NIU President John G. Peters issued the following statement today after Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn’s noon budget message.
The budget proposal set forth by Gov. Quinn today foreshadows another difficult and challenging year for higher education in Illinois.
Under this budget plan, appropriations for higher education will be rolled back to pre-2006 levels. For NIU, this represents a reduction of more than $6.7 million, or 6.2 percent. If approved, this budget will further intensify the challenges we have been struggling to overcome for several years.
The austerity measures put in place late last year – a hard hiring freeze for all new and vacant appointments, except for critical hires on the academic side required to help us effectively carry out our primary mission of educating students; asking all departments on campus to reduce spending and to find ways to delay processing of purchases, contracts and appointments until the latest possible point in time so that we can conserve cash; further limiting travel and related expenditures; and limiting maintenance to health- and safety-related projects – all will remain in place for the foreseeable future.
Further steps may be required. It is clear that no matter what budget is ultimately approved by the General Assembly for Fiscal Year 2011, it will compel all of us to continue to do more with less.