As lawmakers in Springfield continue a months-long battle over the state budget, one Chicago school faces imminent danger of closing.
Board of Trustees at Chicago State University voted Thursday to declare a financial crisis, also known as financial exigency, according to officials. The vote now clears the way for the school’s president and school leaders to make drastic cuts.
“I came here for my education,” nursing student Kenish Adams said. “Now my education is in jeopardy.”
The school relies heavily on state funding with 30 percent of its budget, or $40 million, coming from state funding. School officials predict the university will run out of money in March.
“Unless there is an infusion of cash, we're not in a position to deliberate,” CSU President Thomas Calhoun said. “Six weeks. We have got to make some plans and then we have got to implement the plans.”
Calhoun says those plans could include layoffs of faculty and staff, fewer educational programs, fewer on-campus services, and building closures.
“It impacts everything,” Calhoun said. “And everything is being brought to the table now.”
About 4,500 students attend CSU. The student body is 80 percent African-American, many of them low income students. The school has been open for nearly 150 years.
The school plans to do whatever necessary to keep classes going this semester so students who are planning to finish in the spring can still graduate.
Some students not as far along worry they may have to re-enroll somewhere else.
“I'm kind of tired of transferring,” said Adams. “I need to stay stable at one university.”