Daily Egyptian

Dunn talks potential impact of budget cuts at hearing

By Tyler Davis, @TDavis_DE

SIU President Randy Dunn and some of his top aides traveled to Springfield on Thursday to discuss the repercussions of Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposed budget cuts.

A Senate budget committee convened in the state’s capitol to hear from Dunn as well as officials from Eastern Illinois University and Western Illinois University. The officials discussed their plans to deal with the cut and fielded questions from the state legislators.

All schools expressed apprehension at any cut of state funding to higher education. Rauner’s budget, proposed Feb. 18, called for a 31 percent decrease in state appropriations to public universities.

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Dunn told the committee the cuts would not only affect the Carbondale campus, SIU-Edwardsville and the SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, but families and students throughout Illinois.

He said SIU is the largest employer south of the state capitol, and budget cuts can lead to a loss of jobs, which would cause the state to lose jobs to Kentucky and Indiana.

“Any cut has an impact,” Dunn said. “Things are going to disappear and people are going to lose jobs.”

He said other factors, such as raising the minimum wage, will cut into SIU’s funds. Dunn said the SIU Board of Trustees will discuss increasing tuition at its April meeting.

Dunn expressed a reluctance in raising tuition, saying it would hurt SIU’s affordability for many people. Two calls for further comment from Dunn were unreturned.

Below are more facts and figures from the hearing. 

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