Chicago State University has laid off over 300 employees, or a third of the school's staff, as a direct result of the ongoing state budget impasse.
The layoffs, effective immediately, were announced Friday and are impacting administrative and non-instructional workers, the latter of whom have been reduced by about 50 percent. Chicago State University, which has been hard hit by the state budget stalemate, now in its eleventh month, expects to save $2 million through the layoffs.
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a stopgap higher education measure last week that allocated over $20 million for Chicago State University, less than 60 percent of the fiscal year 2016 funds the school anticipated getting from the state. The emergency money, however, came too late and was not enough to stave off the staff cuts at Chicago State University, according to the school's President Thomas Calhoun Jr.
"It is not disheartening for the future of the university," Calhoun Jr. said. "The university has been here 150 years and will continue to be here."
Rev. Jesse Jackson, who spoke at the university's commencement last Thursday, expressed his concerns about the layoffs Friday evening, and demanded that the university get the funds needed to reinstate the lost positons.
"Governor Bruce Rauner has betrayed the staff and students and deceived the public by giving the impression of a bail out," Jackson said. The "way CSU is being treated, the school with the fewest resources that graduates more black students than any school in Illinois, you have to conclude it's either racial indifference or racial targeting."