NEIU Cuts 180 Jobs Following Severe Cash Crunch
Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) is cutting 180 full time jobs as its financial woes continue to drag on. The jobs being cut include administrative and civil service positions. For now, the cuts do not include faculty members.
The Chicago-based public state university is facing a severe cash crunch as its bank accounts are draining. The university was pushed to use one year’s equivalent of state funding to cover nearly two years’ operations, as the state cut its appropriations to the school.
NEIU received just $30.2 million in state money for the past two years, compared to about $37.0 million in 2015 alone. The university’s extreme action to lay off its staff followed as management struggled to cover a $10.8 million budget shortfall.
NEIU President Richard Helldobler has explained that the job cuts will help save funds throughout the summer. The university is waiting for tuition payments to pour in for the fall semester, which may help the school sustain itself to the end of this year.
University officials had warned of the impending layoffs earlier on as the budget crisis loomed large. Prior to the layoffs, the university offered furloughs to its staff to save expenses. During the spring break in March, nearly all of the university’s employees were forced to take a five-day unpaid leave. As many as 1,100 university employees faced this furlough period.
Later in April and May, the university closed for three days and once again instituted a period of furlough. The university’s administrative staff, in particular, has faced even more furloughs.
The layoffs are expected to save the university about $9.0 million, just enough to get by until September when tuition from new admissions will start coming in.
Many of NEIU’s students are minorities who come from low-income families.
Illinois’s publicly funded schools have largely suffered as the state has failed to present a budget since 2015. A deadlock between the Republican governor and Democratic legislators has been the cause of the budget delay, as neither of the two sides agree to compromise. (Source: Ibid.)
“Northeastern Illinois University to cut about 180 jobs: ‘the devastation increases‘,” Chicago Tribune, May 30, 2017.