A crisis management team has been formed to help Chicago State University navigate budgetary peril. State higher education leaders are working to prevent CSU from closing, after eight months of waiting on state funding.
All of Chicago State University’s 900 employees are on notice – they’ll lose their jobs if the governor and lawmakers don’t come through with cash.
“There’s nothing like this. There’s no playbook for how to manage a closure of a public university like this with thousands of students and hundreds and hundreds of faculty and staff," says director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education, James Applegate.
He says the team is "basically just an effort to bring some different heads, voices and smarts to the table to work with Chicago State to make sure we're not missing anything in terms of the financial, academic facilities, management, all of the things that need to be attended to.”
Members will help CSU develop contingency plans that Applegate says he hopes won't ever be needed, things like ensuring that even if the school has to suspend operations, students will still be able to access their transcripts if needed "in order to go to and attend another university to continue their education?”
Other schools, like Western and Eastern Illinois Universities, are making layoffs, due to the budget standoff.
Applegate says he's talking with the state’s financial aid department, and getting advice from the Attorney General’s office about legal issues.