Since the beginning of the economic downturn, Chancellor Vandegrift has been working with the University Planning & Budget Council (UPBC) toward the goal of enabling progress at the University during difficult financial times. In FY10, as the economic situation in Illinois worsened, President Poshard requested that SIUE hold back funds equivalent to 4% of its state operating budget. To meet this goal, SIUE conservatively budgeted generating savings from a hiring freeze, and enacted spending restrictions in purchasing and non-essential travel. As a result, SIUE realized a carryover in income fund cash. These one-time monies are available to mitigate funding shortfalls from the State of Illinois, and are expected to prevent further University budgetary reductions in FY11. Nevertheless, the uncertain economic situation requires the development of contingency plan options, as described in this document.
SIUE does not at this point anticipate the need to implement this plan. Rather, we believe that continued emphasis on careful budgeting and already imposed restrictions will suffice. Should implementation become necessary, the options used to meet the income shortfall would be determined by the Chancellor, in consultation with the University Planning & Budget Council. It should be noted that savings could be difficult to realize quickly due to the various rules impacting the timing of layoffs, advance notice which must be given, and contractual obligations. It should also be noted that the following options are not listed in order of priority.
Option I: Generate Permanent Savings from Position Elimination
A “hard” hiring freeze on state-funded staff positions initiated in late 2009 has resulted in 70 unfilled positions at SIUE (as of 8/18/10), saving an estimated $1.6 million. Personnel employed in fee-based positions, as contrasted to state-funded positions, have not generally been subject to the hiring freeze. Also, tenured and tenure-track faculty and instructional staff positions have been exempted from the hiring freeze, due to the enrollment growth that SIUE has experienced.
Given the random nature of the distribution of vacancies occurring during the freeze, essential positions have been affected. Nevertheless, a review of the 70 vacant positions might identify some that could be eliminated through reorganization.
Option II: Generate Cash Saving Through Unpaid Administrative Closure (UAC)
An unpaid administrative closure will only result in one-time savings. In order to generate continued savings, any unpaid administrative closure would need to continue every year.
It is estimated that the total daily payroll of the University excluding essential services such as safety would result in savings of approximately $500,000 per day. The use of UAC would need to be consistent with Board of Trustees policies.
Option III: General Layoff Plan
This plan assumes tenured and tenure-track faculty (approximately 680 employees) are exempted from layoffs because the University continues to experience increases in student enrollment which generates additional revenue. All other employees would be eligible for layoffs.
Option IV: Generate Permanent Savings From Evaluation / Elimination
In accordance with University policies and procedures, and in lieu of general layoffs, Chancellor Vandegrift has asked the Vice Chancellors to evaluate their divisions to identify units that could be eliminated or substantially reorganized, resulting in targeted cuts in budget and positions.