Dear Campus Community,
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through the cost reductions made necessary by the budgetary impasse in Springfield. I greatly appreciate the input and support I have received in this process from both within our campus community and beyond.
There is very little additional news from Springfield. A smattering of bills were filed last month providing various levels and scopes of funding for public higher education, including one that would provide funding but only for community colleges and MAP grants and another that would provide both full MAP funding as well as an appropriation for the universities but at a rate of only 80 percent of last year's level. The recent flurry of bills being filed to support higher education appropriations is a positive sign that our lawmakers are realizing the urgency and critical nature of what we are facing.
There was an immense showing of support by our campus and regional community at the Fund EIU rally last Friday. We all love this institution first and foremost for the excellence it provides in educating our students. However, it is also an economic, intellectual and cultural engine for our entire region of Illinois. I remain steadfastly confident that our General Assembly and Governor realize the great importance of EIU and all public universities to the future of our great state.
I would like to re-emphasize that the entirety of our cost reduction activities that are being implemented this month and continuing in March (with layoffs and furloughs) is the direct result of not having an appropriation for EIU enacted by the state and not receiving funds for MAP grants that were committed to our students by the state (which we honored).
Owing to the budgetary situation and in respect to our many colleagues facing layoffs, I am postponing our annual Years of Service luncheon scheduled for this week until later in the year or, perhaps, not until next fall. We will look forward to celebrating when our appropriation is enacted and the recall of those laid off begins to take place. Employees may contact the Vice President for Business Affairs to receive their service pins.
I am disappointed that we will need to lay off 198 civil service employees. Layoff notices will be delivered on Wednesday and Thursday (Feb. 10 and 11). Our Human Resources Office will provide as much assistance as possible to those who will be laid off. We are saddened to be put in this position, and realize it will affect either directly or indirectly our entire campus community.
If an appropriation is enacted and funds begin to be received at the university by the layoff date of Saturday, March 12, many or all of the layoff notices could be rescinded.
In addition to layoffs, all A&P employees (beginning on March 1) will be required to take the equivalent of one day of furlough per week, each month, until further notification or up until June 30, 2016. For those employees who were already required to take a specific number of furlough days, these days will be added until an employee has reached a total of 24 furlough days at which time they have met the maximum furlough limit (EIU IGP #189). The specific days chosen to furlough for any month will be determined by the supervisor in consultation with the employee according to university operational needs and the interests of the employee.
There will be the following number of furlough days:
Days in the month chosen for furlough need not be structured as one per week. For example, it would be possible, pending supervisor approval, to use the five days of Spring Break to satisfy furlough for the month of March.
The administration continues to work on alternative strategies that may allow for reducing the number of layoffs. As these discussions continue, I will communicate with the campus. A reduction in A&P required furlough days is possible upon the enactment of an appropriation and timely receipt of funds from the state.
Let us stand together in optimism that an appropriation for EIU will be enacted quickly with funds distributed to our university in order that these difficult measures affecting our campus family can be avoided. I am thankful and proud to serve as your president and we will continue together in action for our students and our beloved university.
David M. Glassman
President, Eastern Illinois University