Illinois State University President Al Bowman says the institution needs a new long range financial plan. Bowman announced the effort during his State of the University Speech.
"The economic threats on our near horizon are very real."
Bowman says state support has now fallen to 19% of the total University budget and he believes that will continue to decline. He says ISU will also be forced to shoulder part of the cost of whatever solution to the state pension crisis emerges from the General Assembly next year.
"What cannot continue in Illinois are steep tuition increases."
Bowman says the effort should not produce disruptive change to the University.
"It really is focused on taking a step back and thinking about where we spend our dollars and where those dollars can best help us achieve our strategic goals."
Bowman declines to speculate what could be cut. He says he wants the plan to include a review of administrative efficiency and increased efforts at fundraising. Analysis by the Chronicle of Higher Education suggests ISU is currently financially sustainable, though nearly a third of U-S colleges and Universities are not.
Bowman also announced ISU will offer 2% merit based pay raises to workers sometime in the new year, retroactive to last July. The consumer price index for the last 12 months was 1.7%. Trustees earlier approved a 4% pay raise for Bowman that he said he would accept only if the rest of the campus received an increase as well. Bowman announced the general increase even though the state pension crisis remains unresolved.
"There is no clear indication that any new pension obligation would come toward us this fiscal year. And when it does come, the conversation has been that it would be phased in over a number of years."
Bowman says pay rates need to remain competitive or ISU will lose out in the competition for quality faculty.
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