Independent Study Could Replace Legislation to Split SIU System For Now

May 23, 2018

Legislation that would split Southern Illinois University's board of trustees into two separate organizations may be put on ice to allow time for an independent study.

For years, enrollment has been declining at SIU Carbondale and increasing at the Edwardsville campus. More recently, the campuses are squabbling over a 5 million dollar reallocation from Carbondale to Edwardsville. The friction has led to talk of a complete breakup of the system.

State Representative Barbara Wheeler, a Republican from Crystal Lake, says she doesn't see the system having irreconcilable differences.

"It seems less about, you know, the system, and breaking up the system, and more about seven adults who don't get along. What happened?"

State Representative Katie Stuart, a Democrat from Glen Carbon, wants to take the squabble out of the hands of the SIU board and put it into the hands of the State Board of Higher Education.

"I believe it's important to have a truly independent study. And the board looking at itself can't be independent."

Her plan passed committee and heads to the House floor. If it's approved, the break-up bill will be put on hold.