Several Southwestern Illinois legislators want SIUE to receive some funds now being directed to the SIU Carbondale campus.
The Southern Illinois University’s board of trustees is expected to vote on a proposed shift in funding from the Carbondale campus to Edwardsville this week. State Reps. Monica Bristow, D-Godfrey, LaToya Greenwood, D-East St. Louis, Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea, and Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, released a statement late Tuesday in support of the proposal.
“We support the Southern Illinois University system and both campuses located in Carbondale and Edwardsville who have had a relationship of working together. While we support the individual mission of each campus, during the last two decades, Southern Illinois University’s Carbondale campus has seen a sharp decline in enrollment, with a decrease of 37 percent since 1999. Meanwhile, the student population of Edwardsville’s campus has steadily increased, and the two campuses now rival each other in size. With equal student populations, the two campuses should get equal funding.”
The statement continued: “Historically, the Carbondale campus has received more than 60 percent of available state funding, but Edwardsville is deserving of their fair share. Edwardsville stood strong throughout the state’s budget impasse, and even loaned millions of dollars to Carbondale. The Edwardsville campus is no longer just for commuters. It is a competitive University and deserves to be funded as such.
“Edwardsville’s location in the Metro East makes it a prime location for investment. Southern Illinois University’s Edwardsville campus has the ability to serve as a pioneer for workforce training, increasing opportunities for entrepreneurship and innovation. Additionally, with its close proximity to Scott Air Force Base, the Edwardsville campus also attracts students with a strong work ethic and a need for continued educational opportunities.
“We urge the Board of Trustees to vote in favor of a shift in funding to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. By fairly funding Edwardsville, we can continue attracting the best and the brightest students and work to halt the exodus of Illinois students to out-of-state schools,” the statement concluded.
The board is expected to meet Thursday on the Carbondale campus.