NIU President Doug Baker sent the following email message to faculty and staff Tuesday morning relative to the state budget and its impact on university operations and, in particular, payroll.
Dear NIU faculty and staff,
There have been a number of questions raised about the potential impact on our staff and faculty, assuming the budget impasse between the General Assembly and the Governor goes beyond the end of Fiscal 2015. I appreciate your understandable concern over the situation, and I want you to know that we are doing everything we can to make our position known about the devastating impact that significant budget cuts could have on our institution and our ability to deliver on our mission.
Meanwhile, the question that is undoubtedly top of mind is about our ability to continue to pay our staff and faculty beyond June 30 if there is not a budget passed and signed by the governor by then. I want to be clear that our intention is to continue to pay our staff and faculty throughout the budget impasse and to keep our doors open. My confidence is enhanced by the State Comptroller’s recent statement noting that she will continue to pay out the money owed to agencies and schools from the fiscal year 2015 budget. In addition, we will receive tuition and fees for the summer and fall semesters, which will give us an added cushion.
We have faith that our elected state officials will find a compromise and resolve the budget impasse in the coming weeks. That said, our planning anticipates a decline in total revenue, and we are developing plans to ensure that we work to manage expenses to match revenue, as we have done in the past. We remain committed to providing a quality education to students, a good work environment for faculty and staff, and to be transparent about the available resources and their allocation. I know that this is a difficult and challenging time for our staff and faculty, and I appreciate your support and understanding as we continue to push for as favorable a resolution as possible to the current budget situation.