breaking news

Breaking news: a lesson

This is the e-mail received from President Bill Perry at Eastern Illinois University on Friday afternoon. I think this is news. Others disagree. You can see the full text of the e-mail below the fold.

Let me say this very clearly: if you don’t think this is breaking news on your campus and doesn’t need to be posted on the web site immediately, you don’t know what you’re doing, and you have no idea about the future of news.

Note: I don’t know if this e-mail went to the students or just to faculty and staff, but here it is:

To the Campus Community:

I am writing to update you on the university budget.  In November, the Illinois Board of Higher Education requested that institutions of public higher education place a 2.5% reserve on this fiscal year’s General Fund appropriations. For EIU that amount is $1,264,163.

Because of conservative budgeting, and by delaying some expenditures, we have been able to do so. Until we receive further instruction from the General Assembly, we will keep those funds in reserve.

In looking forward to the rest of this fiscal year and the next fiscal year, I believe it is prudent to be conservative.  I have asked the vice presidents to fill only essential vacant positions, and to reduce expenditures. As the legislative session proceeds and we receive more information with respect to any state actions on our fiscal year 2009 budget or our fiscal year 2010 budget, we will share that information with you. We will continue to meet with the Council on University Planning and Budget (CUPB) and discuss impacts on university operations. In case of further developments, working with the CUPB, public forums would be scheduled. Also, we would consult with the Faculty Senate, Staff Senate, Student Senate, the Civil Service Council, and the Council of Deans.

Our Budget Director, Dr. William Weber, has made a presentation on the university budget to the CUPB, and is making the same presentation, upon invitation, to the Faculty Senate, the Staff Senate, the Student Senate, the Civil Service Council, and the Council of Deans. The presentation is available on the Budget Office website http://www.eiu.edu/~budget/pdf/CUPB_Budget_Overview_12_Dec_08.pdf . The presentation gives an informative broad overview of the budget structure and an historical perspective on expenditures and sources of funds.

Our university has always provided educational opportunity and will continue to do so. We continue to move forward on our priorities which support our overall goal of being the best in the nation at integrating the academic and personal development of our students. Our current strength and our future promise are built on the hard work, dedication, and quality of effort and mind that our faculty and staff bring to our mission.

Thank you for all you have done, and continue to do to make EIU an excellent university.

Sincerely,

William Perry

President, EIU