Council discusses budget cuts and accreditation


Photo by Steven Villa

As the Illinois budget crisis lingers, NEIU’s many students, workers, employees and faculty face the brunt of the state’s inability to compromise.

Pablo Medina , Editor

As the Illinois Senate continues to discuss a budget, the University Advisory Council discussed preparations for potential budget cuts and the upcoming accreditation process for the fiscal year.

Interim Provost Vicki Román-Lagunas said Jan. 20 that the UAC will be asking for a second round of cuts “from everyone at the university, from all of the vice-presidential areas of the university.”

According to Lagunas, the Senate met for two consecutive days to discuss the state’s budget. Lagunas said either a complete budget or a stopgap would be acceptable for the university.

“They’re still talking about it, that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen,” Lagunas said.

Although Lagunas feels “a little more positive” about the university moving forward, she called the budget crisis “severe” and said the university is working “fast and furiously” to get money from the state.

Lagunas said a second round of budget cuts will be made “strategically” if a state budget or stopgap is not in place.

Though the lack of a state budget will not affect the school receiving accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission in April, the university depleted its financial reserves, which will cause the university to provide detailed reports of the use of the reserves for the past 10 years.

“(The HLC) are getting the same documentation from every university,” Lagunas said. “My thoughts are they’re asking for this documentation, I think, is a political move to say to the state government ‘your universities are in trouble, get it done.’ But in the meantime we will have to do this. But we are going to get dinged. I don’t think there is a question all about not getting accredit.”

NEIU and UIC are the only institutions going through this accreditation process that occurs every ten years. This process ensures that institutions have a clear, achievable mission statement that is being met financially, academically and timely.