University Administrators Warn Of Problems With Budget Cut
By the Associated Press, With Additional Reporting from Illinois Public Media
Illinois' public universities are warning of serious perils if the state's temporary income tax increase is allowed to expire as scheduled in January.
University of Illinois Trustees Thursday were told to prepare for a 12.5 percent cut in state funding in the coming fiscal year.
Chief Financial Officer Walter Knorr says that cut, amounting to about $80-milllion dollars, is a ‘real probability’. He says that’s been brought on partially by the expiration of the state’s temporary income tax increase in January.
Meanwhile, Southern Illinois University President Glenn Poshard says institutions of higher education are anticipating a 30 percent decrease in funding next year because of an expected $1.5 billion reduction in state revenues.
Poshard told a Senate appropriations committee Thursday that budget cuts would mean larger class sizes, having more classes taught by adjunct professors instead of tenured faculty and an increase in tuition.
Western Illinois University President Jack Thomas says the state's backlog of bills has already created budget headaches for his institution.
Both presidents say increasing the state's minimum wage as Gov. Pat Quinn wants could heighten budget problems, requiring millions more to pay their student workforces.