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SIU board approves tuition increases at SIUC, SIUE

Left: Pulliam Hall can be seen Jan. 30, 2017, on the university's Carbondale campus. Right: The cougar statue can be seen Jan. 27, 2017, on the university’s Edwardsville campus. (Photos by Jacob Wiegand | @jawiegandphoto)

Left: Pulliam Hall can be seen Jan. 30, 2017, on the university's Carbondale campus. Right: The cougar statue can be seen Jan. 27, 2017, on the university’s Edwardsville campus. (Photos by Jacob Wiegand | @jawiegandphoto)

By Luke Nozicka

For the second time in a year, the SIU Board of Trustees on Thursday approved tuition increases for undergraduate and graduate students at the Carbondale and Edwardsville campuses.

New undergraduate students attending SIUC in fall 2017 will pay 3.9 percent more than current students, totaling $9,450 a year for tuition, or $37,800 over four years. Incoming graduate students will see a 5 percent increase in tuition, which comes to $11,049 a year.

The tuition increases are projected to bring in an additional $2.9 million in revenue. Without the rise in tuition,“the quality of educational opportunities for students would be diminished,” university officials said in the board agenda.

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In an effort to remedy confusion and strengthen recruitment efforts, the board also eliminated out-of-state and alternative tuition rates for undergraduate students. This means all incoming undergraduates will pay in-state tuition rates, as students from bordering states already do. This does not apply to graduate and international students.

At its peak in fall 1991, enrollment at SIUC totaled 24,869. In fall 2016, the campus recorded 15,987 students, the lowest recorded number since 1965.

MORE: If trends continue, SIUE could surpass SIUC in students

At SIU-Edwardsville, most new undergraduate students will see a 5 percent increase in tuition and new graduate students will pay an extra 4 percent. This means incoming undergraduates will pay $8,772 a year, or $35,088 for a bachelor’s degree over four years, and graduate students will pay $7,613 a year.

SIU President Randy Dunn speaks to SIUE Chancellor Randy Pembrook about tuition increases at the SIU Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017, in the Meridian Ballroom at SIUE. (Brian Munoz | @BrianMMunoz)

This is the second time in less than a year that the board has approved tuition increases.

In March, the trustees voted to increase SIUC’s tuition by 3 percent and SIUE’s by 9 percent for incoming undergraduate students in fall 2016. They also voted to increase SIUC’s graduate tuition by 5 percent and SIUE’s by 4 percent.

Housing

The board on Thursday also approved the authorization to solicit a public-private partnership to design, finance and construct two new residence halls at the Carbondale campus.

Kevin Bame, SIUC’s vice chancellor for administration and finance, said the university hopes to open a new resident hall by fall 2019.

This is part of the university’s $257 million plan to tear down Neely, Mae Smith and Schneider halls, collectively referred to as “the towers,” and replace them with new dorms over the next decade.

The plan proposes constructing four new five-story buildings, which will each have either two or three wings. Each wing will consist of no more than 18 students.

University officials say this is an effort to make students feel less anonymous than they might in the three high-rises on East Campus, which have the capacity to house 50 students on each on their 17 floors.

Interim provost Susan Ford has said the new residence halls would carry a message of permanence, which would better help assure prospective students that the Carbondale campus will exist for at least several decades.

“No institution would launch something like that if they didn’t expect to be here for 12 more years and 20 or 30 more years beyond that to make use of those residence halls,” she has said.

Other financial approvals

  • The board approved the purchase of medical laboratory services from Quest Diagnostics Clinical Laboratories, Inc., for the Student Health Center. The contract is for $2,380,000 and covers costs from Friday to Dec. 31, 2019, and potential costs associated with four optional one-year renewals.
  • The board approved the purchase of five new Cessna 172 aircrafts for SIUC’s aviation department for $1,682,250.

There’s a new dean of Library Affairs

The trustees also confirmed the appointment of John H. Pollitz as SIUC’s new dean of Library Affairs. He has worked as director of libraries for the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 2007.

Pollitz will assume the role March 6 and earn an annual salary of $168,000.

Pollitz received a bachelor’s degree in history and education at SIU in 1975. He met his wife, Aracely, in Morris Library when she was a student worker. They’ve been married for 40 years.

“I am very excited to be coming ‘home,’” he said. “SIU means so much to me and I am very happy to be able to give something back.

SIUC chancellor search update

The 18-person Chancellor Search Advisory Committee will interview seven semi-finalists via Skype at the end of the month to fill the position held by interim Chancellor Brad Colwell.

SIUC interim Chancellor Brad Colwell speaks about tuition increases at the SIU Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017, in the Meridian Ballroom at SIU-Edwardsville. (Brian Munoz | @BrianMMunoz)

The group will then be narrowed to two or three candidates in March. The finalist is expected to take over July 1, university officials have said.

Changes to the board 

Thursday also marked the board’s elections of officers meeting.

  • Chairman Randal Thomas, who was appointed to the governing board in May 2013, was reelected to his position.
  • John Gilbert, a U.S. district court judge who was appointed in February 2015 by Gov. Bruce Rauner, was chosen as the board’s next vice chairman.
  • Current vice chairwoman Donna Manering, whose term with the board expires March 17, was not present.
  • Joel Sambursky was reappointed as the board’s secretary.
  • This was the first meeting with Marsha Ryan, a retired surgeon who was appointed to the board in January. She replaced Roger Herrin, a retired podiatrist and business owner from Harrisburg who resigned from the board in early January. He has since moved to Florida.

Check back for more updates.

Brian Munoz contributed reporting from Edwardsville. 

Staff writer Luke Nozicka can be reached at 618-536-3325, [email protected] on Twitter @lukenozicka.

To stay up to date with all your SIU news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.

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