Board raises tuition at both campuses, Colwell says SIUC will open a food pantry for its students

Board raises tuition at both campuses, Colwell says SIUC will open a food pantry for its students

By Evan Jones, @EvanJones_DE

The SIU Board of Trustees voted Thursday to increase tuition at the Carbondale and Edwardsville campuses while discussing the state’s budget impasse and how it could affect the university. 

During the meeting in Edwardsville, SIU President Randy Dunn said if there is no spending bill passed within the next couple months — on top of no fiscal year 2017 budget — the university would have to cut beyond its proposed 25 percent plans, which he estimated would be in mid-June. 

“If we’re at the point where we have to move into this level of cuts that we announced last week, it is like — you know — lopping off chunks of the body, lopping off sections of SIU,” Dunn said last week on News Radio WJPF, a comparison he used at the meeting Thursday. 

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Dunn also said the Carbondale campus has to get out of the practice of admitting students “without some indication that they would be able to succeed.”

This comes during a time when state universities are being put in dire situations because Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democratic-led Legislature have not been able to pass a state budget, leaving higher education institutions without funding since July 1. 

Dunn said he believes other Illinois institutions have similar lists of cuts, but are not disclosing as much information to their students and communities. 

Here are several key points the board voted on and discussed Thursday: 

Board increases tuition at both campuses 

Incoming freshmen at both campuses in the fall will pay more than current students, who have their tuition frozen at the time of enrollment.

The board voted to increase the Carbondale campus’ tuition by 3 percent and remove the 15-hour cap on tuition. 

Right now, students who take 21 credits pay the same tuition as full-time students taking 12 credit hours. Starting in the fall, incoming students will pay for every credit hour they take. 

The only item on the board’s agenda that wasn’t passed unanimously was the 9 percent tuition hike for incoming freshmen at SIUE. The one dissenting vote came from trustee Joel Sambursky, who voiced his opinion on the matter in Wednesday’s executive meeting.

“A 9 percent increase in only 12 months is too high,” Sambursky said Thursday.” It may become too big of a hurdle for students to jump over.”

Board approves football coach’s salary, names softball field after former coach  

The Salukis’ new football coach, Nick Hill, will make $175,000 annually. Hill helped with offensive coordinator duties last season, when the offense finished fifth in the FCS in total yards per game.

MORE: Hill’s jerseys being retired by alma mater | Hill named SIU head football coach

Hill, a native of Du Quoin, coached Carbondale high school football for one season and guided the Terriers to an Illinois High School Association playoff berth. He was a record-setting SIU quarterback under coach Jerry Kill from 2004 to 2007.

The board also voted to name the softball field at Charlotte West Stadium after Kay Brechtelsbauer, who coached SIU softball between 1968 and 1999. In that time she appeared in the Division I College Softball World Series tournament five times and won a school-record 633 games.

She is also the longest-tenured women’s coach in SIU history.

In the team’s 49-year-history, the team has had just two head coaches. Kerry Blaylock, the current coach, has 579 win in 17 seasons. 

SIU athletics is planning a ceremony for the unveiling of the new field name, but haven’t decided on a date.

SIUC chancellor says the campus will open a food pantry for students 

In his address to the board, interim Chancellor Brad Colwell announced the opening of a food pantry for students next fall in the basement of the Student Center.

“We have students that have a legitimate need,” he told the nine trustees. “We’re hoping we can get some student volunteers to get on board with us.”

While Colwell said students in need of food would be able to eat from the pantry, he did not disclose further details. 

Evan Jones can be reached at [email protected] or at 618-536-3304.

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