Public universities were founded on the notion that all students, regardless of their socio-economic status, should have access to a high-quality education. Like the twin towns of Champaign-Urbana, our public universities are cultural oases — intellectual watering holes where students of all backgrounds can gather in the pursuit of education and knowledge. But these oases are drying up while Springfield continues its interminable standoff.That would be true, if all the state universities perceived themselves as being in the same business as the University of Illinois, or Northwestern and the University of Chicago. Insta Pundit notes, they are not. "Chicago State, with a 12.8 percent graduation rate, richly deserves dismantling."
There are glum faces at Kishwaukee College and Northern Illinois University.
The university has not filled a number of staff positions and travel reimbursements remain restrictive. The university even decided that, starting next school year, it won't subsidize costs for students to print reports, papers and other class-related items, as it had done for years.It used to be that students bought their own typewriters and corrasable paper (yeah, I'm showing my age.) In an earlier austerity measure, headquarters asked departments to cut back on their use of duplication. I encouraged students, if they wanted paper copies of course outlines, to print them off on university printers, as they were paying, if indirectly, for that service.
[University president Douglas] Baker said despite the latest setback in Springfield, NIU's fall semester will start on time come Aug. 22.
Kishwaukee College didn't fare the same. The two-year college only recently got $1.1 million in state aid -- of the $5 million it budgeted. With the holdup in state aid and declining enrollments, college officials laid off 24 workers in March, increased tuition starting with the current summer semester, cut back on 2016-17 academic and athletic scholarships and made other austerity decisions to hold on fiscally.
Now that students are being made more reliant on their own printers and printer paper supplies, I can only anticipate the variety of excuses for late submissions that will surface come fall.