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Dunn asks administrators to draft cut plans, says SIU is in ‘fiscal triage mode’

By Bill Lukitsch, @Bill_LukitschDE

Brace for another large cut to public higher education in Illinois.

SIU President Randy Dunn has called on administrators to draft plans to fill a $100 million budget hole after proposed cuts by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner in fiscal years 2016 and 2017. Dunn on Wednesday informed university employees of impending cuts via email.

Budget staff from across the university system met in Edwardsville on Monday to expand spending reductions made last year — 8 percent or $13.5 million —  that would “minimally cover the estimated aggregate loss of state support,” Dunn said in the email.

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SIUC would lose the largest share — about $25.4 million. The School of Medicine would lose $9.3 million, SIU-Edwardsville $14.2 million and almost $900,000 would be cut from system expenses. Public universities in the state have still received no appropriation since July as the historic Illinois budget impasse has breached nearly three-quarters of a calendar year.

“I have instructed the campuses to draft additional cut lists that they deem essential to keep the campuses open and core operations underway … through Dec. 31,” Dunn said.

The implications of these cuts indicates the university system is “in full-on fiscal triage mode,” Dunn said.

A call to spokeswoman Rae Goldsmith requesting comment from Dunn regarding the measures went unreturned as of Wednesday evening.

Bill Lukitsch can be contacted at [email protected] or (618) 536-3329. 

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