Glassman claims Illinois is ‘starving its universities to death’
Eastern Illinois University (EIU) President David Glassman recently testified before the Illinois state legislature in Springfield regarding his institution’s fiscal status, along with his perceived implications of the current budget stalemate on the future of the university.
With nearly one fourth (23 percent) of EIU’s funding coming from the state, Glassman described how he was forced to implement radical spending reductions without a guarantee of funding approval — in combination with a recent decline in enrollment.
Glassman cut 198 staff positions and furloughed additional employees while assuring students they would receive all course credits. Faculty sacrificed raises, as well.
“We pulled together for our students and our institution,” Glassman said.
EIU still managed to rank as the state’s top public university this academic year.
As he spoke in front of lawmakers, Glassman stated that all his options have run their course. Cash reserves are depleted, hirings frozen — and all delayable expenses, postponed.
“We now stand at a critically threatening precipice having been forced to operate without state funding for almost an entire year,” he said. “This state is starving its universities to death.”
Citing potential campus closures, layoffs and defeated proposals, the university president asked where it ends.
“We are encouraged to be vocal with our distress and at the same time warned to be quietly patient,” he said. “Parents are literally driving Illinois students across the borders to pursue higher education in neighboring states.”
Concluding that EIU supports reduced administrative costs, increased state investment and fewer bureaucratic obstacles, Glassman asked that stakeholders unite to enact education funding for 2016 to offer financial stability for the school, its students and surrounding community.
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