State still owes university millions

By Gus Bode

The state still owes the university $52 million for the current fiscal year, SIU President Glenn Poshard said Tuesday.

Poshard told the SIU Board of Trustees Wednesday the state had paid the final $22 million appropriations for fiscal year 2011, but six months into fiscal year 2012, both the Carbondale and Edwardsville campuses are already owed $67 million of the $219 million in yearly appropriations.

He said getting the money for FY11 was a relief.


“That was a Christmas present for us,” he said. “It enables us to keep our bills paid-up. The budget is the budget, so (whether) we get it in July or December, it has already been budgeted.”

Until the state pays the university, Poshard said they would have to continue making decisions to pay bills such as budget cuts and not filling the 280 positions that were eliminated this year.

“The longer those stay open, the revenue we get from those help us to continue to pay our bills,” he said. “All the steps we have taken to manage the budget in the way of cuts and of programming efforts and efficiencies, all of those things are the way we survive when we are not getting payments on time from the state. That means more revenue from the cuts that we have made are held in central administration to pay the bills.”

He said the university had to make the cuts they did, such as a 4 percent cut to all colleges and departments last year and a 2.2 percent cut to all colleges and departments this year, to plan for the state not making payments.

“If we didn’t change anything, and we continued to fill positions, and we didn’t have any money accruing to us from that, then this would be devastating to be paid six months late,” he said. “But because we are six months late, we had to take the position of not filling positions … to get caught up as much as we can until we do get state payments.”