Glassman says accreditation is solid, no worries

Analicia Haynes, Administration Editor

The Higher Learning Commission asked public colleges and universities in Illinois to provide an emergency plan “detailing how they will accommodate students if the state budget crisis forces them to close,” according to an article in the Chicago Tribune last Friday.

The HLC is the accreditation agency that oversees the 57 public colleges and universities in Illinois.

According to the article, the HLC sent a letter Thursday which stated, “any institution that believes it may close in the next several months must explain how it will ensure that students can continue their education elsewhere, receive transcripts and advising and get timely information about closure decisions.”

Schools were asked to provide their statuses including financial information, the cash situation and cuts in faculty and staff by Feb. 18.

President David Glassman said Eastern is making the necessary adjustments to continue operations through the fiscal year.

“Our accreditation is solid and we do not have anything to worry about concerning Eastern’s academic excellence and meeting accreditation standards,” Glassman said.

Glassman said until the university receives the state appropriation for fiscal year 2016, the university will continue to use funds from tuition and cash reserves to operate.

“At the same time (we will) reduce university expenses by delaying non-instructional purchases, freezing the hiring of employees, limiting travel, delaying capital projects, and if necessary, instituting layoffs of non-instructional employees and requiring furlough days for administration and professional category employees,” Glassman said.

Glassman said all community colleges and public universities in Illinois have been affected by the budget impasse in Springfield.

“I do not know the exact status of all the other universities but we have made sure that we will continue our operations throughout the entire fiscal year,” Glassman said.

The state has been without a budget since last summer, and higher education has been left without any funding according to the article.

Despite the lack of budget, Glassman said Eastern has a prosperous future.

“We have every expectation that our FY16 and FY17 state appropriation will eventually be enacted,” Glassman said. “Our fall semester will be exciting and excellent.”

Glassman said Eastern has an excellent integrative student recruitment plan and academic departments are working to develop new and undergraduate and graduate programs to help recruit students.

“There is good reason for our ranking by U.S. News and World Report as the highest among all public regional universities in Illinois,” Glassman said.

 

Analicia Haynes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]