WIU releases new financial guidelines for FY 2019 amid budget trouble

The following is a news release from the Western Illinois University Budget Director regarding new guidelines for Fiscal Year 2019:

“Dear University Community,

As we begin a new academic year at Western Illinois University, and as mentioned in the President’s State of the University Address, this letter serves to outline procedures regarding Fiscal Year 2019 spending, personnel, and other cost-saving measures.

Last year, the University’s appropriated expenditures exceeded revenues by approximately $4 million. In light of the current financial situation, the University must strategically conserve in all possible areas, while recognizing investments will be made in recruitment, retention, and high demand programs.

This year we must spend only for essential operating needs using the following procedures:

Operating

  • Operating budgets will be loaded by the end of August 2018. In recent years, operating budgets have been loaded at 75 percent. This level will become the permanent base budget allocation for departments. This eliminates the option to request additional budget loads.
  • Purchases that are not critical to maintaining an area’s operations and appropriate levels of service should not be made.
  • All areas should strive to spend under budget and avoid unnecessary expenditures.
  • All travel, regardless of cost, must have vice presidential approval.
  • Any expense of $200 or more requires prior vice presidential approval.
  • Prior to placing any purchases with a P-Card, departmental fiscal agents must review expenditures to ensure funds are available.
  • Budget balances should be consistently monitored. For budgeted accounts, approval for a transfer of funds must be obtained prior to any deficit spending.

Personnel

  • For the remainder of this fiscal year, the University will maintain a hiring freeze with the exception of positions that are essential to University operations without sacrificing critical service levels and commitments made to students.
  • Any position that becomes vacant during the year must be evaluated before being filled, regardless of fund sources (excluding grant accounts). All essential position requests must have Presidential approval.
  • To conserve cash, all non-essential positions are expected to remain vacant for the remainder of the fiscal year. These positions will be reevaluated for Fiscal Year 2020.
  • Transfers are not allowed between personnel and operating budgets.

The measures each area has taken toward achieving savings thus far are recognized and appreciated. Please keep in mind that even with the preceding budget reductions and procedures, we will deficit spend in Fiscal Year 2019. Therefore, it is essential that the campus community remains vigilantly mindful of expenditures and remains fiscally conservative.

Thank you for your continued efforts and support as we address the current fiscal realities. Questions regarding budget processes may be directed to the Budget Office at (309) 298-1673.

Sincerely,
Letisha Trepac
Budget Director”