As chancellor search begins, SIU braces for budget woes

As students at one local school finish up final exams, some of their professors are concerned that this could be their final semester teaching.

Southern Illinois University could have up to $40 million cut out of their budget next year, and the school is preparing for the worst.

“We’re going to try and get through this spring semester looking at reserves and cash pools to not really disrupt operations drastically,” said SIU President Randy Dunn. “Obviously if we’re going to get savings in some areas this springs we’re going to grab those savings.”

Savings that Dunn is helping to collect by agreeing to fill in as the interim chancellor, a move he says was more about continuity.

“It’s a drop in a bucket,” said Dr. Dunn. “You’re talking a half a year’s salary for a chancellor which is $150,000.”

The school also saved money by performing their search for a permanent chancellor in house.

SIU Board of Trustees Chair Randal Thomas says the budget problems won’t scare away top candidates.

“We think that with the strength of this campus and the attractiveness of this position that the administration and the search committee will be able to generate numerous good leads,” said SIU Board of Trustee’s Chairman Randal Thomas.

“We’ll get good candidates,” said Dr. Dunn. “Obviously somebody is going to be mindful of the budget challenges, but if you’re working in that public university sector you’re not going to find too many places where you’re not dealing with the same challenges.”

The board expects the chancellor search to last for 6 to 8 months, which coincidentally happens to be around the same time the school will receive its final budget from the state.

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