A group of regional leaders is voicing its concern about the SIU Board of Trustees consideration of a fund shift between the Carbondale and Edwardsville campuses.
Carbondale Mayor Mike Henry organized the gathering Wednesday at the Civic Center.
Advocates say the proposal better reflects current student and staff levels. But, Henry says he wonders why the Board is discussing shifting five million dollars from Carbondale to Edwardsville at a time when SIU-C is already struggling.
"The shift in funding means little to the Edwardsville campus, but, would have a major impact on the future of the Carbondale campus. This will force more layoffs, impact our financial stability and hinder the chancellor's reorganization initiative."
Henry says the proposed fund shift would take more than 39 million dollars of economic activity away from southern Illinois.
Murphysboro Mayor Will Stephens says the opposition needs to be a grassroots effort.
"I would put a call to action to people in Du Quoin, Murphysboro, Harrisburg, Herrin, Carterville. You name the city or burg or village in southern Illinois, they need to be picking up the phone and calling these Board of Trustees members to know how important it is, not just to us, but to everyday people in this region."
Stephens says a strong SIU-Carbondale is important to his community, which is home to 400 university employees.
Leaders are calling for the SIU trustees to study the matter at length before making a decision.