As Springfield lawmakers wrestle with finalizing the upcoming state budget, Eastern Illinois University is already working on its funding request for the following year.
The EIU Board of Trustees’ Monday meeting is to include a vote on the university’s budget recommendations for fiscal year 2009, which will begin July 1, 2008.
The meeting is set for 1 p.m. in the University Ballroom, MLK Jr. Union.
The EIU BOT is expected to vote on a request for a $9.4 million increase in operating funds for FY09, an increase of 9.5 percent from the projected FY08 budget.
The figure includes a 5 percent increase to Eastern's salary base and an additional 2 percent increase for retention of critical faculty and staff; a 7 percent increase for Social Security payments (Medicare portion); a 15 percent increase for library acquisitions, which is expected to receive no increase in support in FY08; an 8 percent increase for Eastern's utilities budget, stemming from the rise in energy costs; and a 3 percent increase for general costs, which will include the operation and maintenance of the 183,000-square-foot addition to the Doudna Fine Arts Center.
Just more than half of EIU’s proposed budget (51 percent) comes from state-appropriated funds. This percentage has been dwindling since fiscal year 2002, when state funding made up 67 percent of EIU’s budget.
Between fiscal years 2002 and 2006, EIU’s general revenue funds from the state decreased $7.2 million. Last year, in FY07, EIU was granted an increase of $673,300.
For FY09 capital funds, EIU is expected to request $63.8 million, which would include the purchase of equipment for the new fine arts center ($1.5 million), the construction of a new science building ($9.1 million), rehabilitation of the aging steam plant ($14.3 million), and a growing list of infrastructure improvements.
EIU’s share of the FY08 state budget – covering July 1, 2007, to June 30, 2008 – is still unknown, as the state budget hasn’t been finalized. But the university is expecting an increase of $906,400 in state appropriations, based on the governor’s budget recommendations.
As part of the state’s annual budgeting process, EIU must submit its FY09 appropriations request to the Illinois Board of Higher Education which, in turn, will make its higher education budget recommendations to the governor. The governor presents his budget recommendations via his annual State of the Budget address, usually given in February.
In April, universities typically provide testimony regarding their budget requests before the Illinois House and Senate appropriations committees. The General Assembly normally finalizes appropriations by the end of May, although this has not yet occurred for the FY08 budget. After the legislators approve a budget, it goes to the governor for his approval. Funds are not released until the budget is approved.
The agenda and accompanying board materials for Monday’s meeting may be viewed online at http://www.eiu.edu/trustees.