Glassman delivers speech Thursday

Corryn Brock, News Editor

During his State of the University address, university President David Glassman announced there are currently no plans to lay off, furlough or reduce any full time continuing employees.

Glassman said he does not anticipate that changing unless the university sends students home.

If the university does send students home, cuts would be made in housing and dining areas.

He added the university will not be able to increase salaries for non-negotiated employees, but the university hopes to be able to announce salary increases later this academic year.

Despite the university not seeing a need to reduce staffing, Glassman said it is facing significant financial costs due to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Glassman said the university is estimating $7 million in unintended expenses and refunds by the end of the school year.

Funds from the federal CARES Act will help offset some of the estimated amount but not the full amount, however, the university is hopeful it can handle the cost regardless.

Glassman said he is hopeful funds provided by the Stimulus Act that is being negotiated in Congress will provide additional assistance to the university.

He also acknowledged that the state was able to appropriate a similar amount of funding for higher education than last year but the amount could decrease depending on the impact of the state’s revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Glassman said due to the uncertainty of state funding the university is holding back five percent of the university’s appropriation, totaling around $2 million, from put into divisional budgets.

A small reduction to each Vice President’s divisional budgets has been made to help offset costs of contractual agreements and financial managers will be restricted to purchasing strictly essential supplies for the current fiscal year.

Glassman also discussed the possibility of sending students home early this semester.

He acknowledged that it would not be ideal for many students to be sent home early.

“Now no one wishes for our students’ on-campus experience to end abruptly, especially our students, who tell us time and time again how much they want to be here, how they want access to our student supports, how they want as much student-faculty engagement as possible, how they want access to our library, and how many need access to our technology, laboratories and other resources,” Glassman said. “They want to continue experiencing EIU and the promises our brand provides them.”

Glassman said to ensure students are not sent home early is by making “active and serious efforts” to reduce the spread of the virus.

He said that includes students, faculty, staff and the Coles County Community.

“Where we need to do a better job is making sure that our entire EIU community practices the same level of commitment and dedication to following our safety measures off campus as they have been demonstrating while on campus,” Glassman said.

“The sooner everyone complies by following these simple and scientifically proven public health measures, the sooner the positivity rate in our county will go down. I want nothing more than to alleviate the fear being expressed by students wondering if they will be sent home,” Glassman said. “That decision would certainly be contrary to our tremendous efforts throughout the entire summer, and completely undermine the assistance and sacrifices made by scores of EIU employees to make our campus safe for living and learning.”

Glassman also introduced new members of Eastern’s administrative team:

Sean Reeder,Vice President of Business Affairs

Anne Flaherty, Vice President for Student Affairs

Ryan Gibson, Executive Director of Information Technology Services

Laretta Henderson, Dean of the College of Education

Barbara Bonnekessen, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

He also welcomed new faculty and staff members.

 

Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]