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Illinois Universities Brace For Financial Doomsday

(CBS) -- Students and alums at Chicago State University say the school is running out of money.

It's a similar story at Northeastern Illinois University. President Sharon Hahs says her school is used to floating the state for four to six months each year.

"But we do it on a promise, a guarantee of an appropriation of a specific amount, and now we are doing it with silence," she tells CBS 2's Roseanne Tellez.

The university turned to the lottery.

"Powerball was in the news, everybody's talking about it, and we thought, 'Let's just go buy one,'" Hahs says.

Earlier this week, Gov. Bruce Rauner's office released a memo calling for reform at the state's  public universities, citing , among other spending, costly perks like country club memberships and use of private jets given to many university executives.

"We have no country club memberships, we have no private jets. This university serves an underserved population of mostly minority students who deserve an education," countered Chicago State spokesperson Tom Wogan.

The NEIU president, who did not win the lottery, says someone has to step in and make good on the promise of Illinois and its universities to provide an appropriation on behalf of education.

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