The state’s budget impasse may soon affect more than just overall funding for higher education.
Higher Education in Illinois faces another threat as the state budget impasse drags on. WSIU’s Jennifer Fuller explains.
The Higher Learning Commission – an organization that accredits schools in the Midwest – recently sent a letter to state lawmakers and the governor, urging them to pass a budget.
The HLC says without state funding, Illinois universities are at risk of losing their accreditation. And SIU President Randy Dunn says that could be catastrophic.
“The big ‘get’ with having accreditation is access to federal financial aid, student loan opportunities. Typically, if you’re going to have any kind of grant or contract from state or federal government – or even private providers – you have to be an accredited institution.”
Dunn says lack of accreditation could also make it difficult to hire faculty. The HLC points to higher tuition and fee rates, declining enrollment, faculty and staff layoffs, and more as direct effects of the budget standoff.
Universities across Illinois haven’t received any state funding since last year, and those stop gap funds haven’t been enough to hold off faculty and staff cuts and other reductions at several campuses.