Wendler discusses budget concerns, Southern at 150

By Gus Bode

Departments may have to cut five to 10 percent of next year’s budget

SIUC Chancellor Walter Wendler unveiled plans that have been in the making for one year and reiterated the need for the University’s colleges and departments to brace for possible budget cuts at the annual faculty meeting Thursday.

Speaking to faculty members, Wendler gave a broad overview of Southern at 150, a long-term set of goals for the University to reach by 2019, the year SIUC turns 150 years old. The plans include attracting high quality faculty, leading in research activities, and enhancing student resources.


Additionally, Wendler is also asking colleges to look for areas in which to make potential cutbacks that may be as high as five to 10 percent for the fiscal year 2004. State aid to SIUC was reduced by $23 million this year, and Wendler said the state’s current economic condition doesn’t appear very promising.

Since additional state funding may be cut from the University’s budget, Wendler said that making preparations is necessary.

“My concern is that we need to have a plan to address any shortfalls that might arise,” Wendler said.

Deans and department heads are looking for potential areas in which to make the cutbacks and must submit plans by Nov. 22. Possible cuts may be made by combining majors or cutting programs deemed unproductive.

James Allen, who represents the College of Liberal Arts for the Faculty Senate, said difficulty lies in determining the criteria for where to make cuts and what programs to keep. He said the most expensive programs on campus may be the ones that are axed.

Wendler stressed the need for close communication and said he appreciates the input he has received.

“It’s not always easy because some of the issues are tough issues,” Wendler said.


Reporter Ben Botkin can be reached at [email protected]