Illinois' higher education system is preparing for a rough academic year.
The lack of a state budget is causing major hardships for institutions and students.
SIU President Randy Dunn participated in a panel discussion on the issue at Tuesday's Illinois Board of Higher Education meeting.
Dunn says there is a crisis of confidence in the state's public higher education system.
"Whether you're looking at applications, MAP applications, people leaving, the applications going to other schools. I happen - in a previous life - to serve as president at one of those Kentucky public institutions, talked to someone there last week, their Illinois apps are up 40% this year."
Dunn says this is why it's more important than ever for Illinois' public colleges and universities to get the word out that they are not going anywhere, despite these unprecedented times.
He also told the board the lack of state funding for Illinois colleges and universities is causing blue chip faculty members to leave the state.
"We have some academic areas and some research expertise, particularly in specialty areas, for us, energy, engineering, our medical school that we're not going to be able to fulfill for some time because the individuals aren't out there. That's a big worry right now."
Dunn says it's not just faculty leaving the state. He says students are also looking elsewhere.
For example, Dunn says Illinois applications at Murray State University in Kentucky are up 40-percent this year.