Eastern provides options to pay back state cuts

Luis Martinez, Administration Editor

Paul McCann, the vice president for business affairs, discussed four possible options for Eastern during the last Council on University Planning and Budget meeting.

Eastern has to find ways to pay back 2.25 percent of what the state of Illinois has given in terms of appropriated funds. The 2.25 percent translates to $989,100.

“The state has decreased our budget money and we don’t have many places this late in the year that we can take them from,” McCann said. “At this point, what we’re looking for is things we can move around from the standpoint of funding sources in order to cover that million dollars they cut.”

McCann said moving projects from deferred maintenance over to campus improvement was one of the options discussed.

“What we do is transfer the projects that we already did from deferred maintenance over to campus improvement and they be projects that would be eligible for use for both sets of funds,” McCann said.

An example of one of the projects being moved to a different fund is the remodeling of the Coleman Hall bathrooms.

A second option could include moving around expenses in continuing education over to the delivery charge fee.

“What we do is take expenses that were originally charged to the appropriated line item for continuing education and we move those expenses to the local funds, the delivery charge fee,” McCann said.

Both of the first two options would cover $800,000 of the money Eastern now has to pay back to the state. However, there is still roughly $200,000, which Eastern still needs to find the funds for.

McCann said he does not have final responses for ways to pay back the remaining $200,000.

“I don’t really have a ready answer for the other $200,000,” McCann said. “I’ve got a couple of ideas, maybe moving money into some of the equipment reserves and take them off of appropriated, but that’s not a great answer for that.”

McCann also said with moving some funds into the equipment reserves, Eastern would still spend money, and would need to take money from funds that do not have a lot left in them.

“I kind of left the other $200,000 as a ‘we’ll develop that as we go on during the rest of the year’,” McCann said.

McCann brought up two more possible options to help cover the costs for the remaining $200,000, one being moving some of the appropriated funds to the equipment reserve.

“It would be something similar to what we’re doing in the other places. Over the years, we’ve been able to put some money aside to specifically to buy equipment,” McCann said. “We haven’t bought a lot of equipment this year, but the equipment we have purchased, if we could move it off of the appropriated funds and move it over to the equipment reserve, that would save us some appropriated money.”

McCann said there would be less money in the equipment reserve and would limit what Eastern could do with the reserve in the future.

The equipment reserve covers items Eastern needs such as furniture, fixtures, equipment, and any other items that is movable

The other possible option to help pay off the $200,000 could be to use funds from telecommunication.

“Over a period of time, we’ve been able to accumulated some money in the telecommunications area,” McCann said. “Primarily because we budgeted into that the replacement of equipment and because we haven’t done that, and we probably won’t until 2017, we’ve got some money available in that fund.”

McCann said he does not want to use these funds because he will not be able to replace the phone system when Eastern’s contract with Consolidated Communication ends in 2017.


Luis Martinez can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]