Looking to the Future: EIU Works to Realign Resources
Eastern Illinois University is working through a process of program analysis to deal with current fiscal realities while preparing for future growth, according to President William Perry.
“It’s not a secret to anyone that costs in higher education have been rising for a number of years,” Perry said. “And, at the same time, we’ve faced declining high school graduating classes, a highly competitive environment and a changing economy.”
As a result, he said, the university has undertaken a comprehensive program analysis -- reviewing every university program to assure even stronger alignment with the university’s mission and to produce sustainable enrollment growth. The university is working to become even more efficient and make targeted investments to fulfill its mission and prepare its students for new and expanding fields.
“It also means that, in the present environment, we need to eliminate about $7 million in base-budget expenses over the next two years,” he said. “That’s about 6.7 percent of the appropriated budget.
“And, we will also reallocate an additional $1 million to fund programs and opportunities which grow our enrollments,” Perry said.
“Healthy universities are constantly evolving and EIU is no different,” he said. “Since our founding in 1895, we have evolved into a top-tier, comprehensive master’s university. We will continue to make strategic choices to uphold academic excellence and prepare our students for the jobs of the future.”
The current process is the next logical step in that evolution, he said, and is guided by the university strategic plan completed in 2012.
“We have already made strides to improve our competitiveness and I am confident that those changes will increase new student enrollment,” he said. “For the continued affordability of an EIU education, we will use our resources as efficiently as possible.”
The process includes input from across the university through the Council on University Planning and Budget. The council includes representatives from throughout the university and the group is reviewing information provided by all departments. Later this spring, the council will make recommendations to the president for action.