BOT approves FY23’s $157 million budget, all action items


Rob Le Cates

Eastern Treasurer Paul McCann, delivers his presentation on the fiscal year 2023 budget at the Friday Board of Trustees meeting in the University Ballroom The $157 million budget was unanimously approved.

Rob Le Cates, Editor-in-Chief

Eastern’s Board of Trustees approved the $157 million budget for the fiscal year 2023 during their June meeting on Friday.

The FY23 budget will have around $1 million less in expenditures than the FY22 budget.

Eastern is asking for a 5 percent increase in state-appropriated funds totaling around 45 million. They currently have the same amount appropriated in FY22 at $43,495,600 in state-appropriated funds.

FY23’s budget will have several increases; personnel services will have a $1.8 million increase along with an increase of $2.6 million to keep up with the cost of inflation. Of the $2.6 million, $1 million is dedicated to utilities.

The BOT also approved the retention of non-indentured and indentured reserves.

The Board Report says its  purpose is to “retain working capital allowances and adequate funds for repair/replacement of equipment and/or relevant facilities as well as repayment of debt, the bond resolutions allow for the transfers to reserve.”

Paul McCann gave a presentation on the updated capital projects on campus and said the new science building construction is on hold for at least a year, waiting for approval from the state to issue a contract for the engineer and architect.

Construction at McAfee is nearly completed. The clock tower is operational and the previously damaged parts of the limestone wall won’t fall anymore.

McCann said construction at the Booth Library steps will hopefully be completed by the time students come back to campus in the fall. The project was delayed slightly due to the amount of damage done to the steps, so more materials are needed to fix them.

The BOT approved an online Master’s of Arts in Teaching program through the College of Education.

Backed by a $750,000 congressional grant, the program allows nontraditional students the ability to receive a master’s degree in teaching.

The post-baccalaureate program will provide a route for candidates with qualifying undergraduate or graduate degrees to receive their teacher licensure to keep up with the K-12 workforce demand in Illinois.

The 48-credit-hour program builds off already established programs, such as the Golden Apple post-baccalaureate program, the Rural School Initiative and the Grow Off Your Own Cohorts. Twelve of the 48 credit hours are designated for students’ residency.

The BOT approved changing its bylaws to restrict the officer voting process to only secret ballots, instead of being both roll call and secret ballots.

The new bylaw will read: “Board members shall elect annually by secret ballot from their own number a Chairperson (who shall preside over Board meetings), Vice Chairperson, Secretary and a member protem. The Chairperson and Secretary shall hold office for one-year terms, and each shall hold office until their successors are elected and qualify.”

The reasoning for this bylaw is to simplify the voting process and prevent possible future complications between board members.

The BOT approved extending the contract for women’s head basketball coach Matt Bollant for two years, along with ratifying football coach Chris Wilkerson’s initial contract.

The BOT approved the purchase of a five-year-long service management software for Housing and Dining.

The software will be billed each year, ending on July 1, 2027. The first payment will cost $73,234.53. The total cost for the five-year period will be $454,262.14.

The Board approved the purchase during its meeting on April 22, but due to a price adjustment, the purchase requires the trustees to vote again.

Plus, the BOT approved awarding tenure status to the new chair of the School of Business, David Martin. He will start at the beginning of the 2022-23 academic year.

The BOT approved the 2022-23 academic year meeting calendar:

  • Friday, September 9, 2022, on campus
  • Friday, November 11, 2022, on campus
  • Friday, January 20, 2023, on campus
  • Friday, April 21, 2023, on campus
  • Friday, June 23, 2023, on campus
  • Saturday, June 24, 2023, Board Retreat, location to be announced
  • Friday, September 8, 2023, on campus
  • Friday, November 10, 2023, on campus

A few other notes:

Student Senate Executive Vice President Connor Mellott, a sophomore interpersonal communications major, will take over for Lucy Ade, a junior interpersonal communications major, as the youngest student trustee. Mellott’s term will start on July 1, and go until June 30, 2023.

Rob Le Cates is a sophomore journalism major. He can be reached at 217-581-2818 or at [email protected]