Contingencies may save NIU

Under the constitution of the United States, the president has the power to call a state of emergency. NIU President John La Tourette has done the same in an attempt to keep his little ship afloat.

La Tourette has planned for the worst this year. Learning from prior experience with the “recision” of last semester, he has realized that things can get bad quick in a recession.

This year he has a contingency plan, setting aside $900,000 to help the university through the upcoming months. La Tourette’s piggy bank may just save NIU a lot of financial trauma come January. Bad times are expected because of the maniacal budget cutting of Gov. Jim Edgar and the prediction of an unusually cold winter.

La Tourette has realized that the university has stretched its budget as far as possible and can’t afford to have any surprises such as astronomical heating bills or withheld funds from the state. If NIU is to survive another pillaging from the Springfield pirates unscathed, it will not be because of any help provided from the governor’s office or the state legislature, but because of the prudent and thrifty planning of La Tourette.

Freezing employment on all non-instructional staff and demanding that all hiring must go through his office will hopefully insure that money is allocated to the right spots. The contingency fund when coupled with good economic restraint will hopefully help shore up the NIU budget through the winter.

While freezing hiring is never pleasant, La Tourette’s seizing of the purse strings will help assure only the most urgently needed posts are filled.

Hopefully, the predictions of a bad winter have been exaggerated and DeKalb will have a mild one instead. La Tourette cannot afford to bank on that and it’s a good thing he didn’t.