Updates to faculty layoff plan and other stuff

General Campus News, Updates, Discussion
wiu712
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Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:04 pm

ST_Lawson wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 1:17 pm
Neither my wife nor I will be receiving any Social Security unless something drastic changes in our work situation.
That's one of the advantages that regular state employees (under SERS) have over both downstate teachers (under TRS) and state university employees (under SURS). ===> Regular state employees qualify for both State Pension and Social Security. You just have to hope that they don't go broke at the same time! :lol:
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Neckerchief
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Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:43 pm

It's not really as simple as just cutting benefits though. As it currently stands, courts have said that they legally can't cut pension benefits, so they'd have to change the state constitution to be able to do it.
Something that can't go on forever, won't.

Let's face it. Illinois has the lowest credit rating of any state, currently just one step above "junk" status. We are losing residents year after year. We just raised state taxes which will probably drive even more residents out. Unless something changes, at some point Illinois will literally run out of money. At that point, it won't matter what the state constitution says.
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ST_Lawson
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Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:00 pm

Neckerchief wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:43 pm
Unless something changes, at some point Illinois will literally run out of money. At that point, it won't matter what the state constitution says.
I never said that they wouldn't change things...I don't know if they will...I was just saying that as it currently stands, they legally can't. Obviously something has to happen...try to find a way to cut more spending...institute a progressive income tax...change the constitution to allow some modification of the pension benefits...all of the above? If they do nothing and just let things keep going the way they have been, then yes, the state will run out of money and then...who knows. I don't think any state has ever declared bankruptcy before, so I don't know what would happen if we got to that point.
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Tere North
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Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:01 pm

ST_Lawson wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:00 pm
I don't think any state has ever declared bankruptcy before, so I don't know what would happen if we got to that point.
Because, unlike cities, states cannot declare bankruptcy as per 1937 bankruptcy code and US Constitution contracts clause in Article I, Section 10, reaffirmed even under loosened conditions by the US Supreme Court in 1977.

So for Illinois to be able to declare bankruptcy, first, Congress would have to change the bankruptcy code and then the Supreme Court would have to reconsider their 1977 ruling. Plus, a state would have to revise its own constitution allowing it to declare bankruptcy.
wiu712
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Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:25 pm

Interesting interview with Western historian John Hallwas. Included is his thoughts on Western becoming a technical school.

A Brief History of Change at WIU.
From Tri-States Public Radio, WIUM-FM:
http://www.tspr.org/post/brief-history-change-wiu
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ST_Lawson
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Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:24 pm

Apparently still no contract for President Thomas: http://www.tspr.org/post/still-no-contr ... -president
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Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:59 pm

Good! Hopefully the BOT will wise up and show him the door!!
wiu712
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Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:03 pm

University Assembly will be on August 16.

Western Illinois University will host the University Assembly from 10 a.m.-noon Thursday, Aug. 16 in Western Hall.

All faculty, staff and administrators from Macomb and the Quad Cities campuses are invited to attend the event, which replaces the annual Fall Faculty Assembly. Attendance is encouraged. The event will also be live-streamed on the University's YouTube channel and Facebook.

The University Assembly will feature WIU President Jack Thomas' State of the University address and Interim Provost and Academic Vice President Kathy Neumann will provide the State of Academic Affairs address. WIU Board Chair Carolyn Ehlert-Fuller and WIU Interim Director of Admissions Jason Woods will also speak.
wiu712
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Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:53 am

Faculty Senate discuss layoffs, academic culture changes.

Headline article in today's McDonough County Voice:
http://www.mcdonoughvoice.com/news/2018 ... re-changes

One of the more interesting comments from today's article: Dr David Banash (English Dept faculty) cautioned that the outcome of the academic re-alignment could transform Western into a community college or at least present the appearance of a community college with few stand-alone departments.
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ST_Lawson
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Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:35 am

wiu712 wrote:
Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:53 am
One of the more interesting comments from today's article: Dr David Banash (English Dept faculty) cautioned that the outcome of the academic re-alignment could transform Western into a community college or at least present the appearance of a community college with few stand-alone departments.
That is kinda what it feels like from my perspective. Lots of cuts to the liberal arts in the last few years, which is disappointing. I realize that liberal arts graduates probably don't make as much money for the university as business or engineering, but it's an important part of the college experience and without them, we're not much more than a trade school (not that there's anything wrong with a trade school...but it's just not what Western is).
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