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WIU looking at drastic enrollment declines as deficit spending increases

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

* Western Illinois University’s admissions and budget directors had some very bad news for the institution yesterday

Total enrollment on both campuses is projected to decline about 14% from fall of last year, down to 8,088 students from 9,441, according to total enrollment numbers on the WIU website. The totals include currently enrolled students and graduate students, plus incoming freshmen and transfer students, who make up the fresh inflow of students to the university. […]

The 815 projection [in freshman enrollment] is a decrease of 32.4 percent from the fall 2017 freshman class of 1,206 students. in addition to a decline in Freshmen students, there is an anticipated decline in transfer students of just below 12 percent, down to 725 students compared with 823 in 2017. […]

[State appropriations] went from a high of $64.3 million in FY02 to $46.3 million in 2018, a decline of 28 percent. During the budget impasse in FY16, the university only received $14.9 million of its appropriated funds. In FY17 WIU received stopgap and other funds totaling $59.8 million.

“Some may look at this and think that FY17 made up FY16, but it didn’t. So that’s where we had to use $30 million of our own money to get us through that. It ate through quite a bit of our reserve,” [Budget Director Letisha K. Trepac] said. […]

”(For) FY19, $7.6 million in deficit spending is the current projection,” [Trepac] said. “I also want to point out that this doesn’t include any reinvestment in any areas.” […]

“If we deficit spend at the current rate next year, we will not have a reserve at the end of next year.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Saluki - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 8:52 am:

    Bruce Rauner.

  2. - Sugar Corn - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 8:55 am:

    Meanwhile WIU President is interviewing for other jobs:

  3. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 8:58 am:

    Bruce Rauner has refused to fully fund higher education for 3 full fiscal years.

    At Dartmouth, there is the Rauner Library, the Rauner Dormitory, there is a Rauner endowment for Chicago students, there is/was an endowment for teaching, the Rauners donated the Puzo Papers…

    The RaunerS care about higher education, just not Illinois higher education.

    How the Raunerites that have universities in their disctrucs and/or regions allow Rauner to systematically destroy Illinois higher education by starving it speaks volumes about their own lack of character.

    I’m speaking about a state senator whose twitter touts his teaching at a state university but has no intention of funding these universities… and he thinks it Normal…


  4. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 9:00 am:

    - Sugar Corn -

    How can you blame him.

    If Bruce Rauner has his way, a second term means EIU, WIS, SIUC, Chicago State… they at least won’t be open. Other will follow.

    You fund something at a level of zero if you want it eliminated.

  5. - MSIX - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 9:00 am:

    Thomas and the other candidates for the UMass job all withdrew from the search in the face of faculty criticism of the entire search process.

  6. - PublicServant - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 9:08 am:

    Gov: My plans are proceeding apace.

  7. - Ole General - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 9:10 am:


    I thought the only reason these schools were experiencing declining enrollment was a lack of budget?

    So despite a budget, enrollment is down. Maybe it has to do with the cost of the school, reputation, declining number of HS seniors.

    Guess a budget wasn’t a panacea for some of these low-performing schools.

  8. - Lake Shore Drive - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 9:14 am:

    I think it’s fair to attribute blame to the Governor, generally, for the State of higher ed. In particular, he hasn’t been successful in reducing administrative costs, and he hasn’t been successful in reducing tuition costs, and creating a true “in-state” option for Illinois students.

    That being said, it’s also true that second tier schools in rural areas, like Western Illinois, are being hammered by reduced enrollment. Why? Because these schools offer weak job prospects, and the location of these schools offer little to nothing in terms of entertainment and networking. Also, tuition is $25k a year!

  9. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 9:15 am:

    ===Guess a budget wasn’t a panacea===

    Could you possibly be more obtuse?

  10. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 9:17 am:

    ====I thought the only reason these schools were experiencing declining enrollment was a lack of budget===

    The governor refuses to fund higher education.

    What guidance counselor after 2 years without ed funding, and a budget that the GA had to pass and override would suggest Illinois schools, then throw in merit scholarships, in-state tuition opportunities at out of state schools…

    … it’s like saying… “this hospital received no funding for two years, now it got some, so it must be better, but why won’t anyone go there for medical attention?”

    No one… not one person… has done more to destroy state higher education in Illinois than Bruce Rauner.

    Since the 1850s, governors funded higher ed in budgets… except Bruce Rauner.

  11. - Joe M - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 9:22 am:

    For the last several years, WIU’s marketing and recruiting theme has been “Think Purple” And to feature Rocky the dog and people wearing purple pullover shirts. I don’t think that perspective college students are relating to that.

    They should have been promoting their academic programs and the faculty who teach those programs. That is what students go to college for.

  12. - Anonymous - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 9:24 am:

    —Guess a budget wasn’t a panacea for some of these low-performing schools—

    Forgotten in the furor of having no budget is the fact that for a couple of decades prior, funding for higher education in Illinois has been embarrassingly low. As a result, costs once paid for by the state are now paid by the students in the form of higher tuitions. It is cheaper to go to any of the surrounding states for college, and increasingly that is what is happening.

  13. - Not a Billionaire - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 9:24 am:

    The good news is there is a contract the bad news is its terrible but fair. The admission director quit and blamed Rauner for the initial hit but blamed management for the ongoing spiral.It was all at the last BOT meeting . I am concerned that layoffs will accelerate the decline . No programs no students. Keep your eye on all small town schools because generation z is not that into them for reasons above. Also U of Iowa had big budget cuts and is in a pay freeze so expect more raids. No way can our regionals or small colleges compete with big 10 or 12 schools. Also birth rates hit record lows and we know the midwest is lower than the nation. Also our biggest foreign sources India and China are having even bigger birth drops.The kid business is not a growth business.

  14. - Ole General - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 9:28 am:


    I could try if needed. But preferably before Family Feud begins.

    Ole General

  15. - IBE - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 9:31 am:

    1) WIU is not a low performing school! It has the highest test score on the CPA test of ANY IL public institution and 2) it’s nursing program has 100% passage rate on its MCLEX text. It’s Law Enforcement and Justice Adminstration programmisnone of the largest in the country.

    All public universities have had their State funding cut since 2003. If you want kids to stay in IL and contribute to the wellbeing of the State, invest in IL higher ed

  16. - Jibba - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 9:36 am:

    Lack of state funding, both acute and chronic, is the main cause. The residential college experience is getting less affordable for the lower and middle classes, and therefore fewer can attend. Shifting focus to campuses in population centers where students can attend part time or live at home (e.g., SIUE, WIU Quad Cities) is clearly a model that works under the current situation, and should be expanded. Residential colleges far from population (EIU, WIU, SIUC) will have continued difficulties, and need to consider alternatives in how to provide education in the future. Innovations in delivery and cost cutting such as a degree in 3 years, distance learning for part of the curriculum, cuts to administration, athletics, and certain degree programs would help., extending even to considering whether these universities need graduate programs. These thoughts also ask faculty to reexamine their roles, wondering whether classifying themselves as researchers first and educators second serves the needs of their students. None of this absolves the state in any way, but reality intrudes even in the ivory tower.

  17. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 9:38 am:

    ===Forgotten in the furor of having no budget is the fact that for a couple of decades prior… ===


    It’s not forgotten.

    By excusing Rauner with this, you are personally aiding him.

    Rauner wants the narrative to be… “higher ed has been failing for decades”… so no one will notice… when you fund something at a level of zero, you want it eliminated…

    … but please, go on and on about inadequate funding… while it’s used as an excuse for Rauner to fund higher ed at a level of zero with his lack of signatures.

  18. - Not a Billionaire - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 9:42 am:

    In theory WIU QC should work but it’s a market that may be too close to DeKalb and Iowa City. It’s been a failure and needs to be downsized and quick and our students could care less about NCAA division 1both moves buy breathing time. Also let SIU take care of SIU

  19. - Ole General - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 9:49 am:

    Not a Billionaire

    Why would a prospective QC student attend WIU when University of Iowa is closer and Iowa St. is only 3 hours away, roughly the same cost and a better school?

    Western Illinois should be a low-cost school to obtain a nursing, agricultural or other technical training.

    Instead it costs $25k a year, isn’t a D1 sports school and offers too many degrees for students without a close metro to work-in.

    Why is SIUE so successful? Because it’s right by a major metro with a ton of internship/job opportunities.

  20. - Joe M - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 10:04 am:

    WIU has a lot of excellent programs. Its LEJA program is the largest in Illinois. Its Accountancy program is doing great.

    WIU’s 2017 CPA Exam 70.67 Percent Pass Rate Leads Illinois Public Universities

    Those are just a couple of examples.

  21. - Jibba - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 10:05 am:

    If I had to design a college from scratch in Macomb or Charleston, I would make it cheaper than the alternatives, more quick to obtain a degree, more focused on degrees of interest, and totally focused on teaching, not research or athletics other than intramurals. While you can try to get people to come live in on campus, I would also structure teaching to accommodate people who attend part time, by teaching many classes at night, over the weekend (an all-day class on Sat and another one on Sunday, 8 hours per semester), in a short burst (teach on Tues, Wed, and Thu, allowing people to come for 2 nights then return home), in 2 or 3 week bursts (like intersession), and similar innovations. Some dorms might operate like hotels, allowing overnight stays for cheap. If people can’t afford to attend full time for 4 years, give them options. Profs would have to be more flexible to allow this, of course. I’m not advocating an entire faculty of adjuncts, but they might need to be expanded if done properly and respectfully.

  22. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 10:06 am:

    - Ole General -

    Then why won’t Rauner take those facts (some I’ve pointed out too in the past) and just run openly on closing state universities?

  23. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 10:12 am:

    - Jibba -

    While your thoughts are more pointed, I’ve been an advocate of a Lincoln University system as a solution, and keep the facilities and schools open, but I still believe in the core of the universities, they need to re-examine how they may best achieve success, with that examination including full funding, or at the minimum, better than 30%+ funding for fiscal years.

    No one I’ve read here or anywhere see “fund higher ed” as the beginning AND the end of this discussion, but for me, deciding to fund universities at a level of zero, as Rauner has done, then deciding that Rauner decision isn’t important to factor as a stand alone… no, I can’t see that as honest to this discussion.

  24. - Ole General - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 10:14 am:

    Oswego Willy

    Because there is no reason to close the universities. They have a purpose in the general educational system which is what I enumerated. They currently serve an outsized role and are unattractive to students at the price point.

    Drop programs, cut staff, reduce costs and do a better job tying your universities with local metros.

    Students in the QC’s aren’t dying to attend WIU or EIU when they could attend a big time university like Iowa State for roughly the same cost.

    SIU-E nailed this when they strategized that low-cost and broad internship programs in St. Louis would lift them above other regional universities.

    And it’s worked despite the lack of budget because what they are selling is attractive to seniors throughout the state and not just in the local network.

  25. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 10:17 am:

    ===Because there is no reason to close the universities.===

    The sole reason government funds anything at a level of zero is to eliminate it.

    Rauner has yet to fully fund for an entire fiscal year higher education.

    You should be angered, according to that sentence you typed.

    Why you’re not… that’s on you.

  26. - Scott - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 10:18 am:

    - Ole General -
    Just a point of clarification, WIU (along with all the “directional” state schools) is DI athletics school. In all sports except football, WIU is in the same division as Illinois State, U of I, Northwestern, etc. In football, WIU is DI FCS (like Illinois State) as opposed to DI FBS (like U of I).

  27. - Chelsie N. - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 10:20 am:

    What we are seeing is institutionalized racism in higher ed. At a time when we are finally seeing an increase in the number of black and brown students going to colleges and universities, the public narrative has become that it is too expensive, not worth the investment, and trade schools are a better option. The tales of college graduates saddled with $300K in debt are very few and far between, but those are the stories we hear from the NY Times and NPR.

  28. - Jibba - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 10:22 am:

    Thanks for the thoughts, OW. Lincoln University, meaning a board that governs all directionals? I certainly agree. The old Board of Regents kept their universities in check so that they kept to their traditional missions, which would have been helpful over the past 20 years. For example, does each university need an expensive engineering college? They all want one as they strive to be a national powerhouse, but not every university can or should become one.

    I also agree that the acute crisis brought on by Rauner pushed universities far downslope from their already precarious position caused by chronic underfunding.

    Personally, I would not locate a new university in Macomb or Charleston due to today’s population distribution and funding problems, but we are left to try to save what we have or else let them close and become warehouses.

  29. - illinois manufacturer - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 10:23 am:

    Ows Lincoln idea has a lot to it.The breakup of Board of Govoners system really hurt. That model needs to be revived and revised.

  30. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 10:23 am:

    ===The tales of college graduates saddled with $300K in debt are very few and far between, but those are the stories we hear from the NY Times and NPR.===


    College debt is a major reason now people aren’t going to universities, or choosing universities with fiscal lenses as students clearly understand “merit scholarship versus $70,000 in debt… and I haven’t slept a night, bought a single book, or ate a single meal.”

  31. - Ole General - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 10:25 am:

    Why you’re not… that’s on you.

    Because I don’t use reductive reasoning in life. The budget also didn’t fund nonprofits, does that mean Rauner wants children to die?

    That type of hyperbole is why Trump was elected. It’s the boy who cries wolf over and over again.

  32. - Give Me A Break - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 10:27 am:

    Have no fear, the fine folks in western Illinois will vote for Rauner come November because they don’t want JB taking their guns away or mean ole Madigan and the people from Chicago taking their money and spending it on those Cook County people.

  33. - Ole General - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 10:29 am:


    Why you are technically correct, there is a clear and growing divide between Power 5 schools and the rest. While WIU is a D1 basketball school in the technical definition, it isn’t close to an Iowa St. or Kansas. St in terms of facilities and national recognition.

    Kids like to represent cool schools. Iowa St plays in the NCAA tournament. WIU gets dead last in the Summit League.

    But yes, you are correct and thank you for adding it to the conversation.

  34. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 10:32 am:

    - Jibba - and - illinois manufacturer -

    Thanks to you both.

    Specifically, to you both,

    ===Lincoln University, meaning a board that governs all directionals…===

    Yes. Here’s the subtle wrinkles…

    Lincoln U, Charleston… etc.

    One board, oversight, work with community college system and individual CCs to work an affordable transition with proximity and cost as an education path.

    SIUs… Edwardsville joins ISU and NIU in one pathway, Carbondale, WIU, EIU, another pathway, but same systems, giving flexibility and specialty within abd under one umbrella.

    Where it needs real work? Chicago State, Northeastern, the non-directional, Chicago-Centric institutions.

    I’d like to see Illinois Higher Ed be taken seriously, but Rauner is purposely trying to close schools, not make them at all better.

  35. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 10:35 am:

    ===Because I don’t use reductive reasoning in life. The budget also didn’t fund nonprofits, does that mean Rauner wants children to die?===

    Where were you during the 736 day budget impasse, under a rock?

    It’s not up for debate, it’s not up for discussion, interpretation…

    You fund something at a level of zero… you want it eliminated. That’s how budgets work.

    ===Because I don’t use reductive reasoning in life. The budget also didn’t fund nonprofits, does that mean Rauner wants children to die?===

    “I’m frustrated too, but reforming Illinois is more important than a short term budget stalemate”

    You are really obtuse.

  36. - Han's Solo Cup - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 10:49 am:

    Something to chew on:
    Number of four year public universities and ratio of universities to population-
    Missouri-13, 1-470,000
    Iowa-3, 1-1,033,000
    Wisconsin-13, 1-446,000
    Indiana-14, 1-471,000
    Kentucky-8, 1-550,000
    Illinois-12, 1-1,066,000

    I was surprised to see Illinois actually has the least number of four year universities per population in our region.

  37. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 10:57 am:

    - Han Solo Cup -

    Private 4-year universities within each states’ border?

    Illinois as a state isn’t lacking institutions, they are lacking what the state needs to be doing to be competitive and provide for the citizens and residents and even the regions hosting.

  38. - Steve - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 11:01 am:

    Public sector pensions or Western Illinois University? Any doubt who’s got more power in the political system?

  39. - Ole General - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 11:06 am:



  40. - Not a Billionaire - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 11:11 am:

    Illinois also subsidizes private schools with MAP grants no other state in the area does that.Illinois has the lowest percentage in public higher ed. About 50. The other states are higher. But that chart shows how much capacity there is in the Midwest.

  41. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 11:21 am:

    ===Illinois also subsidizes private schools with MAP grants no other state in the area does that.===

    Illinois provides MAP vouchers to students so that low income Illinoisans have a choice of where to pursue college in Illinois.

    For the cost of the MAP money that students bring to non-public universities in Illinois, the state doubles the number of Illinois college graduates every year.

  42. - Flapdoodle - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 11:35 am:

    No question that Rauner’s hostility has severely damaged Illinois public higher education, not least at WIU. But the WIU administration’s mismanagement — e.g., using faculty salary give backs for unintended purposes, expanding administration, paying administrators high salaries, weak marketing efforts — also plays a large role. There are reasons WIU’s president is on the job market, and he’s not the only one. A number of other administrators are also looking or have already left. There also appears to have be an uptick in faculty departures and retirements, hardly unexpected after the non confidence and strike authorization votes this spring, not to mention talk of impending layoffs and program reductions.

    It’s a witch’s brew and I fear for the future of Macomb, of WIU students, and of my friends and former colleagues who still work there.

  43. - Willy - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 11:45 am:

    Western Illinois University is experiencing the same thing that the majority of public institutions in Illinois are experiencing. Kudos to them for acknowledging it. Now they can make the necessary changes to fit in the new higher ed environment. I’m an alum of WIU’s Accounting program and I was given the tools I needed to succeed in my career. The pass rate discussed earlier is awesome.

  44. - Not a Billionaire - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 11:45 am:

    Flap you are right I mentioned the departing Admissions directors speech to the BOT. The BOT shares blame. That is why OWs idea makes a lot of sense. There is another retirement incentive in the new contract. I would rather see retirements than layoffs of younger faculty who are in teir 2.

  45. - Anonymous - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 12:15 pm:

    Boys go to WIU to drink and find girls. Girls go to WIU to drink and find husbands. Neither are satisfied.

  46. - kv - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 12:26 pm:

    Northeastern IL University is a directional school. It’s literally named for the direction it represents.

  47. - Anon - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 12:51 pm:

    Cheaper to go to U of I, ISU or UNI.

    By which I mean, University of Iowa, Iowa State University, and University of Northern Iowa.

  48. - Anonymous - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 12:57 pm:

    I taught one course at WIU 12 years ago and was paid $4200. Currently UIS pays $2600. Rauner put a hurt on them for sure but some problems were of WIU’s design.

  49. - Anon-I-Guess - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 1:08 pm:

    I’ve all but given up hope that anyone is coming to save Illinois Higher Ed.

  50. - Ron - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 1:14 pm:

    It’s a sad fact of life in Illinois Anon-I-Guess. Decades kleptocracy have that unfortunate result.

  51. - btowntruthfromforgottonia - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 2:04 pm:

    Give Me A Break has clearly spent time in Western Illinois.
    You would be stunned at how many peoples thinking in this area is exactly how he described

  52. - Nailrod - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 2:15 pm:

    According to the WIU Budget they are spending 1.796 million in 2018 for Athletics- and that is out of state appropriated dollars.

    That should change immediately- but it won’t.

  53. - DuPage - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 2:17 pm:

    @- Steve - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 11:01 am:

    ===Public sector pensions or Western Illinois University? Any doubt who’s got more power in the political system?===

    False dilemma.

  54. - Ron - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 2:29 pm:

    For how many years years has WIU been losing students?

  55. - DuPage - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 2:31 pm:

    - Anonymous - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 12:15 pm:

    ===Boys go to WIU to drink and find girls. Girls go to WIU to drink and find husbands. Neither are satisfied.===

    That was very big in the days before there was an internet. Back in the 1960s SIU was ranked among the most highly rated “party schools” in the Midwest.

  56. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 2:33 pm:

    ===For how many years years has WIU been losing students?===

    Use the google, - Ron -

  57. - Flapdoodle - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 2:40 pm:

    More unfortunate news from WIU — The search for a new provost (#2 administrator) has been officially declared failed, with no one quite knowing what happens next. Hardly a surprise in current circumstances, which itself is not good.

    And the latest projections have WIU will be unable to meet payroll sometime between September and November 2019. Unclear if this is with current payroll or is adjusted for possible layoffs and/or reductions. This per recent presentation to Trustees.

  58. - Ron - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 2:45 pm:

    I can only find the last 10 years of enrollment for WIU, all declining. Has it been losing students for more than a decade?

  59. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 2:47 pm:

    ===Has it been losing students for more than a decade?===

    Again, - Ron -, we’re not your google.

  60. - Anonymous - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 2:57 pm:

    It’s usually the people who tout their college degrees who trash others’. In other words, I got mine. You don’t need what I got. Not comparing WIU to Dartmouth, but I’ve noticed that some of the most accomplished, educated people would rather die than give any credit to the fact that someone, somewhere got them where they are. Just sayin. I’m talking Rauner for example.

  61. - Trapped in the 'burbs - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 3:26 pm:

    It’s pretty simple. My son got offered a lot of money from Michigan State and Oregon. He didn’t apply to any Illinois schools. He’s graduating from University of Oregon next month, in four years with zero debt. Yes, we paid a lot of money but not as much as we would have if he want to University of Illinois. Michigan State offered a little more money, but he liked Oregon. No Illinois state schools were ever considered. Only one of his friends went to an Illinois state university. That’s not going to change overnight. The damage done to higher education in Illinois is catastrophic. This is Rauner’s legacy.

  62. - Trapped in the 'burbs - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 3:27 pm:

    *if he went to University of Illinois.

    Sorry for the typo

  63. - Anonymous - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 3:44 pm:


    Ditto for my two kids. Both got great merit scholarships out of state. Neither came back to Illinois to work. I thought Rauner was so worried about out migration. He’s helping drive young talent out. And mighty proud of it too!

  64. - Ron - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 4:08 pm:

    Chicago has no problem attracting well educated young people. They come from all over the country. And world.

  65. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 4:10 pm:

    ===Chicago has no problem attracting well educated young people. They come from all over the country. And world.===

    … and yet, Rauner and Rahm both know to attract companies like Amazon, there needs to be showcase higher education to attract big business.

    You know this, we’ve discussed this. Often.

    Hopefully you won’t be spamming your drive-by silliness, and my responses remind you, your drive-bys are tiring.

    Please add to the discussion.

  66. - Enough Already - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 4:15 pm:

    ===Has it been losing students for more than a decade?===

    Yes. The last year in which WIU saw an increase in enrollment from one Fall semester to the next was 2006.

    Between Fall 2006 and Fall 2015 the institution’s total enrollment (headcount) declined from 13,602 to 11,094 (-18.43%) even as its appropriated budget from the state rose (in inflation adjusted dollars) by approximately 8-9%.

    Between Fall 2015 and this past Fall 2017, WIU’s enrollment decreased an additional -14.89% - from 11,094 to 9,441 - resulting in a total loss of -30.59% over the last eleven years.

    Has the Rauner administration exacerbated WIU’s collapse? Yes, it has. Is the Rauner administrations solely to blame for WIU’s collapse? No, it is not.

    The place was a flaming dumpster fire long before Rauner took office. He simply poured gasoline on it.

  67. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 4:18 pm:

    ===Is the Rauner administrations solely to blame for WIU’s collapse? No, it is not.===

    You fund something at a level of zero, you want it eliminated.

    Keep up.

    Saying “was it before… “, you are aiding the Rauner plan to close state universities.

    Since the 1850’s not a single governor funded higher ed at a level of… zero.

  68. - Anonymous - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 4:18 pm:

    ==Chicago has no problem attracting well educated young people==

    And wouldn’t it be great if top notch ILlinois students, educated in Illinois could afford to partake of our state universities? Instead, we offer them to out of staters/international

    Please don’t ever complain about out migration. We are losing some of the best young people who live right here to other states.

  69. - Mama - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 4:59 pm:

    - IBE - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 9:31 am: =
    If you want higher education to be properly funded, you need to vote for a governor whom would agree with you. The current gov wants to privatize all public schools including higher education in IL - - this is why higher ed. has not been funded.

  70. - BlueDogDem - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 8:13 pm:

    Anyone bothering to ask young adults why they are not going to WIU? I have asked numerous Local kids why they aren’t going to SIUC. The answer is within reach. Adults need to quit with the political pain game.

  71. - Yooper in Diaspora - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 10:14 pm:

    Grateful to Oswego Willy for staying on message. And while the fate of regional public universities like WIU may be unknown, more than one transfer student from a liberal arts college has said that WIU is like a liberal arts college in the attention offered to students by faculty. Some find more of faculty accessibility at WIU than at nearby liberal arts colleges.

    Also, Illinois’ public universities aren’t necessarily more expensive than surrounding states’ schools. Illinois’ schools communicate better up front about the fuller costs. Last I heard, some staff for the IBHE have been working on ways to better advertise this.

  72. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 22, 18 @ 11:47 pm:

    (Tips cap to - Yooper in Diaspora -)

  73. - Angry Chicagoan - Wednesday, May 23, 18 @ 8:03 am:

    You’d do well, if you want to get to the root of the problem, to take a look at every other school in the state for what’s happening. UIC numbers have been soaring, but they have in practice lowered their admission standards. Has that not “robbed Peter to pay Paul?” Trump’s war on immigrants is a war on one of the few things in which the US has a trade surplus; higher education. Those Chinese and Indian grad students are increasingly either going to Europe or Canada or else staying at home. And so on.

    Go down the list of any university within about 400 miles of WIU and you might get a good part of the story.

    Check around community colleges in the area and you’ll probably find the rest. Increasingly students are going two-year-and-transfer.

    This is a brutal environment to be a medium-size comprehensive university.

  74. - Not a Billionaire - Wednesday, May 23, 18 @ 8:51 am:

    Chinese and Indian students will be decking just like the Illinois population. Also WIU is being cannabalized by the U of I system as well. U of I is expanding enrollment .We need to go to a system like OW.

  75. - Not a Billionaire - Wednesday, May 23, 18 @ 8:56 am:

    Ow idea gives some political clout. There is a good chance that WIU and EIU as well as Carbondale will each have just on state rep and a state senator both republicans in a sea of blue.We have seen how little clout Carbondale had. One state rep there will have little influence if whatever it decides to do has support of metro East.

  76. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 23, 18 @ 9:19 am:

    - Not a Billionaire -

    Appreciate all your kind words.

    The political energy and capital needed to move the Lincoln University system would also be large, if not enormous.

    The downstate directionals, SIUC, EIU, and WIU would need to be a pod of universities marketed and built in similar images, but mirroring what best represents their individuality, while taking advantage of the system.

    NIU, ISU and SIUE, the vertical podding of northern, central and southern Illinois with like-styled universities would be a second prong and while part abd parcel of the Lincoln University system, keeping their branded name identity might be a strong asset for these very specific schools… and so on.

    I’d like to see this challenge met, and take advantage of things not being done now, but that lift is one I’d gladly like to even discuss, I’m not that person (or people) with the capital to move it.

  77. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 23, 18 @ 9:30 am:

    Also - Not a Billionaire -

    The third pod… Governors State, Chicago State, and Northeastern, the “Chicagoland” pod of Lincoln University schools would be Lincoln University branded.

    Nine universities, three pods, one umbrella…

    It’s neither simple or a solution, but it’s a discussion I’d like to see/hear, then move outside talk to try to save higher education in Illinois.

  78. - TinMan - Wednesday, May 23, 18 @ 1:56 pm:

    WIU is a good school and an anchor to that area of the state economy. The governor needs to fund higher ed, and promote it in our state. He has spent most of his time bashing this state . Time for a change.

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