Glassman tells CUPB about latest testimony to state senate higher education committee

Brooke Schwartz, Contributing Writer

The Council on University Planning and Budgeting met on Friday to discuss newly added majors and Eastern President David Glassman’s most recent testimony to the state senate appropriations higher education committee.

The Council on Academic Affairs approved many new programs, provost Jay Gatrell reported.

A lot of new majors or major options have also been created using existing courses and faculty members.

“As you know, historically over the past three years, there has been a real commitment to creating new programs using existing curricula and courses, which obviously reduces the overall cost of delivery to the campus community,” Gatrell said.

Last Thursday, Glassman, accompanied by Gatrell and Paul McCann, the interim vice president for business affairs, testified to the state senate appropriations higher education committee regarding Eastern and its past and future budgeting.

At the meeting, Glassman said he told the committee how Eastern adapted on its own and how the university had been retroactive in decreasing its budget even before the impasse started two years ago.

Glassman said the committee asked him if he supported the proposed common application for all public Illinois universities, and he said he is supportive of it.

“(Committee members) wanted to know whether we support having a single application form that is a common app for all the public universities in the state of Illinois, of which I said I favor that, and I could see some advantages of that,” Glassman said. “(It) will allow students, all students, to learn more about each university to find their best match.”

This contradicts previous opinions voiced by faculty members on the effects of a common application, with some saying it would end up hurting Eastern in the long run.

History professor Bailey Young and economics professor Teshome Abebe helped plan a faculty senate forum that took place earlier this year, which looked at threats to higher education, such as the one application proposal.

Abebe said during the forum that the bill might look promising to students and parents but he does not know who else would support such a bill.

Young said proposed higher education changes, such as this common application, would be harmful to Illinois universities.

“My great concern is that the thinking, if it can be called that, behind this sort of legislation is ‘let’s save money by centralizing things on the assumption that one size fits all,’” Young said at the forum.

However, Glassman said he thinks Eastern would benefit from this type of legislation.

“I think that more individuals will know about Eastern, and what our programs are, and what a great value that Eastern is,” Glassman said. “We’re pleased to tell as many students as are out there, prospective students, what Eastern is all about.”

Glassman will be testifying to the house appropriations higher education committee later this week.

McCann said Eastern will stay within budget this fiscal year and will be receiving the $3 million promised from the state in 2017 sometime in March, while the other promised $18 million has no set release date.

Admitted Student Day, which took place last Saturday, included over 220 potential freshmen, 25 percent of whom have already put down a down payment for the 2018-2019 school year.

The next CUPB meeting will take place 9 a.m. April 6 in the Arcola/Tuscola room in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union. It will be discussing athletics.

Brooke Schwartz can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].