CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - May 1 marks Dr. Randy Dunn’s first official day on the job as president of Southern Illinois University.
Earlier Thursday he spent time on Edwardsville’s campus and then he made his way to Carbondale.
He was greeted by staff, students and the college’s marching band.
But there is a tough road ahead for Dunn and the university.
During the press conference, President Dunn didn't shy away from the struggles the university is facing when it comes to the lack of state funding and whether or not the state’s income tax will extend.
He got right to business answering questions about both issues explaining that life would become very difficult at SIU if the income tax isn't extended. However, he says he is optimistic that it will.
He and other university presidents have pushed for legislators to vote in favor of the tax or face the campus could face drastic changes of hundreds of jobs lost and many programs would be cut.
But he says these are issues that every university is facing across the county and will have a plan in place in the next couple of months.
“Public investment in higher education is still worth it," Dunn said. "And this is something that states need to continue to do in the manner that they have and this is taking place all over in the United States right now and we have to answer that strongly and say, ‘absolutely it is.’ If you look at what we do, it transforms people and it transforms places but we can’t do it on tuition dollars alone."
He stressed that as president he will continue to advocate that SIU is making good use of the resources provided.
Previously, Dunn was the president at Youngstown State University for eight months before being chosen by SIU.