Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner recently appointed, Jack Thomas to the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE). Readers may remember my earlier guest post about the IBHE and program evaluations. Dr. Thomas is also the President of WIU.
Today, President Thomas announced layoffs for 110 non-instructional staff. This is on top of the faculty layoffs announced earlier in December. In this Tri States Public Radio interview, Thomas claims that jobs could have been saved if agreements on furloughs with the various (faculty and staff) unions could have been achieved. But, according to Thomas, an additional 20 million in cuts will need to be made over the next two years.
For readers who don’t know why Illinois doesn’t have a budget 10 months into the fiscal year, it’s because the Illinois General Assembly won’t agree to Rauner’s “Turnaround Agenda,” which aims in part to make Illinois a right to work state and weaken unions. This budget impasse has caused many of the state universities to resort to layoffs: Chicago State (900), Eastern Illinois (177), and WIU to name just a few.