Jessica Sanders –
After the state of Illinois has gone without a budget for almost a year now, everyone is starting to feel the sting: state historic sites, businesses, employees of the state, colleges, and many more. Here at Illinois College, hard decisions have been made in hopes that the choices will be most beneficial to the students.
President Farley states in an interview with the Journal Carrier that “Ensuring student success is the college’s top priority. As we make these changes, Illinois College intentionally seeks to maintain the high quality of students’ educations, even while delivering that education more effectively and with fewer costs.” Rumors have been floating around that several positions have been cut in order to save some money: 2.2 million dollars in cuts, to be precise. There has yet to be an official announcement about what positions have been cut. Those in positions that have been cut will finish the school year out and be done at the end of May.
IC does seem to be doing whatever they can in order to save money, even offering an early retirement program for older professors. There’s even another rumor going around that the school will dip into its endowment fund. When will students be informed of what’s going on and how bad the situation actually is?
Last month, President Farley announced that tuition would freeze, along with room and board, in the 2016 and 2017 school years. Also, the board of trustees is working with President Farley to make sure that any student who has received the MAP Grant will be given the difference in a grant through the college. The board of trustees stated to the Journal Courier that “The aim is to provide substitute funds from the college’s budget to provide Monetary Award Program grants promised to students by the state.” With all that is going on, though, students cannot help but wonder if this will affect their education they are receiving here at IC.
Luckily, Illinois College is a private school and is not hurting as bad as the public universities. According to an article by the Huff Post in Chicago entitled Illinois Politicians Hellbent on Destroying Higher Education, “Public colleges have not gotten any taxpayer dollars since last July.” The governor even said, “I, personally, am a big advocate for our university systems. I want the best in America. I want a fully funded MAP grant program. I’m a huge supporter of scholarships for low-income kids,” after he vetoed the bill that would have brought aid to some public colleges, as well as the Monetary Award Program, which helps out many IC students.
As rough of a road IC is on, remember it could be worse. We could be fully depending on the state for money, but we are fortunate enough as a private school to not need too. We may have to say goodbye to a few of our staff and professors, but that is better than closing the doors of the school. Instead of dwelling on the big issues, take the time to be grateful for what we do have.
Jessica Sanders, from Woodstock, Illinois, is a sophomore majoring in English with a concentration in Secondary Education. Jessica is a member of the IC choir and is the Editor in Chief of The Rambler. She is proud to have interned at Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site.