News Local/State

Chicago State University Declares Financial Emergency, Authorizes Layoffs

Chicago State University

View of the campus of Chicago State University, where trustees have declared a financial emergency. Chicago State University

Chicago State University trustees have declared a financial emergency that could lead to some big cuts during the current school year.

On Thursday, the board of trustees of the university on Chicago’s south side voted to declare that the university faces a “financial exigency.” According to the Chicago Tribune, that’s a term in the academic world that means the school faces an imminent threat to its survival that could require measures such as cutting faculty jobs. 

“It just allows you to be relieved of certain responsibilities while you continue to operate and you restructure yourself,” said Chicago State President Thomas Calhoun, Jr.

The board also created a committee to decide on actions that could include layoffs and pay cuts. 

Calhoun says the job cuts --- which could include tenured professors --- are necessary because Chicago State hasn’t received any state funding for this fiscal year.

“It is a large amount of money and we simply have been able to operate for as long as we have because we were efficient, but we just don’t have enough to keep going,” said Calhoun.

Last year, Chicago State University -- which serves mostly African-American students -- received nearly $40 million from the state. But with no state funding this year, the university announced recently that it would run out of money in March.

None of Illinois’ public universities has been paid by the state in eight months. Eastern Illinois and Western Illinois Universities both announced job cuts last month.