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Northern Illinois University reducing 150 staff positions, including 30 active employees

Shaw Media file photo
Northern Illinois University President Doug Baker speaks during a meeting of NIU trustees Dec. 10, 2015, in Altgeld Hall.
Shaw Media file photo Northern Illinois University President Doug Baker speaks during a meeting of NIU trustees Dec. 10, 2015, in Altgeld Hall.

DeKALB – In an effort to cut expenses leading into fiscal 2018, Northern Illinois University President Doug Baker announced in an email that there will be 150 staff position reductions, including the elimination of 30 active positions.

Although most cuts will be achieved through attrition – retirements and the elimination of open positions – the 30 position cuts will affect current employees, Baker said.

“Of that number, about 23 are civil service employees, many of whom will transition to open positions across the university or exercise their civil service employment rights within their classifications,” he wrote. “The remainder are supportive professional staff whose contracts will not be renewed.”

Most, if not all, of the affected employees were notified by Monday, the email said.

“We are committed to assisting and supporting those individuals as they search for other positions to further their careers,” Baker wrote.

The reductions are part of an effort to close a $35 million budget gap, assuming NIU will not receive operations or Monetary Award Program grant funding for fiscal 2018 from the state. NIU has been covering the missed MAP payments for students who rely on the funding for tuition assistance.

The university’s goal is to build a $35 million reserve fund, Baker said, with $20 million coming from increased support from the NIU Foundation and cuts to university operating budgets.

An additional $15 million will come from increased fees and other charges, as well as cost cuts from other parts of the budget, Baker wrote.

“We are hopeful that a resolution in Springfield will come, and we will be spared the need for further actions,” Baker said. “However, because of the severity of our current circumstances, and the uncertainty of our fiscal future, it is unlikely that any last-minute legislative action will mitigate the need for the changes outlined here.”

In the past three fiscal years, the state has reduced its funding for the school by $125 million, Baker said.

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