Furloughs, Freezes Hit University of Illinois

Because of cash flow and budgetary problems, Illinois professors and staff need to take unpaid leave.

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Well, that didn't take long. We aren't even one week into 2010, and more economic bad news on college campuses is on its way. We already knew about the University of Illinois system's financial troubles, but it's always rough when the actual hammer falls.

The university announced that it will implement furloughs and wage and hiring freezes this spring, the Daily Illini reports. Interim Illinois President Stanley Ikenberry cited a lack of state appropriations, among other problems, as the reason for the financial adjustment. And judging by Ikenberry's statement, it seems entirely possible that Illinois might not finish the academic year.

"At some point, we will be unable to meet payroll and complete the academic year unless there are significant payments from the state as promised," Ikenberry writes in a statement to the university community.

The university is dealing with a $400 million shortfall because it has received only 7 percent of its designated appropriations from the state. Ikenberry asked university administrators to take 10 unpaid furlough days before June 15, and he asked faculty and staff to take four furlough days between February and May 15.

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