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CARBONDALE — The Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees is poised to consider a plan to gradually shift state funding from SIU Carbondale to SIU Edwardsville in order to reflect changes in enrollment levels at the two campuses.

According to the agenda for the regularly scheduled April 12 board meeting, about 64 percent of state appropriations have historically been distributed to the Carbondale campus, while the Edwardsville campus has received about 36 percent.

In the past, that split more or less mirrored the student enrollment distribution between the two campuses. But as enrollment at SIUC has declined, SIUE has been on an upward trajectory. Now the enrollment distribution is nearly equal: In fall 2017, SIUE had 13,796 students, while SIUC had 14,554.

Had Fiscal Year 2018 state appropriations allocation been based on those fall 2017 enrollment figures, SIUE would have seen either $18.9 million or $17.7 million more in funding (depending on whether the adjustment is made using student head count or full-time equivalent enrollment levels, respectively).

Trustees will vote on whether to “begin a phased adjustment of the state appropriation allocation in a more equitable fashion.”

The first phase of the proposal, a “good-faith effort” to begin the process, would reallocate an additional $5.1 million of the state appropriation to the Edwardsville campus for FY ’19.

The proposal doesn’t lay out a definite end goal for reallocation, but it calls for System President Randy Dunn to hire an external consultant to develop a recommended formula for addressing the funding gap — and it anticipates that the recommendation might fall somewhere between $17.7 million and $23.3 million in funds transferred to SIUE.

On March 1, the SIUE Faculty Senate adopted a resolution calling on the Board of Trustees to “create a new, fair and dynamic formula” to “reallocate the SIU system budget in a just and equitable manner.”

The board will discuss the matter during its working session on April 11 and vote on it the following day.



Also at next week’s meeting, the board is expected to approve the appointment of Meera Komarraju, dean of the College of Liberal Arts at SIUC, as interim provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. The duties of the provost — overseeing the academic colleges, library affairs, the graduate school, off-campus programs, the honors program, information technology and the centers for international education and teaching excellence — have been split up since the departure of Interim Provost Susan Ford in June 2017.

The board will also vote on whether to spend $55,000 on the packaging and transportation of SIUC Chancellor Carlo Montemagno’s laboratory equipment from the University of Alberta in Canada to Carbondale.

The $61,000 was intended to cover the relocation of his personally owned laboratory equipment. Montemagno had expressed a desire to donate the equipment to SIUC.

According to the agenda, interim vice chancellor for research Jim Garvey determined that the laboratory equipment items have a combined replacement value of $350,000.

The full board meeting will begin at 10 a.m. April 12 in Ballroom B inside SIUC's Student Center.


On Twitter: @janis_eschSI



Janis Esch is a reporter covering higher education.

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