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Money Pressure Grows At SIU

The Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees last week pushed off a major financial decision.

President Randy Dunn hasoutlined a plan to cut $30 million from the Carbondale campus, along with reductions elsewhere in the system.  Dunn also wants the Edwardsville campus to loan money to SIUC. 

"This is not 'exigency,' for those who are used to that term in a college or university setting, but rather declaration of a short–term crisis, obviously driven in the largest part due to the state budget impasse," Dunn said

SIU Carbondale, like many colleges and universities in Illinois,  is facing fiscal pressure without state support.  SIUC has also seen an enrollment decline over several years.  Meanwhile, SIUE has watched enrollment rise.  At one time, the Carbondale campus had nearly twice as many students.  But now Edwardsville trails by only about 1,300.

“Edwardsville went through a round of cuts in the past couple of years that was a little more dramatic than what Carbondale saw. And I say that with the knowledge Carbondale went through $21 million in cuts this year alone,” said Jennifer Fuller, news director at public radio station WSIU in Carbondale. 

Fuller adds that in a conversation with Dunn, he told her the cuts will occur even if the campus loan isn’t approved.  As for the impact of the next cuts at Carbondale, she points out the impact is uncertain.

“There have been some proposals out that say it would mean x number of faculty or x number of staff.  But those are just speculation. There’s nothing firm at this point.”

A study on non-academic programs has been released.  One that focuses on academics is forthcoming and could determine potential changes.