- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 3, 2016

URBANA, Ill. (AP) - The lack of a state budget is continuing to affect state universities in Illinois, with some schools planning additional cuts to staff or classes.

Eastern Illinois University President David Glassman told the Faculty Senate on Tuesday that 30-day layoff notices would be sent to an estimated 200 non-instructional employees late this week or early next week. The university also plans to furlough all administrative and professional staff in March.

If the state budget is passed or appropriations are released to Eastern before the March layoff date, at least some of the layoffs could be rescinded and the employees recalled.

“That’s what’s so difficult emotionally for all of us as we think about these things because we are dealing with real people’s lives,” Glassman said.

The layoffs, along with cash flow reserves and budget cuts and freezes enacted last week, will be used to ensure Eastern can make it through the spring semester.

But it’s still unclear what will happen over the summer and in the fall.

Meanwhile, the University of Illinois has asked academic departments to draw up plans for more cuts of up to 7 percent in 2016-2017. The cuts, which won’t be made uniformly throughout campus, could result in fewer courses and larger class sizes in some departments, according to school officials.

Departments also were asked to outline potential areas of revenue growth, such as enrollment expansion or new online programs.

The University of Illinois already has absorbed budget cuts of at least $20 million this year.

Last fall, the Urbana campus asked department to slash academic budgets by an average of 4 to 5 percent, and administrative units by 4 to 6.8 percent, in anticipation of state funding reductions.

Although the state has yet to appropriate money for the current fiscal year, earlier budget proposals called for cuts of anywhere from 8.1 to 31.5 percent for the University of Illinois and other state universities.

Illinois has gone about eight months without a state budget in place.

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