In the face of challenging times, Western Illinois University says it must tighten its belt.
“In our need to address overall structural budget problems, the president … outlined some of the plans going forward, which include reductions of our staff,” said WIU budget director Matt Bierman of president Jack Thomas' message to the campus this week. “We recently also announced a retirement incentive program, and we've had about fifty individuals take advantage of that.”
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Bierman says there will also be an attempt to reduce tuition. He says he does not believe the budget-minded moves will affect the quality of a Western education.
The problems are not confined to the governor's proposed 31 percent cut to higher education and the lack of a settled state budget. The declining support for Illinois' public universities, as well as diminishing enrollment in Macomb, contribute.