* SIU-Edwardsville’s student population has grown 27 percent since 1996. What’s happening there?…
SIUE officials attribute the enrollment growth to the evolving campus and community.
“SIUE’s consistent and steady growth over the past 20 years can be attributed to the ever-evolving nature of this campus and the Edwardsville/Glen Carbon area,” said Association Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management Scott Belobrajdic.
He highlighted past construction of residential halls, the addition of the School of Pharmacy, expansion of the School of Engineering and the move to NCAA Division I athletics as points that bolstered enrollment.
“Beginning in the mid-’90s we began the transition to a primarily residential campus,” he said. […]
“In 1996 the mean ACT for an incoming class of 1,191 was 20.9. Fall of 2014 brought a record of 2,126 new freshmen to campus with an average ACT of 23.5,” he said.
Adding and expanding reputable programs most certainly helped not only grow the student population, but attract more qualified students. And Edwardsville itself is a lot different than the backwater it was 20-some years ago. It’s now the jewel of the Metro East. The city and the university worked with each other, fed off each other and grew together. (It’s probably no coincidence that Edwardsville’s highly successful mayor of 20 years also ran the local YMCA and grew both while stressing quality. When the now-retired mayor took over the local YMCA, it had less than a thousand members. Now, as he is about to retire from that job, it has 19,200 members - three quarters of the town’s population.)
* Anyway, SIU-Carbondale? Not so great. Enrollment has dropped, the town has struggled and now we have yet another grand scheme from the campus’ tenth chancellor in twenty years - twice the turnover rate as SIUE.
The Illinois Policy Institute approves..
Southern Illinois University, Carbondale Chancellor Carlo Montemagno has unveiled a plan to restructure the university’s academic programs. A core feature of the chancellor’s proposed plan underscores the need to minimize administrative costs and sharpen the university’s focus on teaching and curricula.
The plan calls for the elimination of SIU’s current department-based structure to be replaced by a system of colleges and schools within the university, thereby cutting down on administrative bloat.
Addressing the university’s fiscal priorities in a video posted on the university’s website, Montemagno said, “We are spending too much time and money on administration and not enough time on teaching and research.” […]
Full-time equivalent administrator positions at Illinois public universities increased by 26 percent from 2005 to 2015, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics. But full-time equivalent fall student enrollment dropped by almost 3 percent over that time. Further, teaching- and classroom-related functions, including instruction, research and public service full-time equivalent positions, increased by only 2 percent.
If it saves significant money and doesn’t disrupt education, then go for it. But the university has to start thinking about way more than cutting bureaucratic jobs (which will, unfortunately, exacerbate the city of Carbondale’s problems). It needs stability and growth. A state of near-constant flux has not helped that place.
Kids want to go to schools where they can have some fun, and money is definitely an issue, but they really want to get a degree that’s respected in their chosen fields.