July 7, 2017

Main Content

Dear SIU System Colleagues-- 
 
As you know, for the first time in well over 700 days, Illinois now has a budget. For us, that means that SIU will have a budget and we can get back to our top priority – providing a world class education for our students. It has not been easy, but we have persevered through this together. And together, as we will continue to make tough decisions as we climb out of the impasse, SIU can begin moving forward once more.
 
Here’s a brief recap of how SIU fared in the just adopted state budget:  For FY17 which just ended, we will receive $93,558,000 for general operations. This amount, combined with the $106.1 million received at the beginning of the fiscal year brings SIU’s total FY17 appropriation level even with the FY15 (adjusted) appropriation of $199.5 million. The 2017 fiscal budget also contained $625,000 for the SIUE School of Pharmacy as well as $68,400 for the Daily Egyptian at SIUC.

As for FY18, we are slated to see $178,796,500 to support SIU operations.  This amount equals a 10 percent reduction in funding from that FY15 adjusted level--the same percentage reduction in general support as the other Illinois publics. The 18 budget also includes $1,250,000 for the SIUE School of Pharmacy; $1,055,700 for the SIU Simmons Cancer Institute; $1,000,000 for research grants at the SIUE National Corn-to-Ethanol Center; $61,600 for the DE; and $27,000 for SIU scholarships.
 
While there was no funding for new capital projects, capital reappropriations of $21,905,323 for the SIUE Science Building East, and $1,439,076 for SIUC fire alarm systems, were included. It's also important to mention that MAP need-based grant awards were fully funded for both FY17 and 18.
 
So while SIU fared very well with this budget in the end, and you might think that puts us in the clear financially--unfortunately, because of the lasting impact of the budget impasse and the fact that since FY15, SIU has received roughly $162.7 million less than it would have under normal funding, there are still difficult decisions ahead. While this budget eliminates the need for further borrowing between Carbondale and Edwardsville, it still means that that some reductions previously planned might still need to be reviewed at SIUE and the School of Medicine; SIUC, given the need to pay back reserves plus accommodate continuing enrollment pressure, will still present its Financial Stability Plan at next week’s SIU Board of Trustees meeting in Springfield.
 
But as I have repeated from one end of this state to the other, and through five rounds of legislative testimony this spring and summer: SIU is not going anywhere and we will emerge from this period  better, stronger, and more united than ever before.
 
As I close, there are many members of the General Assembly who we need to thank for their vote in support of a budget for higher education. I would say that it’s even more important that we give extra appreciation to those individuals who, recognizing the need for a balanced budget that relies on revenue, cast what I termed in the media this week, a heroic vote to provide the dollars our students need to help fund their education. Specifically, I want to acknowledge in central Illinois, home of the SIU School of Medicine, State Senator Andy Manar, State Representatives Sue Scherer, Bill Mitchell and Sara Wojcicki Jimenez for their leadership. At SIU Carbondale in deep southern Illinois, we thank Representatives Terri Bryant and Brandon Phelps for their leadership. Lastly, in the metro east, home of SIUE, we thank Senators Bill Haine and James Clayborne and Representatives Jay Hoffman, Dan Beiser and LaToya Greenwood. Thanks to them, Southern Illinois University and higher education in Illinois has brighter days ahead.
 
With our budget in place, let us turn our full attention back to our students and preparing for the next academic year at Southern Illinois University. I have no doubt we will enjoy a great year across all our campuses and locations. Thanks for all you do to make that possible...as I've said before, any university is only as good as its people...and ours are outstanding.  And I hope you enjoy the remainder of your summer!  
 
Randy Dunn