CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Southern Illinois University officials are considering a proposal that would reallocate state funding from Carbondale to Edwardsville to reflect enrollment changes at the two campuses.
The proposal’s initial phase would give Edwardsville about $5.1 million in funding for the upcoming fiscal year. The SIU Board of Trustees will consider the proposal Thursday, The Southern Illinoisan reported .
The reallocation could threaten the university’s financial stability, said Carlo Montemagno, chancellor for the Carbondale campus. There are more factors to consider than enrollment, such as the cost of hiring faculty at a doctoral research university and maintaining a small teacher-to-student ratio, he said.
“Since 2014, SIU Carbondale has reduced its budget by more than $31 million and has about 500 fewer employees,” Montemagno said. “We cannot absorb any part of the additional $5.1 million reduction by further increasing tuition, by further deferring maintenance of our facilities, or by reducing staff without damaging the quality of programs and services we provide.”
U.S. Rep. Mike Bost of Murphysboro, state Sen. Paul Schimpf of Waterloo and state Sen. Dale Fowler of Harrisburg are among the Republican legislators urging the board to spend more time studying the proposal.
“I’m concerned there is a push to make a quick decision to divert funds from Carbondale to Edwardsville by a Board of Trustees that currently has a vacant seat,” Bost said. “We’re talking about moving a lot of money out of Carbondale’s economy. I think we should slow down, study this, and at the very least have a fully-slated Board of Trustees before making such a vitally important decision.”
The Carbondale Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors also wrote to the board asking trustees to allow the Carbondale campus time to increase enrollment.