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To the Editor:

Thanks to Mr. Will Stephens for his Feb. 15 note in the Carbondale Times, in which he suggests that Chancellor Carlo Montemango step down from his position, citing a lack of confidence by members of the region in his ability to lead SIUC.

I have two reactions: First, in an open letter to the SIU Board of Trustees, the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce wrote to express strong support for the chancellor and his proposed plan and that it will do everything to support him and SIUC. And second, Board of Trustees Vice Chair Phil Gilbert wrote that the board unanimously expressed “full confidence in and supports” the university system's president and chancellors. He wrote, “As these three talented leaders revitalize and move the system and its respective campuses forward in these tough times of declining state support and enrollment, which is affecting every Illinois university, the SIU System will not only survive but will thrive as a quality and open-access education institution.”

This is contrary to what Mr. Stephens wrote.

What SIUC needs is increased enrollments. I wonder if Mr. Stephens might visit Murphysboro High School to meet its juniors and seniors and share with them the merits of enrolling in SIUC? I think fewer Murphysboro students driving through Carbondale en route to Murray State, down Illinois 3 to SEMO, east to Southern Indiana, or to the universities of Indiana, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, etc., would help SIUC and the Southern Illinois region greatly.

Jerry P. Becker

Carbondale

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