Southern Illinois University Carbondale is in the midst of a re-accreditation process, which authorizes the school to receive more than 100-million dollars annually in federal funding.
The first open forum on a series of criteria Monday included a discussion about integrity. There were many comments from faculty about unethical hiring on the SIU-C campus. One unnamed faculty member says he saw it firsthand during a search process.
"One of the candidates was already listed on the courses prior to the completion of the hiring procedures. When I pointed that out, I was then not included in the final decision."
The first forum also dealt in part with the university's mission. There were many positive comments about how the school's mission is carried out. Dean of Students Jennifer-Jones Hall says a great example of that is the Saluki Cares program.
"It does intentional interaction, eyes on students, working with them, whether it is a mental health concern, academic concern, grief, wellness, you name it."
Other criteria involves teaching and learning as well as resources, planning and institutional effectiveness.
Julie Partridge in SIU-C's Kinesiology department is criteria manager for the re-accreditation process. She says this is critical for the university's operation.
"Without this accreditation, we are not eligible for things like federal financial aid, certain grant programs, that type of thing. It's also important for us to just know how we're functioning, what we can do better, things we're doing well that we want to continue to do."
She says the Higher Learning Commission will move in a timely manner.
"It should be within a month I believe that they'll have to sort of write their report. The assurance argument that we provided to them they did not get until January 20, so it's a really quick process."
SIU-C's most recent accreditation was ten years ago. The university has received accreditation continuously since 1913.