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A tale of two campuses

Thursday, Nov 30, 2017

* 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.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

41 Comments
  1. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 2:17 pm:

    Still winning in one area …

    The Salukis downed the Cougars 86-59 at SIU Arena.

    The Salukis (3-2) improved to 9-1 all-time against the Cougars (1-5), and the 27-point landslide was the largest margin of victory in the history of the series.

    http://www.bnd.com/sports/college/article187258903.html


  2. - The Captain - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 2:19 pm:

    A contributing factor is possibly also access to job opportunities. It’s not overly difficult for students at SIUE to get internships in their field over the river in the big city, and it’s much the same for DePaul, UIC and other downtown or near downtown Chicago schools. That’s an advantage they have over Champaign, Northern, Eastern, Western, Southern, etc.


  3. - G'Kar - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 2:19 pm:

    My father-in-law was Delyte Morris’ right hand man that help to make SIU-C a Carnegie R-2 research institution. When I was a student there it was the second best public university in the state after the U of I. It is sad to see what is has become today.


  4. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 2:25 pm:

    ISU wants to start an engineering program. What do you think that is going to do to SIU-C’s School of Engineering?

    I remember when we had a board of regents that helped public universities stay in their lanes. Now, with no oversight, it’s the wild west and each of the directionals is competing with one another, using the state’s resources to cannibalize the whole system. Left unchecked, 3-4 of these are going to close.

    Some might call that progress. But it isn’t good public policy. The guiding higher education policy in Illinois is something called the Public Agenda. It set a goal of having 60% of Illinois citizens having some form of post-secondary credential by 2025. We may not get there, but unless we do a better job of promoting coordination instead of competition, we’ll never get there.

    I think what SIU-E has done is remarkable. I also think it’s a shame that some of it has been at the expense of SIU-C. The lack of planning by the state created an either-or situation here, when taxpayers and students would be better served with a both-and situation.


  5. - Annonin' - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 2:27 pm:

    The savings is about $2.3 million probably less that interest state should pay for stiffing them during the GovJunk starvation plan. SIUE moved quicker to offer in state tuition to MO students.


  6. - LXB - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 2:29 pm:

    “We are spending too much time and money on administration and not enough time on teaching and research.”

    Montemagno’s plan for SIUC does absolutely nothing to free up faculty time for teaching and research, and in fact, it sucks more time into service work and quasi-administration.


  7. - illini - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 2:31 pm:

    I can remember attending the first of the Mississippi River Festivals under the tent at SIUE in 1969 and found myself wondering what could ever become of this new University.

    By the time I moved to Glen Carbon in the early 80’s and my -ex started taking courses on campus I realized that it had made great strides.

    I could see tremendous growth starting to happen in the area when I moved from the area 10 years later.

    The transformation that has continued is far greater that I would have ever imagined.

    And I have seen what has happened with Carbondale over that same time period.

    A Tale of Two Cities, indeed.


  8. - lake county democrat - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 2:38 pm:

    I think 47th makes a good point - I’m not a close follower of this, but I’ve suspected Illinois would be better off with a clear 1-2 academic pecking order (like Michigan/Michigan State) and suspect we may lose some really bright kids who don’t get into U of I (especially in the competitive programs like engineering) and would go to “#2″ if it had a better national rep or the like. I have nothing to back that up though and there could well be good arguments for the status quo (though even there, 47th’s point about programs cannibalizing each other seems right)


  9. - Cartman - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 2:39 pm:

    Tuition at SIU Edwardsville is $2,500 less than at the Carbondale campus. The cost of college is a major concern for families. For a 4-year degree that is a savings of $10,000.
    http://www.collegeillinois.org/PlansAndPricing/CollegeTuitionCostandFees.html


  10. - Almost the Weekend - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 2:51 pm:

    The lack of leadership at SIUC has been detrimental the past ten years. The advances made at UIUC, ISU, SIUE and UIC is remarkable compared to EIU, WIU, and SIUC. Unfortunately one of these three will have to be shut down in the next ten to twenty years if no major changes are made. These three institutions can argue that the state put them in this mess, but they just sped up the deterioration. Also towns see these kids as outside revenue sources for four years and a new students will continue Flow, that is no longer the case. They need to do a better job keeping students after graduation and that means partnerung with businesses for satellite offices and research, creating public private partnerships, or other ideas. SIUC’s Fermentation Science Institute is a good start, but that needs to be expanded into other fields.


  11. - Scamp640 - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 2:57 pm:

    The administrative bloat canard continues. The number of so-called “administrators” have grown on campuses because universities have invested in these new-fangled things called computers. “Administrators” have been hired because universities need technology support. “Administrators” have also been hired to provide support to students with learning disabilities. Administrators have been hired for compliance issues such external grant auditors, Title IX compliance. Universities have been forced by law to hire these “administrators.” There is an array of services universities now provide to students to hopefully improve retention and graduation rates.

    There are some good reasons to criticize higher education. But the administrative bloat reason is so overblown and in most instances mostly wrong. We are not going improve higher education by cutting away at it. Illinois politicians from both parties need to invest more money in its really good universities. In doing so, we can lower tuition and hire high quality faculty — and good administrators, too.

    And one of the reasons SIUC has declined while SIUE has grown is simple demographics. In some ways, demography is destiny. Take a look at the population declines from the SIUC student recruiting area versus the population growth in the Metro east area. The population in the far southern Illinois counties has declined for decades. We can certainly applaud good management practices at SIUE. But macroscale processes such as demographic and economic decline matter, too.


  12. - illini - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 3:01 pm:

    @G’Kar - Delyte Morris was indeed the one individual, who over a great many years grew the University to what may have been its greatest prominence. If, by some fluke, I had not been able to attend the U of I, Carbondale would have been my fall back. And, at that time ISU was not considered to be the “second best” public institution in the state.

    Times have changed.


  13. - LizPhairTax - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 3:07 pm:

    All that growth and Connelly hasn’t even gotten them in the Big Ten yet


  14. - Anonymous - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 3:12 pm:

    The National Center for Education Statistics changed their classification scheme for staff so you can’t compare the number of “administrators” over such a large time span because the classification was redefined a few years ago.


  15. - Scamp640 - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 3:15 pm:

    @ Almost the Weekend. I am willing to bet at least one dollar that you live in the Chicagoland area, or in a metropolitan county. Why else would you be willing to suggest that these universities, all located in rural places, should be closed.

    People callously talk about closing universities like it is a simple matter of turning out the lights. Closing a university would economically devastate the host region. The state has financially starved its universities since at least 2002 and then people like you complain that universities need to change what they do to improve, or else we need to close them down.

    This shows that people in higher education need to do a much better job of communicating why higher education matters in Illinois. As a person in higher education, I realize I need to do a much better job of communicating our value.

    I thought it was self-evident that an educated work force was a good thing, and that investing in universities provides a good return on investment. Apparently it is not self-evident. I have work to do.


  16. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 3:17 pm:

    ===willing to suggest that these universities, all located in rural places, should be closed===

    I don’t think the commenter said that.


  17. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 3:19 pm:

    Scamp460, I feel you brother.

    The right wing has conducted a 20+ year campaign designed to destroy higher education as a valued and trusted institution in America. It’s working better than they could have imagined.

    We lost the public good argument a long time ago. America won’t miss us until we’re gone.

    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/07/20/republicans-skeptical-of-colleges-impact-on-u-s-but-most-see-benefits-for-workforce-preparation/


  18. - Responsa - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 3:24 pm:

    These days there is a lot of stuff going on on college campuses that has little to do with actual education and the all-important preparation for a satisfying and lucrative lifetime career. This is a failing and should be an embarrassment to many colleges and their administrators including several in Illinois.

    Also, I agree with the point lake county democrat (Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 2:38 pm) makes about Illinois needing a reliable and accepted state school pecking order. Top students who don’t *quite* make it into U of I Champaign-Urbana very often go to Indiana or Perdue rather than another Illinois public university and this is a shame. But high school guidance counselors try to recommend what they believe will be best for their students.


  19. - Nearly Normal - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 3:25 pm:

    47th Ward–There is an Illinois Board of Higher Education that has to approve any changes in the state universities. Any plans to add Engineering at ISU or the re-structuring at SIU-C will have to be approved. Tom Cross is the Chair and Dr. Al Bowman was just hired as the Executive Director.


  20. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 3:26 pm:

    Here’s my take…

    ===“Given the financial challenges facing higher education over the past 25 months, our focus has been on protecting our students’ Illinois experience and ensuring their success,” Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Robert Jones said in a statement.===

    It’s absolutely critical, when reading how the flagship university is trying to deal with what has transpired there, abc come to a realization that the the other universities not UIUC are facing direct immediate challenges…

    … but significant and long lasting damage that dates back before Rauner, but exaserbated by Rauner and his personal, gubernatorial moves.

    I’ve stated I’d like to see a Lincoln University system that allows Lincoln University - Edwardsville the necessary “needs” to continue growth.

    Part of that, Rich points to. They need to be a pleasant, fun, rewarding place to get lifetime goals on proper footing.

    Funding state universities at a level of zero… as Rauner personally, gubernatorially, for 3 fiscal years… and counting.


  21. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 3:27 pm:

    ===has little to do with actual education===

    So what?

    That’s been happening on campuses for hundreds of years.

    Sheesh, stop being such an old man. Kids are having fun! Kids are protesting! Kids are arguing!

    Such a shock!!!

    Sorry for breaking my own rules on exclamation points, but sometimes people say really stupid things.


  22. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 3:31 pm:

    ===and Dr. Al Bowman was just hired as the Executive Director.===

    Yes, the former president of ISU will surely put the brakes on ISU’s plans to create a new college to compete with SIUC. Yes, I’m certain he will exercise the board’s authority in this matter.

    I say that as a proud ISU alum too. And IBHE has been MIA and toothless for years, long before Rauner took office.


  23. - Saluki - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 3:31 pm:

    The single biggest issue hurting Carbondale is that those of college age are more inclined than ever to want to be close to a Metro area. SIUE offers the St. Louis market within a 15 minute drive. Also hurting SIUC is that many Chicago students would go to SIUC because “it’s the farthest I can get from home and still pay in state tuition.” Now that most surrounding states are offering in state tuition rates to out of state students that factor has been taken away. Furthermore, the immediate area surrounding Carbondale is not growing in population. In years past there were families growing in the area, many of whom would send their children to SIUC because it was close and people had a feeling of loyalty to the area. With the closing of the coal mines, and the hollowing out of the manufacturing base fewer families are able or afford to send their children to get a higher education. The larger over arching issue is that Southern Illinois is in crisis economically, and the political leadership in the state offers little but empty promises of opening mothballed prison facilities, and reclaimed strip mine ground as a motorcycle park. I love Carbondale, it’s my childhood home and I hope I never have to leave the area. However the rapid decent of the once proud SIUC has been hard to watch.

    To turn it around is going to take bold leadership at SIUC. I don’t know if the Chancellor is right or wrong on this direction, but we need action and this is the first time in awhile I have seen anyone chart a course beyond the status quo. It may not work, but Montemango is at least willing to stake out a position and attempt to lead.


  24. - Scamp640 - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 3:42 pm:

    @ Rich: Almost the weekend said this:

    “Unfortunately one of these three will have to be shut down in the next ten to twenty years if no major changes are made.”

    That sounds to me like he is saying EIU, SIUC, or WIU will have to be closed. What else is she saying? And as I interpret the comment, he or she implicitly puts the blame entirely on the failings of the universities, as opposed to several causes. Universities are not blameless in this. But to ignore the governing malpractice going on in Springfield with respect to higher education is wrong.

    If we are being honest, we should look at factors both internal and external to universities to understand why some universities are doing well, while others are struggling.

    Why is ISU doing so well? I would certainly suggest good internal management. I would also thank State Farm and a diversified urban economy, an urban location relatively close to Chicago, and the good luck of geography to be located at the intersection of interstate highways.

    The universities that are struggling should absolutely look inwards to see what changes need to be made. But it is not a coincidence that the struggling universities are located in regions or communities that are also struggling economically and demographically. The state Higher ED policy has a one-size fits all approach to its public universities even though they are diverse institutions located in wildly diverse locations.

    Almost the Weekend makes no mention of that. That is why I inferred the meaning I did into Almost the Weekend’s comment.

    And an ongoing thanks for providing this forum to talk about important and interesting topics…


  25. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 3:43 pm:

    ===What else is she saying?===

    “if no major changes are made”


  26. - illini - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 3:47 pm:

    @Scamp - many excellent points. The fact that Higher Ed is continuously demonized and has been an easy target for many is frustrating and incomprehensible.

    “Administrative Bloat” is a prime example. But maybe the commenters can relate to their local High School. When I graduated 50 years ago we had a Principal, an Assistant Principal and one guidance counselor. Today, they have a Superintendent, Principal, Assistant Principal, Dean of Students and 3 Guidance Counselors. And the enrollment is the same as it was half a century ago.

    And @Willy, I still like your idea about “Lincoln University at…”. But keep the UIUC separate.

    But the bottom line is still the ever so important funding to preserve what we have and make it attractive to keep our students in-state. With funding being what it has been, even with the Universities making major necessary changes simply to remain competitive and relevant, it is a daunting problem.


  27. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 4:01 pm:

    Yes, there needs to be a basic, consistent level of support from Springfield for our public university system. At the same time, the respective leaders of those campuses are in a Darwinistic struggle to keep their campuses relevant. It’s innovate or die. UIUC is adding a medical school with an engineering slant (much to UIC’s chagrin), ISU is looking at engineering (which I think is good, as very few can hack it at UIUC, heck you could fill a campus with their castoffs), UIC for it’s part is looking to add a law school. Funding is certainly a major issue, but some very hard introspective examinations need to be undertaken at places like SIU-C and Eastern. What do you have to set you apart? What are you good at?


  28. - Ron - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 4:01 pm:

    I know of high schools that have 3 assistant principals. That is bloat.


  29. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 4:07 pm:

    ===ISU is looking at engineering (which I think is good, as very few can hack it at UIUC, heck you could fill a campus with their castoffs)===

    There was a time not long ago that the Engineering School at SIU-C was highly regarded as the 2nd best in IL behind UIUC. ISU has never had an engineering program. This is a crime of opportunity that will enhance ISU at SIU-C’s expense. It is cannibalistic and it occurs because state regulators allow competition rather than coordination.

    ISU needs an engineering program as much as UIC needs a law school. But they have the resources, so the rich get richer.

    I hope the last person leaving Charleston turns out the lights.


  30. - Scamp640 - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 4:14 pm:

    Here is a suggestion for a major change.

    I would like to propose to whatever legislator would listen, a strategy to reinvest in higher education.

    I would like to propose that the state should take its funding for higher education back to 2002 levels. In exchange for this reinvestment, public higher education would freeze operating costs for three (or more) years. The increased investment by the state would be used to lower the tuition for instate students.

    UIUC tried to offer some sort of deal to legislators to lock in state funding. I think that all public higher education in the state should collaborate to lock in a deal that would help lock in lower tuition costs for students, and would provide a stable funding basis for universities.

    The idea would be to lower tuition to the point where Illinois schools are more cost-competitive than universities in neighboring states. But universities would also have enough money to recruit good faculty, while ensure public universities were well-maintained. The deal would ensure universities were transparent and accountable, while students enjoyed the benefits of lower tuition costs. And universities were dependably funded to serve adequately serve the needs of students, businesses, and the state.


  31. - illini - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 4:14 pm:

    @Ron - but this is a school with less than 400 students. I guess times have changed.


  32. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 4:19 pm:

    –as much as UIC needs a law school.–

    I think there is a niche for a public law school in Chicago proper. The other five schools in the city limits (currently six but John Marshall is the proposed UIC acquisition) are private. Nearest IL public I think is NIU.


  33. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 4:24 pm:

    Maybe. But doesn’t the U of I already have a law school? You want UIC’s law school to be a bottom-feeder? That’ll do wonders for UIUC’s law school. Wait, which U of I law school is the crappy one?

    Heck of a branding strategy there.

    Also, what’s the public interest in taking over an indebted private law school? What market failure is occuring that requires public intervention? Are there qualified students in Chicago that can’t find a spot in an existing law school?

    Just because UIC can do this doesn’t mean they should.


  34. - Arizona Bob - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 4:37 pm:

    What’s being lost here is that for a University to survive and thrive it needs to provide quality curricula in areas where there is job demand and where the economic value commensurate with cost is provided. Right now, nursing and medical services is in most the demand, as well as technology classes. Build those to a major part of your student body is essential to survival. art history is a wonderful hobby, but you’ll rarely be able to find a job at a living wage and pay back loans in the field.

    I have friends kids who have been trying to get into nursing schools, and the decent ones have waiting lists a mile long. There are high paying jobs there. It’s not unusual for night shift nurses to make $60K/year after a couple years.

    When I graduated in the 1970’s many students just went to college to “find themselves” insteadbies of preparing for their economic future. Only trust fund babies van afford that in 2017. Higher Ed in Illinois needs to adapt. So far it hasn’t.


  35. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 4:49 pm:

    You regulars all know I bleed the Orange and Blue. AA Jr. also attended as did younger sister who will graduate in May, then say there for graduate school. My youngest is a junior at SIUE and I’ve found the entire experience there to be outstanding, as good as the Big U in every way. Both of them considered ISU but each had their hearts set on where they are attending.

    I’ve written here for years, before the budget impasse, that Illinois has too many public universities. Now we have it worse, with our out-of-state competitors offering in-state tuition. We need a tough Board of Higher Ed that can select and retain a decent ED that can do some long range planning and strategery before the three Unis in trouble are on the critical list


  36. - illini - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 5:17 pm:

    @ArthurAndersen - I have been accused, and rightfully so, of wearing my Orange and Blue blinders when talking here about Higher Ed.

    Your family experience is not unlike that of mine.

    Yet, I will not go so far as to agree that Illinois has too many Public Universities. We have had recent funding problems which only compounded and highlighted the problems that were largely ignored for years.

    And honestly, with each University operating largely independently and rightfully protecting their own brand, these issues have been magnified.

    Is a tough Board of Higher Ed too much too expect? Each does their own long range planning without apparently looking at the outside competition and the impact that their decisions may have relative to their ability to make short term decisions which would maintain their viability.

    We don’t need fewer Universities - we need better Universities.


  37. - G'Kar - Thursday, Nov 30, 17 @ 8:23 pm:

    There have been a lot of good, thoughtful discussion here today. It is one of the reason I like this blog.

    But, I thought I’d mention that when I told my wife tonight about this thread she reminded me that Morris sent my father-in-law to help set up SIU-E! I wonder what he would think of it now?


  38. - Doc Annonymous - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 12:31 am:

    Montemagno’s plan at SIUC conveniently cuts administrative costs by cutting the only administrators faculty and students trust–department chairs, who are really half faculty, half administrator. His massive cut in administrative savings comes in at roughly half of the amount of the *deficit* run by the SIUC athletics department each and every year, and a bit more than 1% of the SIU state budget. So he turns the place upside down and saves 1%? He doesn’t do anything for administrative bloat at higher levels, or in the central administration. He’s basically demoting 45 people (department chairs) and then promoting 15 (to be new school “directors”)–without saying how 15 are doing to do the work that 45 did before. He does conveniently fire every single administrator below him in the pecking order: no provost, and only interim deans and interim school directors. It’s sure a great way to consolidate power!

    Students and faculty are up in arms because all departments will vanish, replaced by vague schools that Montemagno can shape to his whim. Faculty lose control over their disciplines–historians are now just part of some social humanities blob, anthropologists part of a social science unit, as if there were no difference between history and philosophy or between anthropology and sociology. Mathematicians are now expected to be part of a school of physical science–it may be news to them that math is a physical science. The guy is on campus for a couple of months, and he has all the answers. He points to no models elsewhere, and no evidence his crazy scheme will help with the central problem, which is enrollment. He expects faculty and students to just trust him. Why should they?

    I wonder if the Illinois Policy Institute was impressed by Montemagno’s plan to introduce a School of Homeland Security and a Police Academy? The administrative savings are a joke. Perhaps the real agenda is to turn SIUC into a polytechnical school with a decidedly conservative slant.

    As Rob, who knows Carbondale, points out, Carbondale was once a funky, fun place. Great music scene, and solid academics. Artsy, progressive, at the edge of the beautiful Shawnee forest. A place where kids who didn’t ace high school or the ACT could get a real research university caliber education. But the place has suffered from self-inflicted wounds and the general hollowing-out of rural America. And now the board is gambling on this visionary new autocrat who wants to turn us into SIUC Polytech, regardless of what students and faculty want. SIUC students and faculty are going to have to save the place from another power-mad chancellor, just as they did when Cheng provoked a strike back in 2011. That sort of strife is the last thing the place needs, but it’s what the SIU Board of Trustees has delivered.


  39. - Konkobility - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 11:27 am:

    SIUC needs a change but this is no it. This is not the remaining that the institution needs. Montamagno wants to cut 1% of the budget but inflict another 1% through new positions for friends, family members and other wasteful spending that he has incurred and his plan will inflict. This is also a republican mindset that ignores the serious impact that a shift in racial harmony has inflicted on the school. There is a stiff opposition brewing and we have not seen the end of the story yet.


  40. - Southern Dawg - Friday, Dec 1, 17 @ 11:44 am:

    @ Konkobility. Yeah, he’s had his daughter and son-in-law hired. Germain is her married name; one can find them by searching the online SIU staff directory, so it’s public knowledge, or at least it should be. They worked for him in his lab up in Alberta and now they are working for him in Carbondale. It’s nice to run a family business with public money.


  41. - James Knell - Wednesday, Dec 13, 17 @ 4:28 pm:

    “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.”

    I would add that graduate programs that lead to good job skills are really important. But you can’t build such programs with guys like Rauner living in libertarian fantasy land.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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