$4 million in more cuts possibly needed at John A. Logan College - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

$4 million in more cuts possibly needed at John A. Logan College

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Dr. Stephanie Chaney-Hartford, Humanities Dept. chair, tells college trustees she's trying to put a "face" on the problem of not having a state budget. Dr. Stephanie Chaney-Hartford, Humanities Dept. chair, tells college trustees she's trying to put a "face" on the problem of not having a state budget.

CARTERVILLE -- It doesn't really matter if the General Assembly and governor agree on a new state budget tomorrow. The money won't arrive in time for this school year, John A. Logan's chief financial officer told the college's board Tuesday night.

With a graph projected on two screens showing a dramatic below-zero drop-off in cash flow, Brad McCormick --- whose formal title is vice president for business services and college facilities --- showed trustees what will happen in the coming months if Springfield still does not produce a state budget.

Plus, the money that would come from any budget lawmakers and the governor were to agree on soon wouldn't actually arrive in the college's bank account until around June, he said. So it's as if there won't be any state funding at all this school year.

McCormick advised board members to prepare themselves for $4 million in more cuts to the college's budget as well as "borrowing" money from other funds the college controls. That scenario assumes no state budget for the rest of this fiscal year and 75 percent state funding for FY 2017, which begins in July.

McCormick also spoke with a banker Tuesday about possibly getting the college a line of credit.

The college's faculty association appointed a spokesperson to address the crisis in front of the board.

"Without funding for higher education, the John A. Logan College that we are all so very proud of stands to change," said Dr. Stephanie Chaney-Hartford, who chairs the Humanities Department. 

She told trustees that current students and future students --- like her own daughter --- will be hurt.

"Sadly, those students with the financial means in this state are leaving to go pursue opportunities elsewhere," she said. "Those without financial resources are simply staying put and not being able to receive the education and knowledge that they want."

Dr. Chaney-Hartford said she's not putting the blame at trustees' feet. She said she realizes instructors and students are "being caught in the political crossfire" coming out of Springfield.

In a separate rundown of financial challenges facing JALC, board chairman Donald Brewer said he'd attended an athletics committee meeting before the board of trustees met. In it, he learned more cuts will be needed in the athletics department. He didn't specify what might be on the chopping block. But he said the new cuts will be in addition to the previously announced 15 percent spending cut for athletics as well as ending housing for student athletes, which will save about $200,000.

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