WIU President: No Furloughs or Layoffs

Macomb, IL – Even though Western Illinois University is still waiting for reimbursements of $21.6 million, President Al Goldfarb says there are no plans to layoff or furlough workers.

Goldfarb says furloughs would make only a minor dent in the cash flow problems facing Western.

"We just don't think it would be cost effective at this point in terms of dealing with the cash flow problem, and we think it would be too disruptive to the campus community," says Goldfarb.

He says the university will be able to meet its February payroll without any problems, but the cash flow could get tight again in March. Nonetheless, he believes the state will find a way to ensure universities can complete the spring semester without any disruptions.

"We've been assured by legislators. We've been assured by individuals that we've talked to in the current administration," says Goldfarb. "Clearly they're aware of the cash flow issue. We hope and expect the state recognizes we are a very significant endeavor and clearly provide very significant opportunities for our students."

He says WIU is not alone in facing the cash flow issue. He says it impacts every public university in the state. Thus far, only the University of Illinois has announced plans to implement unpaid furlough days.

Goldfarb issued a letter to the campus community on January 25 to provide an update on the school's cash flow. Here is the letter in its entirety:

January 25, 2010

Cash Flow Update

Dear WIU Campus Community:

After receiving some additional payments from the state of Illinois, the University is still expecting reimbursements totaling $21.6 million. While we are appreciative of these reimbursements, in order to meet our monthly payroll and to avoid furloughs it is still imperative that all University offices continue to limit spending to immediate operational needs only.

All vacant positions for the Spring 2010 Semester only have been frozen; the vice presidents and I will determine exceptions. Fall searches, approved by the appropriate vice presidents, will continue. All purchases over $500, including P-Card purchases and purchases charged on direct pay authorizations (DPAs), as well as all travel requests, must first receive prior approval from the department's vice president. I would like to once again stress that all spending should be limited to immediate operational needs only.

Departments may continue to submit requests for purchase to the Purchasing Office so bids can be obtained. However, orders will not be placed at this time for these requests. Any questions relative to expenditure priorities should be directed to your respective vice president through your supervisor. Please contact the Purchasing Office for questions related to the status of purchase orders.

I appreciate your continued support and understanding during these very challenging times. I will continue to work with other Illinois university presidents and chancellors, as well as with our legislators, to deal with cash flow difficulties. We will also continue to review other strategies for conserving funds as we deal with the FY'10 cash flow and budget planning for FY'11.

Thank you for your cooperation.


Al Goldfarb