At a recent departmental meeting, one of my colleagues asked how long other universities would be able to operate without a state budget since our administration has told the state legislators that our school would not be able to continue past January. I came up with an extremely primitive calculus that enabled me to project each school's ability to endure the state-imposed budget impasse. Here's my estimate:
Chicago State through mid-January
Eastern and Western Illinois through mid-March
Northeastern Illinois and Governors State through mid-May, possibly through the end of the school year.
I think it's important to emphasize that the fools in Springfield who have created this crisis are making a choice to do so. A look at Illinois' revenue projections for the 2016 fiscal year indicates a $32 billion income for the state. To be clear, the state's income stream continues unabated: there are billions of dollars in revenue flowing into state coffers. A look at the various categories of revenue reveals that closure of the state universities would result, at a maximum, in the loss of around $1 billion in revenue. While persons employed by the state or its various universities face the possibility of no pay, Illinois legislators have their pay and expenses guaranteed even if the state has no budget. These politicians are putting our livelihoods in jeopardy with their posturing and their sclerotic ideologies. I for one will pay close attention to who does what in this legislature.