The Moody Report paints a grim picture for Illinois universities – at least as long as this delayed budget debacle continues.
Feb. 5, Moody’s Investors Service on Illinois’ public colleges said that “The longer the budget crisis continues, the greater the likelihood that additional Illinois public universities will declare financial exigency to address costs.”
They’re already doing so.
Eastern Illinois University President David Glassman wrote that:
We will implement the actions of halting all non-instructional capital equipment purchases; delaying all deferred maintenance and repairs that are either unrelated to safety and security or already paid for; delaying all non-instructional capital projects; halting all non-instructional supply purchases without vice presidential approval; freezing employee-reimbursed travel with minimal exception such as for required federal or governmental purposes; and freezing all hiring that involves FY16 funding.
Western Illinois University in Macomb voted to cut more than 40 teaching positions.
Chicago State University has already announced a moratorium of sacking tenured faculty and closing its doors. Her 4,500 students will enroll at one of the other 9 public colleges in Illinois. And these, say Moody’s, may close, too.
Students may also lose their accreditation. The Higher Learning Commission, the regional accrediting agency for Illinois public universities, has warned Gov. Bruce Rauner and members of the General Assembly that if Illinois colleges suspend operations, they risk losing accreditation.
A year ago , Gov. Bruce Rauner had called for trimming the state’s higher education budget from $2 billion to $1.6 billion. If these institutions close down, he can return his scissors to their drawer.
Some students will go to private colleges. Others become bankrupt from online for-profit so-called colleges.
And many will have to forgo college altogether.
A state that starves its education shows what it values.