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Today’s number: 1500

Thursday, Jun 1, 2017 - Posted by Rich Miller

* The higher education job-loss tally

* And that doesn’t include community colleges and this

WIU President Jack Thomas announced via email that the “University is delaying contract renewal notices to non-tenure track faculty (Unit B). This notice delays a decision on staffing levels for the Fall 2017 semester.” The 118 employees are being notified in writing.

The President explained, “Due to the unprecedented state budget impasse, Western Illinois University continues to consider fiscal adjustments.”


  1. - Honeybear - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 12:16 pm:

    Just in the Higher Education sector

    1500 families

    Thrown into economic crisis

    In a good economy they could get other jobs or find another employer.

    In a bad economy


    And you say it’s not a mushroom cloud for them?

  2. - Flapdoodle - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 12:18 pm:

    Nausea and anger — my reactions to the post and steady drumbeat of bad news coming out of Springfield. Save the partisan rancor for another time, people. No one’s clean and no one seems to care about it. They need to get over themselves and do their freakin’ jobs. Narrow-minded moral midgets is what they are. Yuch.

  3. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 12:19 pm:

    This is what he wants

  4. - don the legend - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 12:20 pm:

    Raunerites say “Small price to pay for reform but what’s really important is JB talked to Blago nine years ago.”

  5. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 12:22 pm:


  6. - Montrose - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 12:25 pm:

    If a private company announced it was cutting 1500 jobs, Rauner would jump up and down in protest.

  7. - cdog - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 12:26 pm:

    This is not ideal, nor I condone any of the execution chosen by Rauner and Madigan.

    But, it is a good economy. People may have to move on to new places and do new things.

    The glass can be half full if a person is resilient and robust.

    I hope that many of these people were planning ahead, reducing expenses, looking at alternatives.

    If you are able bodied, of sound mind, willing and polite, you can find another job.

  8. - illini97 - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 12:26 pm:

    Since Rauner is always out there fightin’ for taxpayers, and these 1,500 newly unemployed people are the result of Rauner’s failures, I have to assume they were not paying taxes?

    Otherwise, he would have fought to keep these 1,500 Illinoisans employed, right?

    Starve the Beast in action, I see.

  9. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 12:27 pm:

    Diana and Bruce Rauner… the patrons to Dartmouth for a Library and Dormatory… They must wonder…

    “Only 1500? When are we going to close one of these schools?”

    The RaunerS like higher education. The RaunerS just want Illinois’ higher education to implode.

    Those RaunerS…

  10. - JPC - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 12:28 pm:

    Not included in this is the long-term reputational damage to Illinois higher ed. This extends forward and backward. The shoddy reputation Illinois higher ed will acquire will be transferred onto those who have already graduated–Oh, you went there–didn’t that close or something? Can someone there offer you a recommendation? Support?

  11. - MissingG - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 12:29 pm:

    Those 1500+ people are leaving IL because we don’t have term limits.

  12. - Montrose - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 12:30 pm:


    “But, it is a good economy. People may have to move on to new places and do new things.”

    You didn’t get the memo from Rauner. Our state won’t have a good economy until his economic reforms are in place.

  13. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 12:31 pm:

    ===But, it is a good economy. People may have to move on to new places and do new things.

    The glass can be half full if a person is resilient and robust.

    I hope that many of these people were planning ahead, reducing expenses, looking at alternatives.

    If you are able bodied, of sound mind, willing and polite, you can find another===

    Words fail me…

    Is this the “too bad, so sad, good luck” response?

    Rauner refuses to fund higher education and … “1500? They’ll be fine”… That’s how it goes, - cdog -

    Wow. Just… wow.

  14. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 12:33 pm:

    It is higher than that. Lots of contracts were simply not renewed for contingent faculty and staff so they weren’t “laid-off” but were simply not renewed. This is also on top of losses last year as well.

  15. - Cubs in '16 - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 12:40 pm:

    ===If a private company announced it was cutting 1500 jobs, Rauner would jump up and down in protest.===

    And throw an EDGE grant their way.

  16. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 12:45 pm:

    Those are government jobs so they don’t count to team Bruce

  17. - illini - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 12:49 pm:

    @Willy - you beat me to it. My point as well.

    @Anonymous@12:33 - Get a name - but good point. What are those numbers throughout the state?

    And when the first ( or third ) university fails - who will have been responsible?

  18. - cdog - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 12:50 pm:

    ==Is this the “too bad, so sad, good luck” response?==


  19. - ktkat - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 1:01 pm:

    Where exactly in places like EIU will these people be expected to get jobs? They can leave the region which will have an impact on the economy and businesses outside of higher ed will be impacted. But hey, if they planned well and saved they will be ok right? SMH

  20. - Saluki - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 1:14 pm:

    If the average employee salary is $40,000 that’s 60 million in buying power gone.

  21. - kitty - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 1:19 pm:

    Ktkat, for those who have or will be laid off from EIU, not many options in Charleston-Mattoon save for low paying service sector jobs with few benefits. Your question should be posed to Rauner enablers Dale Righter and Reggie Phillips, both of whom place Rauner’s agenda ahead of the economic well being of their constituents and EIU.

  22. - Ducky LaMoore - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 1:19 pm:

    ===Those are government jobs so they don’t count to team Bruce===

    It makes you wonder what life would be like if every politician was like this… no national parks or forests, no state schools, no rural electrification, no labor laws, no income tax, no interstate highway system, absolutely zero welfare. It is just scary that someone like this can have any relevancy what-so-ever in our political discourse.

  23. - Dee Lay - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 1:29 pm:

    This isn’t a bug; its a feature.

  24. - Honeybear - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 1:34 pm:

    Cdog- I’d love for you to spend just 2 hours with me at work in the “Aid Office”.

    It would change your life.

    Here’s a helpful tip

    Murray Bowen- self-differentiation

    You should get you some of that.

  25. - East Central Illinois - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 1:44 pm:


    I had to re-read your post 2 times before I realized it wasn’t snark; that you were serious. My gosh, do you really believe what you wrote?

    “But, it is a good economy. People may have to move on to new places and do new things.”

    Please, please, please come down to East Central Illinois and tell that to those folks that lost these jobs at EIU. I want a front row seat when you open your mouth.

  26. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 2:01 pm:

    How do you like that Downstate voters? The governor is bleeding to death the economic engines that will keep your kids around.

    And your GOP legislators are complicit, in order to hang on to their do-nothing phony-baloney jobs. .

  27. - up2now - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 2:05 pm:

    Indeed, layoffs don’t account for all the jobs lost in higher education. Lots of employees took retirement because they were going to be laid off or just saw the future, so the casualty count is higher than the layoff count. The IT department at the university where I worked is down by half.

  28. - Run1 - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 2:12 pm:

    And some of my friends want to know why I helped my daughter transfer to an out of state school. This is exactly why, I don’t care that it’s costing more, I care about the quality of her education. Illinois is not in my daughter’s future thank god.

  29. - Crosstab - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 2:15 pm:

    This was published about EIU last June:

    Since the start of the layoff process almost a year ago, the university has cut 413 employees, going from a staff of 1,743 employees to 1,330 employees, according to university officials.

    I can guarantee you that the number of employees is probably 1250ish now. Maybe lower.

    It’s very likely that EIU has 500 fewer employees now than it did in June of 2015.

  30. - RIJ - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 2:50 pm:

    This is why, even though I retired from a state school, I have advised my own nieces and nephews to seek higher education outside Illinois. I worked in higher ed for 34 years, and I know what all of this is doing to quality of instruction. Cutting into the bone, now.

  31. - Doc Anonymous - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 3:11 pm:

    Rauner is effectively gutting regions of the state that voted for Trump and for the GOP–the rural regions surrounding university towns at EIU, WIU, SIUC. University folk themselves don’t tend to vote GOP, of course, but when they get laid off they stop buying food and gas from people who do. And that is killing Matoon, Charleston, and Carbondale.

    The layoffs are, in economic terms, just the tip of the iceberg: highly qualified university employees are leaving the state in droves, seeking work at universities that aren’t being killed by their state governments. Every departure hurts in a small college town, lowering morale, leaving an unfilled gap in teaching, and contributing to the downward spiral.

  32. - Amalia - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 3:14 pm:

    every public service entity has the greatest costs in jobs. this is why more buildings added to an entity seems sexy, but you have to employ people to work in the buildings. and when costs must go down, the place to look is in the people, the smaller costs than capital. sometimes it makes total sense. I have no idea if this is true here. the loss of jobs is always a concern to the economy. but for individual entities, there has to be a closer look. bet the jobs lost did not come at the top, though, and bet that there are still lots of administrators with huge salaries. this is true of both the Universities and the community colleges, lots of high level people protecting and feathering their nests. do they have the right number of people in the right jobs is the most important question.

  33. - City Zen - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 3:31 pm:

    ==If the average employee salary is $40,000 that’s 60 million in buying power gone.==

    The $60 million in buying power is also gone once you raise taxes to pay for that expense. It’s a zero sum game unless the money flows in from an external source.

  34. - Give Me A Break - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 3:43 pm:

    Don’t worry GOP, all you have to do in these areas is run a couple of ads about Chicago being the worst place on earth and how Dems want to take guns away and the voters will march to the ballot booths and once again vote for the GOP. The voters get what they deserve.

  35. - Motambe - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 3:47 pm:

    Out-of-state colleges and universities have stepped up their effective recruitment of our best academic high school grads. Most will not return to Illinois.
    Illinois colleges and universities are losing excellent faculty and staff to out- of-state institutions. Quality of instruction will be affected.
    A 5 to 7 year downward spiral in higher education will require 20 years to repair.
    In Mississippi and Arkansas there are cheers. “Yea, we’re no longer last at the bottom of the higher ed lists!”

  36. - CapnCrunch - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 3:48 pm:

    “…the loss of jobs is always a concern to the economy. but for individual entities, there has to be a closer look. bet the jobs lost did not come at the top, though, and bet that there are still lots of administrators with huge salaries…..”

    Good point.
    While many schools are actually issuing layoff notices, I have not seen public notice of layoffs at UIUC. According to the article “Most of the reductions have come through attrition. In fact, the numbers aren’t a count of specific positions cut but rather a net reduction comparing employment counts at two points in time. According to an AFSCME spokesman “some positions were eliminated, but employees were “bumped” into other jobs or decided to retire….There were no layoffs in our bargaining units”
    Meanwhile, during the 18 month period, the UIUC Chancellor resigned her $549,069 job and later left on a one-year sabbatical earning $365,354. The person chosen as Interim Chancellor of UIUC earned $397,500 in her new role, a raise from $325,000 as LAS dean. She was later promoted to a newly created position, at a salary of $450,000. A new Chancellor was hired at a salary of $649,000. A new LAS dean was later hired earning $320,444 annually. As a result of these changes administrative salaries increased by $545,444. No one was fired, one person resigned to take a job in Colorado and a new employee was hired.

  37. - Thomas Griffin - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 3:58 pm:

    Not all of us can move to private sector due to age, disability, gender non-conformity, and racial status. The public sector is the great equalizer that cannot discriminate, thanks to the law. Was-Mart will not touch me with a ten foot pole.

  38. - cdog - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 4:09 pm:

    My intention is to be hopeful for those that are affected by this State of Illinois nightmare. Make lemonade out lemons. There is no alternative for them, in my mind.

    All this “light yourself on fire” while your house might be burning makes no sense to me. The right action is to put the fire out, pick up and move on, figure out why the place caught fire in the first place so it doesn’t happen again. And, don’t hang out with people that keep being negative about a tough situation, and handing you a gas can.

    I was raised by depression/dust bowl survivors. My folks could smile through anything. I know not everyone was blessed with family values like this but where there is a will, there is a way to move forward.

    (the Four Agreements, self-improvment-lite is a good place to start if that’s appropriate; tell the truth, do your best, don’t assume anything; don’t take anything personally)

    HB, on self-differentiation the author writes, “A person with a well-differentiated “self” recognizes his realistic dependence on others, but he can stay calm and clear headed enough in the face of conflict, criticism, and rejection to distinguish thinking rooted in a careful assessment of the facts from thinking clouded by emotionality. Thoughtfully acquired principles help guide decision-making about important family and social issues, making him less at the mercy of the feelings of the moment. What he decides, and what he says, matches what he does.” This actually makes my point.

    I sincerely hope the best for these people and their communities. I am very disgusted with the brinksmanship in Springfield that has led to this.

  39. - Retired Educator - Thursday, Jun 1, 17 @ 4:29 pm:

    Layoffs were inevitable since enrollment is cratering. Students are exiting Illinois for other campuses elsewhere.

    This is an ongoing tragedy that predates Rauner and the budget crisis. Illinois colleges and universities were in decline (due to a lack of adequate funding and misplaced priorities as to spending limited resources on higher administrative salaries, etc.), but the current stalemate has accelerated the race to the bottom into a death spiral.

    Higher Ed in Illinois is not a good bargain for many students as our schools are no longer competitive. Repairing the damage will take a full decade or longer. I am not optimistic.

  40. - Ken - Friday, Jun 2, 17 @ 8:21 am:

    Catching down to Alabama. So proud of my state /s.

  41. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 2, 17 @ 8:42 am:

    ===Catching down to Alabama. So proud of my state===

    Auburn, UAB, Alabama… They aren’t starving for funding, if anything the state of Alabama is stealing Illinois students with Vito Corleone style “Offers they can’t refuse”

    Use the Google. The state of Alabama is getting more Illinois students by the year.

  42. - Blitz - Friday, Jun 2, 17 @ 10:11 am:

    The number 1500 is extremely low as others have pointed out. For example at EIU in the past year, the total number of faculty and academic support staff has decreased by approximately 70, but only 2 were laid off that would have been counted in the 1500. The rest decided to retire or were not retained. A better measure is the total reduction of employees (also previously mentioned) which in the past year at EIU is around 280; since 2010 it is north of 600. This is an ongoing issue that goes back to Blagojevich, but now boosted with rocket fuel to crisis proportions by Rauner.

    Taking the 1500 and multiplying by 40K gives $60 M lost in the economy. This too is low not only because the 1500 is low but because it ignores multiplier effects of higher education spending to the economy. In the 6-county region surrounding EIU, it has been estimated that $65 M and 500 jobs have been lost in the past year alone.

  43. - Chucktownian - Friday, Jun 2, 17 @ 11:30 am:

    And I’m one of the folks leaving EIU at the end of the month for another state. Great school and great place but I have a career that needs to actually move up so I’m out of here. I know entire offices of support staff who have left EIU in the last two years. I sure hope Illinois gets it together but may patience ended a while back.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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