SIU Trustees Scuttle Reallocation Plan

Apr 12, 2018

A proposal to shift $5.1 million dollars in state funding from the SIU Carbondale campus to SIU Edwardsville failed Thursday, after a bitter debate over its merits.

Advocates for the plan say it would begin to fix funding inequities between the two campuses, but opponents claim it was hastily put together - and urged Trustees to table it.

Trustee Shirley Portwood took issue with the timing complaints - she says last year's loan from Edwardsville to Carbondale was completed in just two days, and with less information.
 
"We were also not told exactly how much of Edwardsville's resources would be redistributed. So this idea that we can't decide things in ten days is kind of hard to imagine."
 
Opponents say that's an apples to oranges argument, as the loan was done during a financial crisis without a state budget. Carbondale City Manager Gary Williams spoke against the reallocation - saying now is not the time.
 
"There's too much at stake for the university and the region. I ask that the President and Board of Trustees honor the commitment that was made during the March retreat, and delay further action until further study is completed."
 
Ultimately, the plan failed on a four-to-three vote, with Trustee Randal Thomas abstaining because he wasn't at the March meeting. President Randy Dunn says he will begin work to hire a consultant to study how funding should be distributed right away.

Shortly after the decision, SIU Edwardsville Chancellor Randall Pembrook announced State Representative Jay Hoffman planned to file legislation that would sever the two campuses - a bill Hoffman has filed in the past.