Funding cuts expected for SIU system

Southern Illinois University is anticipating the potential for another $40 million to be cut from its budget.

SIU laid off 50 employees at the Carbondale campus last year and scaled back funding to many programs, but SIU President Randy Dunn says the latest budget proposal would reduce his school’s budget by $100 million from 2014.

Despite millions of dollars in funding cuts to their school, Emily Buice and Alaina Boudreau say it has been hard to notice a change.

"SIU is doing a lot better than some other schools," said Boudreau.

"What I see more of is the sidewalks don’t get cleared as quickly," said Buice. "There are less people cleaning the dorms."

With another $40 million in cuts coming, Dunn says administrators can no longer shield students from the cuts.

"This clearly would impact the academic programs," said Dunn. "We’d be looking at closing down in wholesale fashion some areas on the campus that directly impact what we provide to students."

Even with the cuts Dunn says that SIU will still provide an affordable and high quality education, but there is concern around campus that some students will simply head out of state.

"I can’t say I would blame people," said Buice. "I know there are monetary issues if tuition goes up, if people don’t get MAP grants,. You can’t always stay here."

"We’re being hurt no matter what," said Boudreau. "Whatever you think, schools are being hurt."

"It’s not something that we can continue to make work with bubble gum and bailing wire," said Dunn.

Dunn says he expects to announce program cuts and layoffs within the next two to three weeks.

Without a state budget, Dunn says SIU can continue to operate at its current level until June 30 of this year, but after that, layoffs will be enforced.

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