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CHARLESTON -- Without funding for higher education, Eastern Illinois University officially laid off 177 civil service employees Friday.

“This is a very sad day for Eastern Illinois University,” Eastern President David Glassman said in a Friday message to the Eastern community. “177 friends and colleagues will be laid off solely because of the inability of Illinois lawmakers to pass a FY2016 state budget.”

State lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner remain in a stalemate in regard to funding higher education and the state budget in general.

“We remain victims of the lack of any bipartisanship and compromise by our state leaders,” Glassman stated in an email. “The positions being temporarily eliminated on campus are ones critical to the vitality and operations of our university and the individuals in those positions are hardworking, passionate employees who love this institution. They all have made significant contributions to EIU’s success.”

As soon as a state appropriation is enacted and funds begin to be received, Glassman said Eastern will begin recalling those laid off back to work quickly.

Glassman spoke candidly to the lawmakers Thursday about the next year's budget and their inaction this year.

“By the time Illinois public universities finally get the funds we need to support our students, we are not sure how many students will be left,” he said, as reported by the JG-TC Springfield Bureau. “I respectfully ask our lawmakers: What exactly is the endgame here?”

In other news, Friday was the last day for members of UPI, faculty union, to vote on a proposal offered by Eastern officials that would reduce faculty salaries by 5.6 percent. This will save $2 million that is needed to make payroll until the end of the fiscal year.

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