SIU board approves millions in cuts - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

SIU board approves millions in cuts

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CARBONDALE -- The SIU Board of Trustees has approved a financial sustainability plan to deal with the aftermath of cuts made during the Illinois budget crisis.

The plan includes nearly $20 million in permanent cuts, as well as as removing hundreds of full and part-time positions. Among the 600 positions that have already been cut, this plan includes another 80 positions that will be removed from the university.

Students like Maggie Nedoma worry the cuts have an affect on their education.

"I was looking into Kinesiology for a while, and their program was really good compared to a lot of other schools I was looking at," said Nedoma.

While the Kinesiology program remains, the university has cut eight degree programs since 2015 and is looking to eliminate seven more, something former interim chancellor John Jackson calls a real challenge.

"We're losing and have lost personnel because of the state budget crisis, to the point where we don't have enough faculty and enough personnel to support all the academic programs that are on the books," said Jackson.

There are three main reasons for that: The university having to repay money it borrowed last fiscal year, permanently cutting nearly $20 million this year, and plans for saving in the future.

"Long and short of that is we're going to have a new definition and a new vision of what SIU is going to be about," said Jackson.

Nedoma's major is safe for now, but she still worries about the future.

"It would be really hard to find a new school so we should not let that happen," said Nedoma.

It's a big mess that a university with a dwindling enrollment will have to figure out. That leaves SIU's new chancellor, Dr. Carlo Montemagno, with some big decisions to make when he starts work on Monday.

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