Layoffs, tuition increases, and cuts to programs are going to be the results if the state budget – as proposed by the governor for the next fiscal year – passes. That’s what university presidents are telling lawmakers who sit on appropriations committees. Jack Thomas of Western Illinois University and William Perry of Eastern Illinois University are pushing back against proposed 31 percent reductions in state money.
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“We are the only university in the state that provides the guaranteed cost structure for all student expenses, including room, board, tuition, and fees,” Thomas said of Western Illinois, known as a destination for students from lower-income families.
“The long-term effect of lack of support for higher education,” said Perry, “is going to be a significant negative for the state.”
State Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) asked presidents about professors’ pay and their time in class, while State Sen. Matt Murphy (R-Palatine) said universities must do a better job of detailing how they can live with less money – as private businesses often must do.