Black Hawk College is forced to layoff more than a dozen faculty members

Illinois' 18 month budget impasse puts higher education systems in a bind

MOLINE, Ill. - Black Hawk College moves ahead with plans to layoff more than a dozen people on the faculty. State budget cuts and a lack of funding for higher education has put them in a tough position. The State of Illinois is going on 18 months without a state budget. The school has only received 35% of the funding they are expected to get from the State of Illinois over the last two years. 
 
"The biggest factor for us right now regarding budget cuts has been the State of Illinois and the lack of funding for higher education over the past two years," Truitt said. "Granted, we've received some stop gap measures in the two years, but we are still about $8 million short of what we had budgeted from the State of Illinois." 
 
Truitt said Illinois' budget impasse is forcing them to take drastic measures in order to balance their budget. 
 
"We've announced 17 full time position layoffs,13 of those are actually filled right now, 4 of those positions are vacant," Truitt said. "There are a variety of positions; we have faculty positions in that layoff, as well as some administration and staff."
 
Vice President of Finance and Administration Steve Frommelt said although they have other funding sources, it's not enough.
 
"As a college we have three primary funding sources for our operating budget. We have tax dollars and then the state support as well as tuition," Frommelt said. "So if you remove any one of those three components of the tripod, it creates an unbalanced budget."
 
Truitt said the faculty will be able to work until the end of the academic year, but administrators and staff will lose their jobs immediately. Truitt added that their enrollment has also declined 8% since the fall. She said they will also be proposing a $2 per credit tuition increase to the Board of Trustees next month, which will bring their tuition up to $149 per credit.

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