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Potential tuition hikes at SIU

Published: Mar. 18, 2015 at 9:49 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 19, 2015 at 12:33 AM CDT
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CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - The Southern Illinois University could be forced to find $64 million dollars if Governor Bruce Rauner's budget is approved.

SIU system President Randy Dunn said this is the lowest proposed state funding for the university in 30 years.

"We haven't seen that low of level of proposed appropriations since the mid 1980's," Dunn said.

The University has campuses in Edwardsville, Carbondale, and Alton and employees some 7,000 people.

University leaders say Governor Rauner's proposed budget would force the elimination of 700 jobs.

"If we do no tuition increase and we do not mitigate the state budget cut," Dunn said. "We have to figure out where to come up with how to come up with $34 million dollars for the Carbondale campus."

Dunn said even with an aggressive tuition hike of $2,400 more per year for incoming Freshman, it wouldn't be enough to fill the gap.

Other proposals included cutting non essential programs but it's not clear what those programs are -- Academic advising was an example.

Graduate student government president at SIUC, Matthew Ryg, said a tuition hike isn't the way to go.

"We as a society, as a culture as a nation need to invest in higher education. Not cut it," Ryg said.

Ryg said the Governor should look toward revenue generation.

"We as a society, as a culture as a nation need to invest in higher education. Not cut it," Ryg said.

One thing we can't do is hunker down based on the current state appropriation, President Randy Dunn said.

The board could look at differentiating the cost of tuition based on programs at the undergraduate level.

The governor's proposed budget takes us back about 30 years, Dunn said.

"If we do no tuition increase and no budget mitigation, we need to figure out where to come up with $34 million at the Carbondale campus," Dunn said.

Dunn said the notion of making up the SIU budget with tuition increase "aint going to happen."

A 10 percent increase to SIU tuition for incoming freshman would raise revenue by $2.3 million.

The SIU board froze tuition last year. That may change going into 2016.

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