WIU looking at a private approach for funding with lack of state budget

MOLINE - At Western Illinois University, they're planning for a future without a state budget.

"It's embarrassing to talk about, how what its been three years since a budget has been passed, that threatens to affect students such as myself," said Michael Cortez, student.

It's students like Cortez that the lack of a state budget has been affecting.

"These past two years have been the toughest times that I've had in higher education in all my 30 years," said Dr. Jack Thomas, WIU President.

Trustees approved the University's Fiscal Year 2018 preliminary spending plan of $227.2 million.

The plan must be prepared prior to July 1 for submission to the Illinois Board of Higher Education, the Illinois State Legislature, and the Governor.

"We have to act more like private institutions in terms of going out and finding additional funds and being very conservative in the things we`re doing," said Thomas.

The school can't rely on getting money from the state so they are looking elsewhere, including using facility funds, if needed.

"We're focusing on the latter, we're expanding our outreach with corporations both inside and outside the Quad Cities," said Doctor Joe Rives, WIU Vice President.

The school will also look at cutting back where they can.

"I refuse a raise during these difficult times, as every body else and I just feel it's not fair, I thank you all for what you're doing," said Thomas.

The President's Executive Institute initiatives will be presented at press events on Wednesday, June 14 at both the Macomb and Quad Cities campus.