Western Illinois to delay layoffs until Pritzker’s budget address

WIU announced a new department in the college of Arts and Sciences.

WESTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY, Macomb (NEWS3) — Weeks before Western Illinois University was to begin layoffs, a new statement was released regarding the decision process.

According to the statement, the university will wait to make reduction decisions until Governor-elect JB Pritzker takes office.

Pritzker is expected to give his budget address on Feb. 20, 2019.

The following is the statement from the university:

 

“Dear University Community,

This week, my leadership team and I came together with Faculty Senate and UPI leadership, and other key stakeholders, to discuss the possibility of postponing the University’s operational reductions, which includes faculty, staff and administrative personnel layoffs. With a new governor taking office January 14, 2019, we have determined the best course of action at this time is to postpone the decisions until we hear from Governor-Elect Pritzker in his February 20, 2019 budget address.

The plan for reducing the University’s expenditures to bring them in line with revenue will be communicated March 1, 2019. I remind our University community that reductions, reorganizations, and faculty, staff and administrative personnel layoffs must still take place. Appropriated funding is only a portion of the decision-making process. Total enrollment is the other critical part of this process.

As my leadership team and I continue to monitor Fall 2019 total enrollment, we also need a more certain indication of what Western Illinois University’s state appropriations may be for Fiscal Year 2020 before final decisions are made. The Governor’s budget address is the first step of the process, followed by action from the Illinois House and Senate. I will continue to work with the state’s leadership to advocate for restored funding for Western Illinois University. We will work tirelessly to ensure that Western’s voice is heard in Springfield, and to recruit and retain students from Illinois and beyond. We must be unified in our efforts.

I understand the angst and uncertainty that waiting for these decisions cause our faculty, staff, students, and the broader University community. We will take a sustaining course of action to ensure a strong future for Western Illinois University.

Thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely,

Jack Thomas

President”