Western Illinois University will receive more funding from the state of Illinois than last year, thanks to the new state budget passed by the legislature.

In the coming fiscal year, WIU will receive $49.6 million in state appropriated funds.

That’s an increase of 5% from the previous fiscal year.

According to a release from the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce, the new budget appropriates $9 million for Phase 3 of the WIU-Quad Cities campus.

“This will allow for an expansion of the School of Engineering, and it would also be the physical location of the Center for Manufacturing and Entrepreneurial Excellence, which is part of the Illinois Innovation Network,” the release said.

The increased funding relieves some pressure at the university, which is undergoing restructuring. Enrollment at WIU has declined precipitously over the last decade.

"We greatly appreciate the General Assembly passing a budget, and providing operating and capital funding for Western and for Illinois public higher education, as well as funding to help meet students' financial needs," said WIU President Jack Thomas in a release from the university.

"The state allocations will provide critical operating revenue, which allows Western to continue its mission of providing outstanding educational opportunities to the citizens of Illinois and beyond. The passage of the fiscal year 2020 budget is an encouraging sign for our state and for Illinois public higher education,” Thomas added.

Despite the funding increase, WIU will receive less state appropriated money than it had in the mid-2010s.

Between 2013 and 2015, and in 2017, WIU received at least $51 million from the state, according to the university’s budgets.

According to the university release, in the upcoming fiscal year, WIU’s capital funding will be over $94 million for a new science building. In addition, about $29 million will be designated for the Illinois Board of Higher Education for capital improvements at WIU.

The budget also provides funding for the Monetary Award Program and Aspirational Institutional Match Helping Illinois Grow Higher Education grants, which support students in financial need. The budget also re-dedicates funding for the Center for Performing Arts and the Quad-Cities riverfront campus.

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