Board of Trustees announces new administration and construction

By Cory Ray, @coryray_DE

SIU Board of Trustees approved new administrators and campus renovations, and discussed state funding Thursday.

The board named Dr. Jerry Kruse the provost and fourth dean of the SIU School of Medicine.

He has worked at the university since 1984, has served as the Executive Associate Dean of the SIU School of Medicine since 2013 and is the CEO of SIU HealthCare. 



A national search was not conducted and Kruse was chosen by the board — a decision met with controversy.

“This position of dean of the medical school is one of four top positions at the university,” said Shirley Portwood, chair of the board’s Academic Matters committee. “The other three top positions have recently been vacated, and all three cases have been or will have been national searches. I think this one should be a national search as well.”

“We had two national searches to conduct; we thought it was prudent,” Randal Thomas, chair of the board, said. “One board member said, ‘Why spend money for a national search when we have the top candidate of the nation right here already?'”

Randy Dunn, SIU System president, referred to Kruse’s appointment as a promotion to next highest position in the medical school.

“He has a strong commitment to all areas of our mission,” said Dr. J. Kevin Dorsey, current dean and provost of the medical school. “I know he will be an outstanding leader to guide SIU School of Medicine and SIU HealthCare to new heights of innovation.”

He will begin his appointment Jan. 1. 

During the meeting, Dunn also talked about the lack of a state budget for SIUC.

The lack of funding for monetary award programs grants totals $7 million, or 35 percent of students at SIUC.

“You won’t hear us predict a date … until we can’t afford payroll. We’re not at that point,” Dunn said. “We’re coming to a juncture where we’re going to have to make decisions as we head into spring of 2016 if this thing isn’t worked out.”

The board approved $5 million in renovations for Woody Hall. The cost will cover electrical and plumbing work, as well as the installation of a new elevator.

The elevator will be accessible to people with disabilities, complying with the American with Disabilities Act.

Despite SIUC’s decrease in enrollment, SIU-Edwardsville experienced a 2 percent increase in enrollment and recorded its second-largest freshman class, only smaller than the previous year. 

SIUE reported a 74 percent freshman retention rate.

Steve Hansen, interim chancellor of SIUE, said the school’s location, facilities and quality are the reasons of the school’s success.

“When parents come and students come, and get onto campus, there’s a special feel about this place,” Hansen said. “All those contribute to [SIUE’s] success.”

Cory Ray can be reached on Twitter at @coryray_DE or at [email protected]