Chicago state officials were briefed on the views of the Higher Learning Commission in a July 11 letter.
“The university continues to have reduced financial resources and takes into account in its planning the continued decrease in its resources in the near future,” the agency wrote. He added that as of the date of the correspondence with the university, the Illinois legislature had not passed a comprehensive state budget, making the school’s financial challenges and lack of predictability more acute financial.
The state of Chicago declared a financial emergency earlier this year, laying off more than 300 directors and employees after the end of the spring semester.
The Higher Learning Commission, which oversees around 1,000 institutions in 19 states, acknowledged that the university had taken steps to address the budget stalemate. But he gave the university until June 2017 to prove his financial stability, or risk losing his accreditation.
University president Thomas Calhoun Jr. said he was disappointed with the agency’s finding. He noted that the state of Chicago recently received $ 32 million through a bridge financing measure and believes it can demonstrate financial strength. Calhoun hopes to be removed from “notice” status by next June.
Calhoun acknowledged that the agency’s sanction could impact student enrollment, which is expected to drop about 20% this fall from 4,500 students last year.
“We’re alive, we’re fine, we’re financially strong, we’re in business now and will open in the fall. That’s the message,” he said.
Calhoun said the university must find other sources of funding if it is to thrive. He recently noted that the state of Chicago is in the second decade of a steady decline in state funding. The university launched a telethon to solicit donations from more than 40,000 alumni.
Illinois’ 12 public universities have been hit by the budget battle between Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and the Democratic-majority General Assembly. All of them have laid off staff and cut programs.
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