- Chicago State University, a majority-black institution on Chicago’s South Side, declared a state of financial exigency Thursday as it continues to weather a political stalemate in the state's legislature, which has yet to produce a budget for the fiscal year that began July 1.
- The Chicago Tribune reports the university is looking at cost savings outside of layoffs so far, but a state of financial exigency will give administrators the power to cut even tenured faculty positions should the need arise.
- Eastern Illinois University plans to lay off 200 noninstructional employees and institute additional furloughs, and Northeastern Illinois University has said it will not last beyond the spring semester without money it needs from the state.
Illinois’ budget crisis is affecting higher education institutions arguably more than other sectors because emergency spending has not been pushed through the legislature. As in many states, education spending is completely discretionary, leaving colleges and universities at the mercy of legislators.
Illinois’ colleges have taken an especially hard hit this year in their reputation with first-term Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner as revelations over administrator perks at DuPage Community College and the initial resignation package for University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign chancellor Phyllis Wise made it into the public eye. With this backdrop, Rauner continues to push for cuts at the state’s colleges and universities before additional funding.