognized both regionally and nationally as graduating students with the least amount of student debt. Many students will stop out for a period of time to save the money to come back, which impacts graduation rates.

  30. - ProfEquis - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 2:39 pm:

    Starve K-12, shut down public schools, leave kids with an inferior or inaccessible education, a few of them make it to higher ed, but must live at home, working to pay one of the highest in-state tuition rates in the region, no MAP grants, after the crappy K-12 education due to underfunding, and the crappy higher ed funding and spartan services, they achieve a low graduation rate. But, it’s the fault of the teachers and their unions and platinum pensions, right?

    Further, the grad rate is calculated by seeing how many of full-time, first-time freshman graduate. Most students at NEIU are going part-time, they transferred from elsewhere after a long slog; This May, 925 students crossed the stage. In December, slightly fewer. So, 1500 or so Illinois bachelor’s degree holders produced in a year. There are 9000 students taking classes at NEIU. Only 700 or so are first-time, full-time freshman. So, do the math. NEIU serves a lot of students really well, and graduates a lot of students, despite being held hostage for two years, and just because fewer than 10% of all students have a low graduation rate, you think the carnage is justified.

  31. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 3:01 pm:

    ==== If somebody must have four assistants it should be the financial aid director to help cut through the long lines and back logs at that office. The system is so centralized that only a director can actually fix a student’s problem with financial aid while the rank and file are stuck doing grunt work without the authority to find and fix a problem. Students get impatient and drop out if the T’s are not crossed and the I’s are not dotted to get financial aid from year to year.

    This is an excellent example of a common problem at many colleges. Some schools are re-configuring their systems to fix these problems — It isn’t easy when the rules conflate staff and administrators. Most places could use some more staff.

  32. - wordslinger - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 3:09 pm:

    Rauner wanted to slash social services and higher ed, but he didn’t have the guts to be upfront about it and present a rational plan to do either.

    So you get the lies and the social Darwinism, plus the record backlog of bills.

  33. - Hmmmm - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 3:47 pm:

    But NEIU had money to buy land it doesn’t need for dorms it doesn’t need through a lengthy eminent domain court battle…

  34. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 3:52 pm:

    - Hmmmm -

    I think that started in 2014.

    I also think in 2014, NEIU was not starving due to a purposeful lack of full funding.

    I further think that a 2-year court battle going on while this sitting governor wants to starve and close state universities isn’t the best way to show that NEIU is needlessly wasting monies, when until Rauner, they planned on being open without fear of being starved to their own demise.

    “Hmmmm” indeed.


  35. - City Zen - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 4:04 pm:

    ==NEIU is recognized both regionally and nationally as graduating students with the least amount of student debt.==

    Do prospective neurologists and chemical engineers know this?

  36. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 4:10 pm:

    So, - City Zen -…

    Democrats and Rauner, everyone should run on closing state universities?

    Why won’t they?

  37. - City Zen - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 5:18 pm:

    ==“Today more Illinois residents lost their jobs and the state’s university system took another hit thanks to Bruce Rauner,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro.==

    How will these private sector jobs be replaced, Director Sam?

  38. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 5:30 pm:

    - City Zen -

    I’m sorry, I must’ve missed your response…

    ===Democrats and Rauner, everyone should run on closing state universities?

    Why won’t they?===

    “No, I’ll wait, thanks.”

  39. - Thomas Griffin - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 5:35 pm:

    The dorms attracted a few more students, but not the elite out of state students as expected, but Chirac kids who need a safe bullet-free apartment close to the school. I am actually glad to see the dorms go to the vulnerable first generation urban poor students than the rich foreign exchange students with gobs of cash to live here on F1 visas that they were originally intended for. The problem is now, that there is no state capital improvement funds to build the vacant spaces on Bryn Mawr Avenue for more dorms. My bank is moving and my favorite Chinese restaurant is gone. The neighborhood is declining, but like everywhere else in Chicago, the rent is going up. The empty spaces along Bryn Mawr are a food desert and NEIU will not develop the dorms until after 2019 when appropriations and capital improvement funds may be available.

  40. - City Zen - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 5:38 pm:

    OW - They all run on that platform, just indirectly.

  41. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 5:41 pm:

    - City Zen -

    You just won’t answer my question, and just want to yell at the clouds from your porch, or…


  42. - peon - Tuesday, May 30, 17 @ 9:23 pm:

    The Governor talks about this is two ways: i) how the uncoordinated cuts are making higher ed better; or ii) how much more he wants to add to higher ed - you guessed it - after the TA is passed.

    Many people here make a good argument that this is a smokescreen for deliberate destruction and if a public university closed down, no tears would be shed.

    I’m not sure. I think a public university closing down erratically (like say the State Museum) would be politically radioactive. I think it is nationally unprecedented, but perhaps I am naive.

    I think the goal is still to inflict maximum harm for other TA ends, but avoid closing. At this point however, after 2.5 years, it’s very risky.

  43. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 6:49 am:

    Isn’t it ironic that “Anonymous” tries to publicly shame people, LOL

    Wonder if any of those listed are Doctors.

    I’m willing to bet “Anonymous” is likely NOT a Doctor.

    I can hear “Anonymous” breather thru their mouth all the way from here…

  44. - Chucktownian - Wednesday, May 31, 17 @ 11:09 am:

    Like thousands of public university employees statewide, I’ve taken a university job at a public university out of state. Done.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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