The Latest: Rauner: ‘outrage’ Chicago State may have to shut


CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on budget troubles at Chicago State University (all times local):

12:45 p.m.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says he’s “very upset” that Chicago State University may have to close due to financial problems.

Rauner said Wednesday at an unrelated event in Springfield that it’s “an outrage.” Chicago State officials have asked employees and students to turn over their keys to campus facilities. The financially troubled university on Chicago’s South Side has been at risk of running out of money as Illinois’ public colleges and universities have waited since July for state funding held up by the budget standoff in Springfield.

Rauner says there’s no excuse for what’s going on at Chicago State. He says that “should never happen.”

The governor noted that there is legislation pending in the Illinois Legislature that would help Chicago State and other higher education institutions by freeing up more than $160 million of excess special purpose funds. Rauner says the measure should be called for a vote and passed.

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11:30 a.m.

Employees and students at Chicago State University are being asked to turn in their keys to campus facilities in an example of how the lack of a state budget is affecting higher education in Illinois.

The financially troubled university on Chicago’s South Side has been at risk of running out of money as Illinois’ public colleges and universities have waited since July for state funding held up by the budget standoff in Springfield.

Notices of potential layoffs were sent in February to all 900 employees. University President Thomas Calhoun also eliminated spring break and announced the semester will end April 28.

On Monday, administrator Aleshia Renee Terry asked department chairs to begin collecting keys from faculty, staff, administrators and students “as soon as possible.”