While it is certainly unacceptable that our state officials continue to stall on passing a budget, as the editorial “Unacceptable” that appeared as part of a Gatehouse editorial series indicates, it is also unacceptable for an editorial to allude to the closure of select universities as the May 23 PJS “Unacceptable” editorial did.
The editorial also mentions the dire straits faced by mental health services, domestic violence shelters, and others as a result of the stalemate. However, these are mentioned in general terms; specific agencies are unnamed. A mention of the impact of the impasse on public higher education in general is sufficient to make the point, much like another Gatehouse newspaper chose to do in its “Unacceptable” version.
Public universities certainly face challenges as students are being driven out of state because of Illinois’ fiscal crisis and indecision. However, statements without proper attribution do nothing to alleviate the concerns of students and their families; they only fuel the rumor fire. We agree with the editorial’s premise: The budget situation is beyond unacceptable. It is harmful to education, social services, health care, etc. And our state legislators are aware of our concerns and needs. We have been a vocal, steady presence in Springfield.
Recently, Western Illinois University President Jack Thomas sent a letter to the university community to address rumors, as these inaccuracies damage the institution. Western Illinois University will remain open. We are actively recruiting students, accepting applications, and planning for the future.
Assistant Vice President, Advancement & Public Services
Director, University Relations
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May 26, 2017 at 11:10AM