ROSELAND — Chicago State University announced on Friday that all 800 faculty, staff and administrators will receive layoff notices after eight months without a budget.
“The actions taken today are necessary to fulfill our legal obligation and to make necessary reductions so that we can continue running the University in the absence of state funds,” university president Thomas Calhoun, Jr. said in a statement. “It is our sincere hope that Governor Bruce Rauner and legislative leaders will do the right thing and provide funding for public universities before these layoffs would have to be executed.”
The university, though, did not put a number on an actual number of layoffs, which couldn't come for at least 60 days under federal law.
But with Rauner's recent veto on legislation that would fund state financial aid grants, known as MAP, and still no agreement on a budget, Chicago State University officials said they were forced to consider more severe measures.
The budget crisis has even led to the cancelation of the annual week-long spring break. The school''s 4,440 students will continue going to classes now that spring break is canceled and the semester will end two weeks earlier.
The Board of Trustees declared financial exigency earlier this month. The Board established a Management Action Committee, whose role is to make recommendations on where cuts can be made. Input from faculty, staff and students is included.
Chicago State has already gone through layoffs, suspended most travel and frozen administrator salaries as "cost-cutting measures" said university spokesman Tom Wogan.
The university receives approximately 30 percent of its overall operating funds from the state. University officials have engaged in a series of reductions and spent through reserve funds. They even covered the cost of MAP grants for two semesters, with hopes that the state would reimburse those funds.
“While the actions we must take today will certainly cause concern, I want to ensure our campus community that we are taking these steps to guarantee that we will be open for summer classes," said Board Chairman Anthony Young. The university is still preparing for the fall semester, he said.
“Our students are the core of our mission and we are doing everything in our power to continue providing them the world-class education they deserve.”
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