SIU Trustees look to Budget Address as they prepare for tuition and fee discussions
Gov. JB Pritzker will present his budget proposal February 15 in Springfield
SIU Trustees met in Edwardsville Wednesday and Thursday, and spent time considering several factors that may play a role in their decisions on tuition and fee rates for next year.
The Illinois Board of Higher Education has recommended an increase in funding for colleges and universities but System President Dan Mahony says it's still too early to really talk in hard numbers about next year's campus budgets, as the negotiations are just starting.
"It at least gets us some mark in the sand that we can say, 'OK, we can build a budget from here,' and then look at tuition and everything else - fees, everything we do - and make some decisions. But it's always, in my mind, premature to even think about that when we have no idea what that's going to look like."
Trustees heard from campus leaders about priorities for spending in the coming years, as well as trends for costs - including inflation, which is impacting numerous areas of campus operations. A formal recommendation from each campus for next year is expected in April, when Trustees will vote on any proposed changes.
Meanwhile, campus leaders across the SIU system say they're changing the way they look at recruitment and retention, as the needs of students continue to change.
Retention from fall to spring in both Carbondale and Edwardsville held steady - and the chancellors on both campuses say that's not an accident.
Edwardsville Chancellor James Minor says his strategy is about "actionable intelligence" - using data to help guide actions that need to take place.
"We are working really hard to have an ecosystem of information, and a structure that supports a community of care."
Minor says that can include faculty members keeping an eye on students who may miss classes - and alerting support systems before the student falls too far behind. He says the changes support the whole student - addressing more than just academic needs.
Carbondale Chancellor Austin Lane says the changes include a whole-campus approach to student support. He says there must be a laser focus on student success.
"We've had to restructure a lot of things in advising, we've had to restructure a lot of things within degree works, in terms of what students can access to stay on the pathway to graduation."
Both chancellors say the recruitment numbers for this fall look good - and teams are already working to convert applications into admissions, and admissions into registered students.