Illinois State University President Larry Dietz has asked staff to plan for budget cuts of 10% and 20%. In a message to staff who plan budgets at several levels, Dietz said the guidance to develop the scenarios comes amid uncertainty of state support and the impact of the pandemic on future costs.
The message also included a more refined estimate of the pandemic's effect on the budget than earlier available. The impact now appears to be $26 million, Dietz said. That includes housing, dining parking, and student fee reimbursement, and lost revenue from canceled events.
Dietz has said publicly for several weeks that the best ISU can hope for is a flat appropriation from the state in the budget year that begins July 1. In the latest message to fiscal leaders on campus, Dietz said lawmakers are contemplating budget reductions and the uncertainty may be prolonged.
“We will likely not know about FY2021 state appropriations for at least several weeks, and that could stretch to a couple of months,” said Dietz.
ISU earlier extended the deadline for students to commit from May 1 to June 1.
“It may be late into the summer months before we have clarity about fall 2020 enrollment,” said Dietz.
In considering potential campus cuts, Dietz said all spending will be on the table. The deadline to develop the scenarios is June 1.
“In all cases, our underlying budgetary rationale must be to maintain Illinois State's outstanding reputation for delivering a high-quality, higher education experience. We must also act in a manner that provides the safest environment possible for the University's students, faculty, staff, and visitors,” said Dietz.
In the message, Dietz promised to share new information with the campus as it becomes available.
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