Board of Trustees September meeting

Rachel Greene , Editor-in-chief

On Wednesday, the September Western Illinois University Board of Trustees meeting took place at 8:30 a.m.

The Board met in person, while other guests and speakers partook in the meeting via Zoom. The meeting was also live streamed via YouTube. While 10 items of business were voted on, three of them were especially notable.

As the first act of business on the agenda, the Board voted on Resolution No. 20.9/1, the Fiscal Year 2021 All-funds Budget. As for what the budget includes, the agenda said, “Pending Board approval, the University will continue to aggressively pursue Strategic Plan priorities. Personal services, Medicare and CMS health insurance expenditures totaling $101.9 million represent 50.7 percent of the University’s Fiscal Year 2021 planned all-funds budget expenditures, followed by items supporting the academic mission of the University: contractual services (primarily utilities and food service), awards and grants (student financial aid) and commodities.” The Board voted to approve this budget.

Another item of business that was voted on was Resolution No. 20.9/2, the Fiscal Year 2022 Appropriated Operating Budget Recommendations. The justification behind these recommendations in the agenda said, “Since fiscal year 2002, Western Illinois University has experienced declining State support. During that time, the appropriation from Illinois has decreased from $64.3 million to $49.6 million. In fiscal year 2016, the university received only 29 percent of a typical appropriation. This drastic swing in support caused the University to make the very difficult but necessary decisions that have affected our current and former employees. The continued erosion of state support causes further pressure on student tuition and other revenue sources. The fiscal year 2021 state budget of $49.6 million is a seven percent increase over fiscal year 2018, but is still below the fiscal year 2015 level of $51.4 million. The requested amount represents a restoration to the fiscal year 2015 level.” The Board voted to approve this budget.

The last budget recommendation voted on by the Board was Resolution No. 20.9/3, the Fiscal year 2022 Appropriated Capital Budget Recommendations. This set of recommendations encompassed repairs and improvements to be made to Western Illinois University’s campus. The agenda said, “Western Illinois University recommends $335.7 million for capital projects to support high-quality academic programs, co curricular services and regional economic development for fiscal year 2022. All of the requested funds will support new construction on the Macomb and Moline campuses to address highly needed space for premier academic programs. A total of $23.9 million in capital renewal funds is also requested to support critical deferred maintenance needs.” Improvements listed further into the agenda include renovations to Waggoner Hall, Stipes Hall, Horrabin Hall, Malpass Library and the Quad Cities campus. The Board removed Tillman Hall, a previous priority for renovation, from their proposed list. The Board voted to approve this budget.