Monday, March 27, 2017

Illinois regional universities toil through state budget standoff - Dawn Rhodes, Chicago Tribune

Illinois' public university presidents went to Springfield this month to deliver a message: We are at the end of our rope. It was political theater, orchestrated by the majority-Democratic Senate higher-education committee and aimed at embarrassing Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner as the state slogs through its 21st month without a budget. But whatever the partisan motives for the hastily planned March 7 hearing, nearly all university leaders seized the chance to be heard. "We no longer have any tissue, any additional cuts that we can cut," Chicago State University interim President Cecil B. Lucy said. "We are basically down to the bone. We have nothing more to give." That message resurfaced again Thursday, as Northeastern Illinois University prepares to shut down next week as 1,100 employees take five required furlough days and hundreds of student employees temporarily lose their jobs.

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