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WIU President Prepares For State Funding Cuts

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn wants to give Western Illinois University even less money next year than it received this year.

The governor’s budget address called for a funding decrease of 2.5 million dollars for Western. In response WIU President Jack Thomas  sent a letter to staff telling them to prepare for the cuts.

Thomas said departments would only hire positions that the university deemed essential. He added that the the university put some of its goals on hold in order to focus on meeting payroll in the short term.

Moody's Investor Service recently downgraded WIU's credit outlook from positive to negative.  Thomas said this reflects the state of Illinois financial situation and Western's reliance on state funding.

Thomas did stress that the university continues to draw accolades from organizations like the Pell Foundation and Southern Reginald Education Board.

Though he said, the cuts do pose a challenge for the University.

We feel there is much more to be done and it's going take finances in order to do some of the things that we want to do.

If approved by the legislature the 2.5 million dollar funding cut  for Western would go into effect for the fiscal year that begins in July.

Scott Stuntz is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.