Faculty and Budget Committee discuss possible resolution

This article was updated Feb. 11 at 11:25 a.m.

The Campus Faculty Association, or CFA, held a meeting Tuesday evening for faculty members to discuss the budget and professors taking their furlough days together.

The meeting was held after faculty members approached the CFA with ideas about how to handle the budget crisis, said Megan McLaughlin, president of CFA and professor of history. About 70 people attended the event.

“This is really the planning meeting for the first common furlough day, which is next week, so the idea is anybody who is interested to come in and see some of the things that are going on and contribute their own ideas,” McLaughlin said. “This is meant to be as open a meeting as possible, so that anybody who is concerned about the condition the university is in, can come and share ideas and help us organize things,” McLaughlin said.

Ricky Baldwin, coordinator of CFA, said the common furlough days are Feb. 15, Apr. 6, Apr. 21 and Mar. 4.

Higher Education Lobby Day will be observed on Apr. 21, and National Day of Action will be observed on Mar. 4.

Before the meeting, professor in Slavic languages & literature Harriet Murav, co-chair of the budget action committee of the CFA, said the financial situation of the University can have sobering effects.

“A lot of us are really worried that not only is tuition going to go up, but classes are going to get so big that you (students) are not going to have access to your professor anymore,” she added. “The relationships we want to have with our students are just going to be impossible to sustain.”

Murav said CFA has several common furlough days planned; the group plans to take its furlough days together.

She said CFA hopes professors will join.

“So the point of having a common furlough day is to gain a voice and draw attention to the crisis of the higher education in the state of Illinois,” Murav said. She said the CFA feels the administration has left the faculty out of important decisions.

“We are concerned because we as a faculty have not really been talked upon about what has to be cut, what has to be changed, what has to be saved,” she said.

She said the CFA wants to let its members, the public, the students openly talk about the budget and the possible solutions.

“The goal is to present a united faculty front, particularly in the face of the state budget situation, the University’s budget situation and the sort of related problems with the restructuring of the University to deal with insufficient funding,” McLaughlin said.

The Committee on the University Budget will be meeting Thursday, Feb. 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the ISS Complex in the Illini Union.

The resolution proposed by the Committee will be reviewed and all are invited to attend and take part in the discussion.