SIU Trustees pored over enrollment and budget updates from each campus during a working session Wednesday, and leaders on the Board say they're pleased to see some progress.
Despite enrollment declines on both the Carbondale and Edwardsville campuses, Trustees say they're impressed with how the schools are working to restore the losses - and keep the students once they arrive. Trustee Roger Tedrick says there is momentum, and he sees positive results in the future.
"What hits me, specifically, is that this is common sense stuff. This is what we all want, how we all want to be treated. And we're going to be able to measure this in years to come."
Retention rates were up across the system, and Tedrick says he expects that to continue.
Board Chair Phil Gilbert says despite new technologies - leaders must remember it's all about the students.
"I just don't want to lose the personal touch. When someone calls an advisor, the advisor ought to say, 'Well, when do you want to come to campus?'"
Increased spending from the state means campuses all over Illinois have a bit more breathing room. Trustee Ed Hightower says the campuses weathered the storm, and are now coming out of it.
"You know, I think it's fair to be able to say now the state has started to step up a little bit, it's going to relieve some of the pressure."
But the bump in state spending won't be enough to stave off cuts on the Carbondale campus - this year's enrollment decline means a deficit of $10 million in tuition. SIUC is working through a plan to cut three-percent from this year's spending plan. SIU Edwardsville and the School of Medicine have plans for salary increases on the table.
Trustees meet for their official meeting Thursday. Adoption the year's operating budget is on the agenda.