Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Protesting the Disgrace of Illinois

This comes from one of our colleagues at EIU. I encourage all faculty at CSU to sign this letter by e-mailing Cathy Prendergast at the link below.

One of my members told me about the letter below that a couple of UIUC faculty members drafted to send to the Chicago Tribune, Rauner, and select legislators. There are currently 40 or so co-signatures to this letter from UIUC, they are looking for more faculty members across the state to add their names. I will add mine by contacting one of the authors, Cathy Prendergast, by email providing my name, and stating that I am from EIU. Please consider doing the same. They are planning to submit the letter on June 20.

Cathy Prendergast

Thank you,


A recent op-ed in the New York Times has brought national attention to the shameful budget stalemate in Illinois, and its resulting devastation of our public universities. By failing to secure a budget, Governor Rauner has created a climate in which faculty and students alike have begun to flee, taking their talents and tuition dollars out of state. Springfield may think that our universities can sustain massive cuts to their operating budgets without lasting impact. As faculty at Illinois’ public universities, we come together here to say that they are wrong. Education is the engine of economic growth in our state. The rapid decline in revenues that Illinois continues to experience will only worsen with disinvestment in the knowledge and skills of its citizens. All public servants, whether employed at the university or in state government, have a responsibility to fulfill. We cannot fulfill ours unless you fulfill yours. However we arrived at the current economic crisis, it cannot be bettered when compromise is only viewed as failure, and when precious state resources are used to further a political agenda. Inaction is not benign. The Illinois government is making a conscious decision that its public universities, the culmination of 150 years of state, federal, community, and private effort and investment, are expendable. This is unacceptable. Article X of our state constitution sets “the educational development of all persons” as a goal, promises “to provide for an efficient system of high quality educational institutions and services,” and assigns the state “the primary responsibility for financing the system of public education.” An engaged citizenry is the bedrock of democracy, and access to excellent and affordable public education is a civil right. Time is running out to ensure it.

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