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Dunn to Senate Panel: Uncertainty Affecting SIU's Potential

SIU President Randy Dunn, in a briefing earlier this year, discusses potential effects of budget impasse
SIU President Randy Dunn, in a briefing earlier this year, discusses potential effects of budget impasse

SIU's President told state lawmakers Thursday that the university would survive amid the budget crisis. But as WSIU's Jennifer Fuller reports, he admits it could look very different.

SIU President Randy Dunn says the school will remain viable, but may look dramatically different, if proposed cuts to higher education are enacted in Springfield.

Testifying before a Senate Committee Thursday morning, Dunn outlined SIU’s importance in the region as well as how the current impasse is affecting operations.

Dunn says the crisis is having an impact on recruiting – as prospective students and parents aren’t sure whether they’ll be able to finish degrees, or receive the support they’ll need.

“The scope of programs, the level of opportunity we provide to students, could be very drastically scaled back. And that’s of concern to parents.”

Dunn went on to say the southern Illinois region knows that SIU is in trouble - and people want stability.

“If there’s any question about whether or not we are in crisis, the people within the region, the footprint of southern Illinois, believe that we are. And they’re concerned about this great legacy of SIU is about to be lost on their watch.”

Wednesday, ahead of his testimony, Dunn released a memo to SIU staff outlining the cuts that would have to be made if the governor’s proposed 20% reduction is enacted. The scenario includes hundreds of jobs lost, classes cut, and programs either reduced or eliminated.

Copyright 2016 WSIU Public Radio

WSIU's award winning reporter bringing you the morning news, local political talk and market forecasts.
Jennifer Fuller
WSIU's award winning reporter bringing you the morning news, local political talk and market forecasts.
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