SIU Trustees Debating University Cuts

Apr 6, 2017

Southern Illinois University trustees are discussing what to do about the cash crunch on the Carbondale campus.

President Randy Dunn proposed $30 million in cuts to SIUC and borrowing from SIU Edwardsville. He says the state’s budget crisis is hurting the Carbondale campus, but also has problems of its own.

“They’ve also been living for many years with a structural deficit that hasn’t been corrected," he says. "In the most simplistic way possible, describing it as having too many programs for now too few students.”

Trustees spent more than an hour asking what could and should be done to get the campus through this fiscal year and into the next, with the possibility of no state funding. Trustee Marsha Ryan applauded leaders for their cuts so far, but says the university, particulary the Carbondale campus, needs to rebuild from within.

“The truth is, it needs doing anyhow," she says. "And even if $30 million walked in the door tomorrow, I still would not put this work to an end.”

President Dunn and Interim Carbondale Chancellor Brad Colwell assured trustees their cuts would be permanent – and strategic. They say even with a budget resolution in Springfield, the campus must make itself ready to withstand future funding challenges, and to better serve its students.

Trustees will vote on President Dunn's request later today.