Rauner proposes $29.3M state funding cut to NIU

By Kelly Bauer

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner today proposed a budget that would cut state allocation to NIU by $29.3 million.

NIU was allocated about $93 million for Fiscal Year 2015, but that would be cut to about $64 million under Rauner’s proposal. The $93 million represented about 20 percent of NIU’s $425 million in revenue in Fiscal Year 2015.

The Democratic Legislature will now debate the budget. NIU will go before an appropriations committee in late March to explain how student success may be impacted by funding cuts, said Chief Financial Officer Alan Phillips.

NIU has “tightened its belt,” NIU President Doug Baker said, in recent years due to falling revenue and decreases in state allocation. The university put a freeze on hiring as it prioritized positions to save money during the 2013-14 academic year, and it has announced that all programs will be reviewed as a longterm cost-saving measure.