DeKalb, IL – The president of Northern Illinois University is painting a grim budget outlook for the coming fiscal year. John Peters says the university might have to consider laying off more than 250 employees, and nearly 90 student workers, if state funding continues to dry up. The reductions could take the form of temporary layoffs, reduced work weeks, permanent elimination of positions, or a combination of all those options. The school says the plan falls under a worst-case scenario. However, Peters says he's not optimistic the General Assembly will approve a proposed income-tax hike for education. He says he wants the university to draw up a realistic financial plan. Illinois currently owes NIU more than $55 million dollars. Under the governor's proposed budget, next year's funding would shrink by nearly $7 million dollars.