State Funding Still An Issue
4:24 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Challenging Financial Times Continue for WIU

  • Interview with WIU President Jack Thomas

Western Illinois University is facing another year of reduced state funding while also playing a waiting game with the state.

WIU President Jack Thomas has asked each vice president at the school to reduce his or her division's total budget by 2%. Thomas said the state reduced it support of Western for the new fiscal year by $3.4 million, a cut of more than 6%.

He said WIU recently received a $6.3 million payment from the state but is still owed around $13 million for the Fiscal Year 2012, which ended June 30.

Thomas said it will be a challenge to find more areas to cut.

“There is very little to cut and we find ourselves dipping into our reserves. But there is very little to cut,” Thomas said.

“Our goal is to make sure that we have no layoffs and no furloughs. We want to make sure that we maintain the faculty and staff that we do have.”

Thomas said WIU is being forced to put some things on hold, such as the addition of academic programs ann PhD programs and the construction of a welcome center.

During an interview with Tri States Public Radio, Thomas referred to the current situation as being a very challenging time. But he said WIU must continue to make progress.

“We cannot afford to stand still during these very difficult budgetary challenging times,” Thomas said.

“We want to continue to be an institution that is competitive, an institution that is affordable, and ... an institution that provides access. This is a place where students can come to get a quality and well-rounded education.”