NORTH PARK — On the heels of a campuswide shutdown over spring break in March, Northeastern Illinois University announced it will cancel three days of classes to compensate for a massive funding shortfall created by the state budget impasse.
“For Northeastern, this is a state of emergency,” interim President Richard Helldobler said.
Classes will be canceled Tuesday, Wednesday and May 1, and additional furloughs are likely if state funds aren't released, according to the university.
NEIU last operated on a full budget in fiscal year 2015, when it received a state appropriation of $36.7 million, plus grant funds for low-income students, according to the university.
In fiscal year 2016, state funding plummeted to $10.7 million, for a shortfall of $26 million, and NEIU used its reserve funds to keep the doors open, a university spokesman said.
The state released stopgap funds in July 2016, leaving NEIU with a $17 million gap to fill for fiscal year 2017.
The university's reserves are "on fumes" at this point, the spokesman said.
NEIU still plans to hold its commencement ceremony as scheduled in May, with Valerie Jarrett, a former senior adviser to President Barack Obama, set to deliver the address.
Students are registering for summer and fall courses. The university is set to celebrate its 150th anniversary in the fall.