COLLINSVILLE, Ill. – In order to determine the next steps for the SIU Carbondale and Edwardsville campuses, state Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, is pushing for a state study independent from the SIU Board of Trustees to review the division of state funding to the Carbondale and Edwardsville campuses.
“The Southern Illinois University system needs a truly independent study to determine the best course of action moving forward. I do not have faith in the current SIU board conducting a truly unbiased study, so I am asking the Illinois Board of Higher Education to step in and conduct an independent study,” said Stuart. “I want the Edwardsville campus to be recognized for the growth and accomplishments they have attained. Recent enrollment trends have seen Edwardsville growing and on the path to exceeding enrollments at Carbondale, and state-funded support should reflect that changing reality.”
The SIU Board of Trustees recently rejected a plan to gradually shift state funding from the Carbondale campus to the Edwardsville campus to reflect a long standing agreement of a 60/40 split in state allocated monies. The Board has consistently fallen short of this goal in the past decades. Despite nearly equal student enrollment, the Carbondale campus receives 64% of the state funding to SIU, while Edwardsville only receives 36%. Stuart filed House Resolution 1051 to urge the state’s Board of Higher Education to conduct its own independent study.
Stuart also passed House Bill 1294 out of the House Higher Education Committee to require equal funding for the SIU Edwardsville and SIU Carbondale campuses. The legislation is pending consideration by the full House for approval. She is also co-sponsoring legislation to create an equal number of members from each school on the Board of Trustees and a separate measure that calls for the split of the schools into entirely separate universities.
“The days of Carbondale serving the main campus and Edwardsville serving as a satellite campus are distant history. Edwardsville has become a truly residential campus, and much of the growth in the city and surrounding area can be attributed to the additional students, staff and faculty the campus attracts to the Metro East,” continued Stuart. “Edwardsville is home to Illinois’ only school of pharmacy south of the Chicago area, a renowned nursing school and a dental school. I believe it is time to look at a change to the governance and funding of the Southern Illinois University system that creates a fair system for our students, and an independent study is the first step we need in the process.”