Illinois higher education is a mess. And I thought it was bad a few years ago when a former continuing education dean at a regional university told me he left the state when doctors stopped accepting his state-provided health insurance. He was prescient. From The Chronicle of Higher Education.
For Illinois's Public Colleges, No State Money Means Plenty of Pain
Tom Wogan, a spokesman for Chicago State University, told The Chronicle on Wednesday that the institution had exhausted its reserves and wouldn’t be able to make payroll come March without the state’s help. In response to a request for comment, [Governor] Mr. Rauner’s office sent The Chronicle a memorandum, written on Wednesday by his chief legislative aide and sent to the legislature, stating that "recent reports of wasteful spending, corruption, and low academic performance at Chicago State are plentiful."
Elsewhere, the president of Eastern Illinois University sparked alarm in November when he said his institution might have to shut down this spring, though he later offered assurances that the campus would remain open. Western Illinois University has sent informal layoff notices to more than 40 faculty members, including a handful who have tenure.
College officials say they are doing their best to minimize consequences for students and to preserve academic quality. But they acknowledge that the budget delay has thrown them into unprecedented waters. They’re wondering how to plan for the possibility that the state will simply skip higher-education funding for the current academic year.