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Chancellor focuses on change in annual address

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Chancellor Randy Pembrook focused on change in his annual University Address Monday afternoon, Oct. 28, in the Morris University Center’s Meridian Ballroom.

Pembrook provided a brief overview of the many successes of the past year, including the University’s Carnegie reclassification to the doctoral/professional universities category, as SIUE was previously considered a master’s-large institution. He pointed to creating a culture of philanthropy as the SIUE Foundation set a fund-raising goal of $3,888,267 for the fiscal year 2018-19 and more than doubled that amount by raising $10,266,628. He also highlighted the record retention rate of 78.7 percent for new freshmen.

“The inspirational element of the record retention rate is the increase occurred across all categories,” Pembrook said.

Looking ahead, Pembrook also discussed future plans designed to maintain SIUE’s positive momentum. With the doctoral/professionals university category upgrade, the discussion can move to whether SIUE should attempt to become a Carnegie Standard R2 research institution.

“Provost Denise Cobb and I have tasked the Graduate Council to facilitate a campus conversation that will lead to an intentional decision,” Pembrook said. “SIUE meets or nearly meets all expectations for both categories. The issue requires a thorough discussion.”

In addition, Pembrook listed 16 potential initiatives to meet the Higher Learning Commission’s requirement that SIUE designate one major effort it has undertaken during its 10-year accreditation cycle as its Quality Initiative (QI). SIUE will be between years five and nine of the 10-year Open Pathway Cycle when the QI needs to take place. SIUE’s QI project must be designed to begin and be completed during this time, it must continue a project that is already in progress or should achieve a key milestone in the work of a longer initiative. The QI is intended to allow institutions to take risks, aim high, and learn from only partial success or even failure.

He touched upon the university’s strategic plan, which is currently being presented for feedback from the campus community. The six strategic plan goals are:
•    Goal #1: Increase the recruitment of a diverse student body ready for the rigorous challenges of higher education.
•    Goal #2: Optimize high-quality curricular offerings and co-curricular opportunities to meet the needs of the region, engage students, and increase student persistence and graduation rates.
•    Goal #3: Deliver a mix of co-curricular programs and services across all campuses that enhance student learning and development.
•    Goal #4: Recruit, support, and retain a highly accomplished, high quality, student-centered, and diverse faculty, staff, and administration to achieve University goals and achieve excellence.
•    Goal #5: Develop and strengthen collaborative relationships to effect positive changes in the University, region, nation and the world.
•    Goal #6: Develop, maintain and protect University assets through sound
economic practice.

Once implemented, the strategic plan will carry SIUE through 2025.

Pembrook closed by thanking all who are connected with the University for their efforts in moving SIUE forward. Faculty, staff, students and guests were able to visit with Pembrook at a reception immediately following in the Goshen Lounge.

The presentation is available at

PHOTO: SIUE Chancellor Randy Pembrook presents his annual University Address in the Morris University Center’s Meridian Ballroom.

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