SIU Board Tables Tuition Increase; Dunn Starts May 1
SIU's President is retiring sooner than expected. Glenn Poshard will step aside at the end of this month.
Incoming President Randy Dunn will take the helm May first, roughly two months after he was selected as Poshard’s successor. Poshard says he’s already begun meeting with Dunn for the transition, and is ready to help SIU move into its next chapter:
“I love this university. I’ve spent a good deal of my life here. I have to think in terms of what’s best for this university. Is it better that I hang on as President for another two months at the end of my career, or that we give Dr. Dunn the opportunity to start his career here early? There’s no question about where that balance falls.”
Poshard says he’ll stay on as a consultant to help with Dunn’s transition – and expects to be busy during that time:
“I’ll be helping him in that respect, as well as whatever he needs me for. But I have a lot of work of my own to do, with respect to the goals and everything that the Board assigned me last year.”
Speculation about Dunn’s official start date has swirled since he was announced as President back in February. But SIU Board Chairman Randal Thomas says the transition should come as no surprise:
“We stated that if the next President of the university becomes available early, we would then work with President Poshard and that new president for establishment of date. That’s the Board process that determined that May the first is the effective date.”
Poshard’s retirement was announced last summer. Randy Dunn left Youngstown State University to take this job, and has previously served as President of Murray State University and as the Illinois State Superintendent of Education. He also spent time as a Professor and Chair in SIU Carbondale’s College of Education and Human Services.
New students at Southern Illinois University won’t see a tuition increase this fall. SIU Trustees made the decision at their meeting in Carbondale today (Thursday), saying the rising price of higher education must be balanced with students’ ability to pay.
Trustee Chair Randal Thomas says while the Board considered a proposal that would have raised tuition for incoming students by three-percent in Carbondale and five-percent in Edwardsville, they ultimately decided to hold the line:
“The Board’s discussion was that there was no traction whatsoever for raising tuition at this time – especially in this period of transition with a new President coming onboard. We’ll have new models of management and a new strategic vision to work with beginning this summer.”
Randy Dunn will take over as SIU President May first. Retiring President Glenn Poshard says the state has abdicated its responsibility for funding higher education in Illinois, and he understands sacrifices must be made to keep college affordable:
“A lot of that has fallen upon the backs of students. I’m not going to fault the Board, for thinking that between the two situations, we fall in favor of the students. But not having enough operating funds also has a severe impact on students, as well as faculty, and the entire system.”
Trustees will consider proposals for fee increases at their meeting in May. Poshard and other leaders are warning that without an extension of the state’s income tax increase, dramatic cuts could be on the horizon at schools all over Illinois.
Copyright 2020 WSIU Public Radio. To see more, visit WSIU Public Radio.