Interim chancellor Dunn acknowledges budget challenges in University address

Southern Illinois University’s State of the University address

Interim chancellor Dunn delivered Southern Illinois University’s State of the University address

CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - Southern Illinois University Carbondale Interim Chancellor John M. Dunn delivered the 2019 State of the University address.

It was at 3 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom on campus.

Dunn’s theme was SIU is in the time of transition. Transition in leadership, academic programs, recruitment and retention.

In addition, there are academic reorganizations. Seven new schools were launched in July and five new schools will start in January.

Dunn said, “Reorganization is a complicated process, and I am very grateful for the collaboration of faculty and staff as schools come together.”

The university will be working on a three-year budget plan, but he says the school has had budget challenges.

“The increase in state funding is very welcome, but it is still 5 percent less than we received just five years ago,” said Dunn. "Combined with the loss of tuition associated with our enrollment decline, we actually have less funding for operations than we did last year. This has led to the need for a 3 percent budget reduction for the current year.”

Dunn also reminded the SIU community, while state funding for the school dropped by $6 million, federal funding increased by $11 million.

Retention is also up at all levels. While the number of first-time students declined, the dip decreased, and graduate and transfer enrollment were flat. Overall, there has been improvements significantly in nearly all categories.

Overall, Dunn’s optimistic address ended with encouraging everyone to be an advocate for the university. He said all of this change “signals momentum".

RAW VIDEO: SIU State of the University address 11/6

Currently, SIU has an interim President, but Dunn says the search for the president of the system is currently wrapping up and the announcement of an appointment is expected in December. The new president will be appointed in time to be a part of the search process for the chancellor.

He said the search for a chancellor at SIU Carbondale is underway.

According to Dunn, it’s expected that the president’s recommendation to the Board, regarding a SIU-C chancellor, will happen during the 2020 spring semester.

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