Letter to legislators, governor warns of possibility of layoffs


Jason Howell

Eastern President David Glassman speaks at a press conference on Feb. 23 in the Cougill Foyer of Old Main.

Jason Howell, Editor-in-Chief

Editor’s Note: This story has been corrected to indicate that the university has received partial funding

Eastern President David Glassman warned the governor and legislative leaders in a letter that the university may have to lay off more employees should the university not see full funding soon.

The state of Illinois has gone 10 months without a budget, meaning Eastern and other state universities have not received a full appropriation.

The university was allocated around $12.5 million in stopgap funding when Rauner signed SB2059 into law that provided universities money from the Illinois Education Assistance Fund; MAP grants will also be partially funded.

In an email to The Daily Eastern News he said that these potential layoffs would most likely affect civil service employees.

The university’s total employee count has been reduced by 363 persons during a single year and the $27 million cash flow reserves the university has used is nearly depleted.

“Reserves is a misnomer of these funds as they are collected through fees to our students and other revenues gendered from such things as traffic fines and are dedicated for specific purposes,” he said.

These specific purposes include technology and laboratory upgrades, street and sidewalk improvements and replacement of instructional equipment, among others.

“Belt tightening can only take you so far, however, and robbing your own dedicated accounts in order to continue operations is not sustainable,” he said.

Other cost-cutting actions implemented earlier such as the furlough requirement for administrative and professional employees and professional travel and equipment purchase restrictions are still in effect.

He implored legislators to consider the human consequences of their inaction, saying the Eastern student and employee community wish them the “diligence and determination to use the stopgap bipartisan measure as a starting point to build on for further agreement on full-year FY16 and 17 higher education appropriations.”


Jason Howell can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]