Layoffs hit Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, Northeastern Illinois University

Staff Report

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Two state universities have announced plans this week to eliminate positions and take other measures to stay afloat after weathering two years without a full budget.

At Northeastern Illinois University, about 180 full-time positions will be eliminated, according to the Chicago Tribune.

This is about 130 civil service employees and 50 administrative and professional employees.

Interim Northeastern Illinois President Richard Helldobler said in the Tribune the layoff notices are set to go out in the next six to seven weeks.

These measures have been put in place to address both a $10.8 million cash flow shortfall through Sept.30 and the lack of a state appropriation, Helldobler said in an email to the university.

The upcoming cuts are expected to save about $9 million, along with a spending freeze and the leaving of some positions vacant.

All of these changes come after a turbulent year for the university, which closed during spring break in March and employees were required to take five furlough days.

The last round of layoffs for Northeastern was 65 non-instructional workers in 2015, according to the Tribune.

Job losses are also imminent at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. In a memo shared by interim chancellor Brad Colwell and printed in the Southern Illinoisan, it stated that 51 civil service employees will be issued layoff notices, two non tenure-track faculty were previously given them and 24 non tenure-track faculty members will not have their contract removed.

Southern Illinois University officials have been working to identify $19 million in reductions since March.

While Colwell wrote in the memo that they had built much of their permanent reduction on vacant positions, layoffs ended up being unavoidable.

A permanent budget, which would have given Southern Illinois University $179.6 million and Northeastern Illinois $33.2 million, failed to pass after the end of the General Assembly’s spring session.

According to the Peoria-Journal Star, this only makes it harder to get another spending plan passed, as it will now take a three-fifths supermajority to pass legislation that will end the stalemate.

The News staff can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]