Saturday, October 8, 2016

Thomas encourages WIU community to ‘rise up’ - McDonough Voice

Western, like other state public universities, has been hit hard by the state’s fiscal crisis. The university, Thomas noted, received $34.1 million from a six-month stopgap measure at the end of June, along with $5.1 million in Monetary Award Program grant funds for students in need. Things are looking better financially, Thomas said, but he added the university could face a repeat of the last fiscal year — which was marked by 110 layoffs, the elimination of some degree programs, and a mandatory furlough program for non-union employees, among other measures — if state legislators don’t come up with a budget to fund the last six months of the current fiscal year. According to Thomas, 59 employees took advantage of an early retirement incentive program during the last fiscal year. For the current academic year, which officially started on Aug. 22, 87 of the positions that were laid-off have been called back. Western’s total fall 10th day enrollment was down by 6.5 percent, to 10,373.

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