Eastern’s BOT to urge state for funding

Cassie Buchman, Administration Editor

Updated Nov. 15 at 7:40 p.m.


The Board of Trustees voted to pass a resolution to urge the Illinois governor and state legislature to pass a budget and give Eastern funding.

The resolution cites students’ dependence on the state of Illinois as a partner of public college education and the impasse preventing MAP funding and other necessities.

Board member Roger Kratochvil said he wanted to make a resounding motion to pass the resolution so it could be heard from Charleston to Springfield.

Rene Hutchinson, the chair of the board, said if everyone got together and started making their voices known it could make a difference.

“We all know how important this is,” Hutchinson said. “Everyone is frustrated.”

Hutchinson said not enough voices are being heard down in Springfield.

“With more resolutions, with more people going to Springfield, we can put pressure on the legislature so maybe they can start realizing what they’re really hurting,” Hutchinson said. “Not only the programs, but also the university’s citizens and everything else they’re holding hostage as they begin to start withholding funds.”

Jemmie Robertson, the Faculty Senate chair, told the Board of Trustees the results of the confidence vote in Blair Lord, the vice president for academic affairs.

Robertson said the Faculty Senate received a petition to have the vote with 128 signatures, exceeding the 20 percent required to have a valid petition by the faculty constitution.

The referendum had only two options, to vote either confidence or no confidence. Of the 610 voters, 113 said voted for confidence, and 236 voted no confidence.

More than half of those who voted indicated they did not have confidence in Lord, but 261 abstained from voting.

Robertson said the results have been shared with Lord and President David Glassman.

The Faculty Senate members will deliberate more on the matter during their Tuesday meeting.

Because of the vacancy left by the death of former vice chair Robert Webb, the board also needed to nominate a new vice chair at the meeting.

Kratochvil nominated Joe Dively as vice chair, and he was approved.

The Board approved First Financial Bank as the Eastern’s new depository and a new degree program in public relations to be housed in the communication studies program.

Hutchinson said this was the same for every university that operates in Illinois.

“Each one of the respective universities within the state of Illinois will have to go out and begin to start securing a bank that will handle their transactions,” Hutchinson said. “This is nothing that Eastern did, the state of Illinois somewhat dropped the ball.”

Because of that situation, Eastern started looking around for a new place to keep their funds.

“We got five responses and the most productive of those was First Financial Bank because it happens to have a branch across from Old Main,” McCann said.

Lord also talked about the new degree program in public relations at the meeting, which students could take a concentration in the communication studies major or the journalism major.

“(The public relations major) is essentially a rearrangement of the two options into a true degree program that will be housed in communication studies,” Lord said.

Lord said the public relations major could potentially make students more marketable as they look for careers.

“This (program) should be a success right out of the box,” Lord said.


Cassie Buchman can be reached at 581-1812 or [email protected].