States typically subsidize research and education through fiscal appropriations for public universities and financial assistance for college students. Students’ tuition and fees, in other words, only cover some of the cost of their education, and the rest of the costs are covered by states.
Illinois public universities have reduced programs and terminated employees, as reported in the Chicago Tribune. At NEIU, employees have been furloughed again, which means that faculty will have donated two and one-half weeks of income to subsidize the research and education that we’re expected to do for Illinois.
An Open Letter to Illinois Politicians on the Budget Battles:
My university last year asked for furloughs, which cost me $2,500, and it has recently requested another series of furloughs this spring. The reason, according to my union, is that the university spent $3.5 million for MAP grants in the fall, which had been promised to students by the State of Illinois but were never provided, and another $3.1. million in the spring.
My co-workers and I, in other words, have been asked again to accept pay cuts to compensate for broken promises by the State of Illinois. Moreover, we’ve been asked to cover these costs at a time, we were told, that the State of Illinois has reduced its support of public university education by 54% from 2008-2015, which is the second largest reduction in the nation, and 70% over the past two years. Continue reading “An Open Letter On The Illinois Budget Battles”