President Jack Thomas issued a call to the WIU Community today to encourage the whole WIU Community (students, alumni, friends, etc.) to contact Legislatures and the Governor in Springfield to end the budget fight and fund higher education. You can his full letter below.
June 16, 2016
Dear University Community, Alumni, and Friends,
The end of Fiscal Year 2016 is nearly upon us, and Western Illinois University, like our Illinois public university counterparts, has yet to receive significant funding for higher education from the state of Illinois. While the stop-gap measure received in April was much appreciated, and did provide a very small measure of relief, the bottom line is that it simply was not enough.
As I talk with alumni and friends around the globe, as well as members of our University community and area residents, I am often asked “What can I do to help Western Illinois University?” I encourage you to contact your legislators and tell them the budget impasse must come to an end. Western Illinois University and Illinois public higher education must receive funding NOW for Fiscal Year 2016, and very soon after July 1 for Fiscal Year 2017. To find your legislators’ district phone numbers, visit elections.il.gov/districtlocator/addressfinder.aspx. Please also consider writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.
In October, we asked you, as part of a statewide effort, to “light up the lines” and contact members of the General Assembly and the Governor to stress the need to pass a state budget and make higher education funding a priority. Thank you to those of you who have gone above and beyond, making it your mission to contact those leaders in Springfield on a regular basis. Your advocacy and support are crucial as this impasse continues. Thousands of students and families, as well as our communities, are being negatively impacted.
We also encourage you to tell the WIU story. The budget impasse has created a lack of confidence in Illinois public higher education that is undeserved. You know from your own experience that WIU provides a terrific education and one that has great value. We need all individuals to understand how a Western Illinois University education can play a role in the future of their lives. Despite the crisis of confidence in Illinois, Western will continue to provide the same quality education that we always have.
Thank you for your continued support and loyalty during these trying times in our history. I am proud to serve as your president and to work with each of you for the betterment of Western Illinois University.