Western Illinois University is developing contingency plans in case the ongoing shortfall of state funding continues. But the administration is not yet ready to reveal details of these plans.
The state has gone nearly two years without a budget. Public colleges and universities received some state funding through a stop-gap spending plan approved in late June of last year, but they have not received any state money this calendar year.
Matt Bierman is Western’s Interim Vice President for Administrative Services. He says the University will continue to press politicians to come up with a spending plan.
"We will go and advocate in Springfield and do everything we can to make sure we can stretch it as long as we can. But we’ll have to consider other options if the state doesn’t step up."
When asked about options, Bierman said he isn't ready to release any information right now.
"But it’s the typical type of activities that we’ve considered in the past and some new things we’ll have to try."
One year ago, Western’s Board of Trustees authorized the administration to use auxiliary facilities systems funds if needed. That money comes from the sale of tax exempt bonds and is normally used to pay for expenses related to university housing and dining, campus recreation, and the University Union.
The use of those auxiliary funds is seen as a measure of last resort. Western hasn't yet dipped into those funds so far, but Bierman says that option remains on the table.