WIU President: We must act like a private university to survive

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ILLINOIS NEWS NETWORK

Western Illinois University says it is shifting its fundraising focus away from the State Capitol. 

WIU President Jack Thomas said, as with other public universities in Illinois, state government has shortchanged his classrooms. State dollars are about half of what they were two years ago, he said.

Instead of waiting for lawmakers, Thomas says Western is looking to the market for private money. 

“The budget impasse, now well past its 700th day, has forced us to act more like a private institution,” Thomas said. 

The university is adding a full time fundraiser to the payroll to focus only on private dollars. 

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“We must continue to increase external funding. By seeking revenue from mission-driven grants, contracts, business and industry,” Thomas said. 

Western, like other public universities in Illinois, has seen fewer dollars for classrooms over the past decade, but overall funding has increased, as the state has had to spend more on university pensions. 

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WIU President: We must act like a private university to survive

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