Our Word: A heavy weight to hold

By Gus Bode

There’s no marketing plan. The Web site is terrible. Customer service isn’t top-notch. The university is in a critical stage.

We at the DAILY EGYPTIAN have expressed these sentiments frequently this semester.

But on Wednesday, those words came straight from the mouth of SIU President Glenn Poshard.


Pulling no punches, the longtime Saluki told the DE Editorial Board that these days are troubled ones for the Carbondale campus and the road to recovery will be bumpy.

The pressure is on as the university’s brass deals with tight budgets, communication misfires, lack of motivation among employees and the unsettling reality that students are prematurely departing SIUC – or overlooking it all together.

While Poshard said many of the university’s troubles are unusual – namely, the state’s refusal to help pay for the education of SIUC’s large population of former military men and women – some of the problems could have been averted.

Poshard admitted that university leaders missed the mark in working with community colleges to siphon students into SIUC programs. He said if the crew from Carbondale had acted five or six years ago, the enrollment would be flush with nontraditional students taking SIUC classes conveniently on community college campuses.

Instead, competing universities throughout the region are rolling high with satellite programs at such integral schools as John A. Logan and Rend Lake.

The university is also in the technological Stone Age, Poshard said. Just take a look at www.siuc.edu or www.siu.edu. It’s easy to see how this university is losing students by the mouse click.

Simply put, the administration has been asleep for at least the past five years. Now, it’s facing a rude awakening.


But Poshard is a passionate man, and he’s not about to let the university where he earned three degrees go to waste.

He’s gradually rallying the campus community toward the mission to save SIUC. However, it’ll take more than fiery speeches at luncheons to kick people into gear.

Poshard’s experience in the classroom and in Congress makes him fit for the task. With a lot of help, he just might lift what’s weighing this university down.