WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Western Faces Unprecedented Budget Crunch

Macomb – Western Illinois University is facing an unprecedented budget crunch to due the state's financial crisis.

In a letter to the University, President Al Goldfarb says Illinois owes Western about $26 million in reimbursements, which he says is a quarter of the school's operating budget.

He says he's asking the entire University to scale back, but he says people's jobs are not on the chopping block.

"We have said over and over again our number one priority is taking care of our employees," says Goldfarb. "Our employees have not seen any kinds of significant reductions. So we will not engage in layoffs. We are working very diligently; taking a look at how to protect our employees."

Goldfarb says the University will likely review any administrative and support staff positions that become vacant, but any changes would not affect instructional positions.

He says he's confident the state will pay Western what it's owed. But in the meantime, he says he's asking departments to watch their travel expenses among other precautions. He's also requested that any major equipment purchases or facilities projects be halted. To listen to the entire interview with President Goldfarb, click play on the audio bar above.