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The "Crisis of Confidence" series is a multi-year effort by the Tri States Public Radio to document the impact the two-year state budget impasse had on Western Illinois University and the ongoing recovery efforts at WIU. State support for public higher education institutions has been steadily declining in Illinois for more than a decade. But the issue was compounded, during the state's historic two-year budget impasse during Fiscal Years '16 and '17 which left public colleges and universities with little state financial support. At Western Illinois University, that drastic cut in state appropriations resulted in significant budget cuts, employee furloughs, and layoffs.

Bainter Out at WIU

Rich Egger

A long-time administrator at Western Illinois University has left the institution. A spokesperson is saying little about his departure.

Brad Bainter worked at Western for more than 35 years.  He served as the school’s Vice President for Advancement and Public Services the past nine years. He was also Executive Officer of the WIU Foundation. 

Tri States Public Radio obtained an email Bainter sent Tuesday:

Credit Courtesy WIU
Brad Bainter

This morning I was asked to retire effective at the end of the month. I refused. I was then terminated without cause effective today. I want to thank each and everyone of you for your service to Western. Your friendship has meant so much to me that I could never put it into words. Your service has been invaluable to Western. I am sure I will continue to see many of you throughout the coming years. 

Go Leathernecks!


Brad Bainter
Vice President, Advancement and Public Services
Executive Officer, WIU Foundation

Bainter served in other administrative roles through the years and he was often present at university functions and events.

Bainter earned his master's and bachelor's degrees from Western and he played for the school’s basketball team.

A university spokesperson confirmed that Bainter is no longer at the university but declined to offer any further comment, calling it a personnel matter.

Bainter is not the first administrator to leave Western in the past year.  Interim Provost Kathy Neumann, Vice President for Student Services Ron Williams, and Budget Director Matt Bierman are among those who have also left.

Later in the day the university issued a news release to announce organizational changes being made by President Jack Thomas:

With the departure of the Vice President for Advancement and Public Services, the vice presidential position has been eliminated. Foundation and Development responsibilities will be overseen by a Senior Executive Director of Development. As Advancement and Public Services and Marketing provide University-wide functions and services, those areas will now report directly to the President. All employees in these units will retain employment.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.