Another forum on the Western Illinois University budget will be held this month on the Macomb campus.
“One thing I want to say to the university community is: Be patient with us. These are very challenging times in higher education,” said WIU President Jack Thomas.
Dr. Thomas said WIU is striving to meet every payroll despite the financial challenges brought on by eroding financial support from the state.
The forum is scheduled to begin at 3:30 pm, Thursday January 23, in the University Union Heritage Rooms. It will be video-conferenced to the Quad Cities Riverfront Campus in Rooms 103 and 104.
Thomas said the forum will be used to provide a budget update, discuss the challenges WIU faces, and talk about decisions that must be made for the budget year that begins July 1, 2014.
Thomas said no firm decisions have been made and he refuted concerns raised by some employees who worry their jobs have been slated for outsourcing.
“I think individuals are jumping the gun with that,” Thomas said.
“They have a right to voice their concerns. We very much appreciate individuals voicing their concerns. But that (outsourcing) is not something that we have done.”
However, Thomas acknowledged all options are being considered as WIU continues to grapple with financial challenges.
He also said Western faces the same funding issues as colleges and universities across the nation.