WIU

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.

"old gym locker room" by Flickr user Charles Kremenak / (CC X 2.0)

Student enrollment has been trending down at Western Illinois University for much of the last decade. For the first time this century, there are fewer than 10,000 students enrolled at Western.

Dr. Ron Williams is the interim vice president for student services at Western. He says there about 629 fewer students this semester compared to last spring. 

He says that’s a loss of about 6.5 percent.

Rich Egger

Western Illinois University hopes a decrease in tuition rates will increase its enrollment numbers.

The three-percent tuition decrease goes into effect next fall. It’s only for new students.

In addition, western will no longer charge out-of-state students a higher tuition than in-state students.

Western Budget Director Matt Bierman says the University hopes to make a splash.

Rich Egger

The Western Illinois University Board of Trustees will wait until next month to vote on a massive budget cutting plan.  In a letter issued Tuesday to the campus community, WIU President Jack Thomas said he wants more time to come up with a proposal that threatens the livelihood of fewer people.

“When I look at the personnel, it almost brings tears to my eyes to look at what we’re having to do here,” Dr. Thomas said in an interview with Tri States Public Radio.

Tim Schroll/WIU

Reporters working for the student newspaper at Western Illinois University will be able to continue freelancing. At least for now.  

The Western Courier’s position on freelancing was called into question recently when the university suspended the editor-in-chief Nick Stewart from his job with pay. The university took action after Stewart filmed and sold a video of a large fight after a Black Student Association event on campus.

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