Chicago State University sends lay off notices to 900 employees

By MaryCate Most

CSU receives roughly 30 percent of its budget from the state. The continuing state budget crisis has forced CSU president Thomas Calhoun to send layoff notifications to all 900 employees.

“All employees have received notice or will receive notice, including the president of the university, all senior administrators, there are no exceptions,” Calhoun said at a press conference Friday.

Calhoun has called Governor Bruce Rauner and state legislators’ budget inaction “irresponsible” and has reiterated that he and other CSU administrators will do everything they can to keep the university open.

According to CNN, Calhoun also announced Tuesday that in order to save money, the university will skip spring break this year, ending the school year a week earlier than scheduled and moving the graduation ceremony up by two weeks.

“In order to remain true to our commitment (to finish the semester), we have been pushed to the point of having to make significant adjustments to our academic calendar,” Calhoun said in a letter to the university community.

Meanwhile, Rauner is reaffirming his commitment to higher education budget cuts, proposing a 31 percent cut to funding in the 2016-2017 fiscal year, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Other state universities are also struggling to stay afloat as their funding dwindles. Eastern Illinois University and Western Illinois University have made significant cuts and this Wednesday, Moody’s Investor Services downgraded Northern Illinois University, Northeastern Illinois University and Eastern Illinois University’s credit ratings.

The budget impasse has been going on for the past eight months, with no signs of a compromise in sight.

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