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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Public University Presidents Protest Higher Ed Budget Cuts

State of Illinois

Presidents from three universities met with lawmakers yesterday to object to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget. The proposal includes a nearly 32 percent funding cut for public universities.

Illinois State University says it might have to cut 400 jobs. But University of Illinois President Bob Easter told Senator Chapin Rose, a Republican from Mahomet, that relief from procurement rules could save the U of I 70 million dollars.

Other school presidents have blamed procurement rules for delaying projects and driving up costs.

Northern Illinois University could raise freshman tuition by 75 percent. That’s according to NIU President Doug Baker.

“In terms of faculty and staff, we estimate that it would potentially be 375 people that would have to be reduced out of the work force,” Baker said.

Baker says the cut could also mean less financial aid for students who couldn’t afford college otherwise.

  • State education reporter Dusty Rhodes contributed to this report.
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