NEIU/UPI Executive Board Position on the Budget Chaos, AND BE AT THE BOT AND AFTER PARTY TODAY

Dear all,

The Executive Board met on Monday and we are sending the message below to President Hahs and the Board of Trustees.

And, this is your reminder for today. The BOT will be in Golden Eagles today, starting at 2:00 (committee meetings are earlier at 1:00). We will most likely see the contract ratified, and then there will be an after party from 4:00-6:00 to meet the Trustees in the Union Second Floor Loft.

In solidarity,

Sophia

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Dear President Hahs, Chair Azcoitia, and Board of Trustees Members:

The NEIU/UPI Executive Board met on Monday, April 6 to consider and respond to the budget concerns currently preoccupying our university’s administration. We appreciate the opportunities to join in the budget conversation provided by President Hahs and by the series of brown bags with the vice-presidents.

We write now to invite you to the NEIU/UPI Open Budget Forum on Monday, April 20, 2015, 12:00-1:30 in BBH 101, and look forward to working together on the issues that unite us.

We are chagrined, however, to once again be presented with crisis and contradiction.

We have heard “we are all going to work together” and at the same time we are told that one hundred and fifty of us could be laid off. Teachers, those directly generating the university’s revenue, will be cut. And irrationally, we have been told this is because the university is looking at expenses now and not considering revenue.

All of this is in response to possible budget cuts to higher education.

As a board, we have unanimously voted to request that the university’s administration defer plans and the costs of building NEIU’s infrastructure until enrollments increase and the budget contributions from the state stabilize.

This is not a matter of being for or against the dorms or for or against the new education building. It is simply not the case that “the pots of money” supporting these are separate from the overall expenses and realization of NEIU’s teaching mission. The university must incur costs to support the building projects. We should stop pretending on this point and put our current as well as future students first.

UPI Local 4100 will be working to secure flat level appropriations from the state. If there are in fact decreases, the university’s reserves should be used to meet possible shortfalls this coming academic year.

We will continue to work collaboratively with the administration on our shared mission of providing an excellent education to our urban and suburban students.

Provost Helldobler has said instruction must come first and we very much agree with him. We want to see this claim realized in actions and in the priorities of the university.

Our students, and thus the core teaching and research functions of the university, matter more than real estate.

Respectfully,

The NEIU/UPI 4100 Executive Board