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EIU, WIU Eye Staff Cuts As State Budget Woes Continue


Two publicly funded universities in Illinois have taken steps to deal with financial strictures caused by the state's continuing budget impasse. 

Eastern Illinois University's president says layoffs and furloughs are a possibility if the impasse isn't settled soon.  David Glassman is halting some equipment purchases, delaying maintenance and freezing employee travel to save money.  Glassman sent a letter to campus, blaming Illinois' financial troubles for EIU's monetary problems.  Eastern is waiting for a $40 million state appropriation.

Meanwhile, the Western Illinois University Board of Trustees agreed to authorize staff reductions, though the details haven't yet been worked out.  The board had delayed a vote on the matter for a month to give the school’s administration and employee groups a chance to discuss possible job cuts.  No agreements have been reached about those cuts, but all involved say they are willing to continue talking.  The university is looking to reduce its spending by around $10 million for the fiscal year that begins in July.

Late last week, Northern Illinois University President Doug Baker issued a statement that NIU would continue on its current program through the end of the fiscal year. He said he expects that a "workable state budget resolution" sometime this spring.

The Associated Press and Illinois Public Radio's Rich Egger contributed to this report.