It was stark conversation on Thursday at the Illinois Capitol from University Presidents from around Illinois.
Top level administration staff presented to a Senate Appropriations committee about the year they have spent without state dollars and the prospects of a FY 17 budget that shows more and deeper cuts.
David Glassman the President of Eastern Illinois blankly wondered what the end-game was for the state and budget when cutting higher ed funding. As EIU faces another proposed cut of $40 million Glassman says it’s not a trivial amount of money but a small sum that is well spent.
Southern Illinois University is warning of more than 300 layoffs around its 3 campuses if budgets aren’t filled again with state dollars. Their President Randy Dunn says that they are confident the school isn’t going anywhere but he notes perspective students and parents aren’t so sure.
Glassman says that without a clear path for funding he spends time everyday answering questions from parents and current and prospective students about concerns about the viability of the university and certain programs moving forward.