The following is a letter from EIU President, David Glassman on the current financial state of Eastern Illinois University.
Dear Campus Community,
As I am sure you are aware, our state leaders failed to resolve the budgetary impasse in Springfield by their scheduled adjournment date of May 31. Although there was much work done in the capital to move toward a full compromise budget or an additional bridging bill that would include partial-year funds for public universities, neither was enacted. We are now counting on our leaders to develop and enact budgets for both FY16 and FY17 prior to July 1, the date that begins the new fiscal year.
Since the beginning of FY16, EIU has managed its finances prudently and effectively to meet the unprecedented challenges imposed by the state’s budgetary gridlock. It has not been easy. In fact, it has been incredibly disheartening to have had to negatively impact so many of EIU’s outstanding employees through layoffs, furloughing, deferred salaries, and by asking all employees to work harder and cover more responsibilities to make up for the decreased employee base.
I thank each of you for your collective cooperation and dedication to EIU and our educational mission as we await a state appropriation. Our students have continued to receive an outstanding Eastern education and we are excited to welcome back our returning students as well as our new freshman and transfer students to campus in August.
The following information serves to keep you updated on our current situation and to reduce the number of false rumors that have been circulated lately.
1.EIU is positioned to continue operations without interruption. We will not close, although additional cost-cutting measures may be needed to bridge us through the summer and next year depending upon the disposition and timing of our state funding.
2.There are no plans for an additional round of large-scale layoffs. Our level of layoffs have already gone beyond efficiency to a level of inefficiency in several areas.
3.Without additional funding from the state, the most difficult upcoming financial challenge for the university will be in July and August prior to the time we begin to receive tuition revenue in late August. Officials in Springfield were warned of this cash flow concern clearly and on numerous occasions during the spring legislative session. In light of this concern, it is imperative that we refrain from any end-of-year spending of division and department operation and gift accounts.
4.If any additional layoffs in civil service employees were to become necessary to bridge the summer months, they would be in the form of two-week, three-week, or 29-day emergency temporary layoffs. Those laid off would return immediately to their current positions and no bumping activity would occur. Any such action would be in accordance with EIU’s contractual agreements with our civil service unions.
5.I do not plan to continue furloughs for any EIU employee in FY17.
6.For EIU employees who remain waiting on decisions for reappointment in FY17 (i.e., Unit B faculty, assistant coaches, student affairs, and others), individual notifications will begin now and continue throughout the summer as further assessments occur. I apologize for not being able to let you all know immediately and realize the importance to you and your families of a timely decision.
Thank you for your hard work and dedication while we wait for our elected officials to enact a full budget solution for Illinois. You may be assured that I will remain vigilant in my advocacy for EIU in Springfield and will not stop until state funding for EIU resumes.
President, Eastern Illinois University