CHARLESTON -- Eastern Illinois University is scheduled to deliver layoff notices this week to 198 civil service employees, a move that has been prompted by the state's ongoing budget impasse.
EIU President David Glassman announced these layoffs in an email to the campus community late Monday afternoon. In addition, all administrative and professional employees will be required starting on March 1 to take the equivalent of one day of furlough time per week every month until further notification or up until June 30.
"I would like to re-emphasize that the entirety of our cost reduction activities that are being implemented this month and continuing in March (with layoffs and furloughs) is the direct result of not having an appropriation for EIU enacted by the state and not receiving funds for MAP grants that were committed to our students by the state (which we honored)," Glassman said.
The layoff notices for the 198 civil service employees will be delivered on Wednesday and Thursday, Glassman said. The EIU Human Resources Office will provide as much assistance as possible to those who will be laid off from work, he said.
"We are saddened to be put in this position, and realize it will affect either directly or indirectly our entire campus community," Glassman said.
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If a state appropriation is enacted and funds begin to be received at the university by the layoff date of March 12, Glassman said many or all of the layoff notices could be rescinded. He also said this would make a reduction in furlough days possible.
EIU's president thanked campus community members for their patience and understanding as the university works through the cost reductions made necessary by the state's budget impasse. Glassman said he appreciates the input and support he has received from both within our campus community and beyond.
Glassman said a "smattering" of legislative proposals were filed last month regarding various funding levels for public higher education. One bill would provide funding, but only for community colleges and MAP grants. Another bill would provide both full MAP funding and an appropriation for universities, but at a rate of only 80 percent of last year's level.
"The recent flurry of bills being filed to support higher education appropriations is a positive sign that our lawmakers are realizing the urgency and critical nature of what we are facing," Glassman said.
There was an immense showing of support by our campus and regional community at the Fund EIU rally on Friday, Glassman said. More than 1,000 participants attended this rally on the library quad.
"We all love this institution, first and foremost for the excellence it provides in educating our students. However, it is also an economic, intellectual and cultural engine for our entire region," Glassman said. "I remain steadfastly confident that our General Assembly and governor realize the great importance of EIU and all public universities to the future of our great state."
Glassman said the administration continues to work on alternative strategies that may allow for reducing the number of layoffs and he will keep the campus community informed as these discussions continue.
"Let us stand together in optimism that an appropriation for EIU will be enacted quickly with funds distributed to our university in order that these difficult measures affecting our campus family can be avoided, Glassman said.