WIU Trustees Meeting

June  07, 2013

     It will cost more to attend Western Illinois University. Today trustees approved a 4.5 % increase for students starting this fall in Macomb and the Quad Cities. The increase affects tuition, fees, and room and board - with tuition going up $13 per credit hour, and fees rising $103 per year. But they're guaranteed to hold at that level for four years. 

     Budget Director, Matt Bierman, blames a combination of rising costs and falling state support. One of the rising costs for the university is salaries. 

     "Our faculty contract is scheduled for a 3.5 % salary increase for FY 14. With that and other increases, we're expecting about a $4.8 million increase in salaries and expenses. We have to account for that through our tuition increases."

     Another problem is un-funded mandates from the state - for example grants and scholarships for veterans.

     "They require us to give scholarships and grants to veterans and we certainly want to support our veterans. They used to fund that program, then they cut the funding out and said you have to fund it. The funds came from different sources, now they come from our students through tuition."

     Originally Governor Pat Quinn recommended a 5 per cent cut in state funding for higher education, but the General Assembly approved level funding for the coming year. Bierman hopes the governor will agree.

(photo-WIU president Jack Thomas with board chair William Epperly looking on)