An SIUC faculty blog, brought back to life by the Illinois funding crisis.
Friday, April 1, 2016
1. Financial exigency. I emailed President Dunn a week ago but have received no response as to what he meant when he said the board might need to declare a financial emergency. As far as I can gather, no one else on the Carbondale campus knows what Dunn meant, either. There are concerns about a short-term liquidity problem as well as the long-term problem if our state funding is cut on the order of 20%, as the Governor has proposed (particularly when that cut is compounded by lower enrollment thanks to the state's failure to fund universities this year). The short-term liquidity problem may arise over the summer; Dunn may have been alluding to Board action required to deal with that. Furloughs of staff on contract over the summer would seem to be one possibility.
Update on turning in the keys and the rally at Chicago (whence the picture below) after the break.
UIC supporters join Chicago teachers at rally, April 1 2016.
2. Turning in keys at CSU. Chicago State rescinded the order for staff to turn in keys next week. I suspect, having discovered that the person who issued the order is very junior, that this was mainly a screw up by a junior person focused on their own little bailiwick (key management) without any consideration for the larger issues at stake--in this case even allowing people to finish their jobs during the next month, even if they are to be laid off May 1. I had been hoping that this was a brilliant bit of PR jujitsu—publicize the plight of CSU via a dramatic move, then rescind it later. But I think it was just the sort of incompetence that becomes visible in a crisis like this. There's an article in yesterday's Chronicle on why CSU is facing such a steep challenge right now (hint: it's hardly all due to incompetence).
3. Protests in Chicago. The Chicago Teachers Union called a one-day strike today, and their teachers & supporters were joined by faculty, students, and staff from AFT-affiliated higher education campuses (also the parent union of the CTU), including UIC, CSU, and EIU.