a href=”https://www.dailyegyptian.com/contactus.html”bDE Staff Reporter/b/abrspan class=”realsmall”bDaily Egyptian/b/span
SIU may forfeit another $18.2 million as the state attempts to gain foothold on the widening budget hole, SIU officials said.
The state has requested all of Illinois’ public universities trim 8 percent from the current fiscal year budget in anticipation of another mid-year recision.
The Bureau of the Budget Office asked in a letter early this week that universities send recommendations for how to make the cuts, SIU spokesman Steve Binder said.
The state is reported to be $4.7 to $5 billion in the red.
And Gov. Rod Blagojevich has made it clear that higher education will not escape the wrath of cutbacks.
Just exactly what the state is asking for, however, has created some confusion on this campus and others.
The state asked for 8 percent of the operating budget, but did not clarify what they defined as the operating budget – whether it is state appropriations or if it included tuition and other funding.
The money would come from the ’03 fiscal year budget, which ends in July. It is also unclear if the state wants 8 percent of what is left or 8 percent of the entire year’s budget, SIUC Chancellor Walter Wendler said.
The state has not actually cut the budgets yet, but has asked universities to identify where the cuts would come from in anticipation of doing so. SIU officials do not know when that might be, but the money identified in the cutback blueprint cannot be spent in the meantime.
The cuts to the SIU system would be about $18.2 million and the Carbondale campus, excluding the School of Medicine, would be about $15 million.
“It would have a significant impact on our ability to do our job,” Wendler said.
Although the state has only requested universities identify how they would make the cuts if necessary, Binder said, “It’s been presented that this is to assume that these are cuts that will have to be made.”
Reporter Molly Parker can be reached at [email protected]