At the Board of Trustees’ meeting on Nov. 16, a budget for FY 19 was approved.
Eastern’s recent history surrounding budgets is a troubled one. As many know, lots of different institutions in the state of Illinois suffered from a budget impasse that lasted from 2015 to 2017. This meant that, for the duration of the impasse, Eastern received no money from the state.
The consequences of this are still felt throughout campus and throughout the state.
Eastern was changed fundamentally through this time period. The Eastern we see today is a different one then the one that existed four years ago.
While looking through the approved budget for this year, a couple things are obvious.
First, Eastern is back to receiving regular cash flushes from the state. Anyone who witnessed the past couple of years knows how amazing that is.
Despite this completely optimistic gesture, we at The Daily Eastern News implore the administration to not run from the past and what we as an institution have learned through the entirety of the impasse.
It can be too easy to want to forget the hard times we seemingly barely survived and go back to what we did before the budget troubles.
While listening to the explanation of budget, there is an underlying sense of caution when it comes to expenditures, which is a relief to see.
Now comes the hard part: the follow through.
Riding this wave of optimism and increases in enrollment could prove to be dangerous if we do not continue to look toward the future and fight for what we want Eastern to look like in the coming years.
It is our duty to set Eastern up for success and to help this university we have come to love.
We will do whatever we can to help this, but it is up to administration to keep their word and spend conservatively while saving and planning for Eastern’s future.