With uncertain financial future, SIU grad programs draw praise

Southern Illinois University is earning national recognition from US News and World Reports “2016 Best Graduate School Guide”.

The education program moved from 77th to 59th nationally, while the school of law came in 149th.

High praise that draws students like Pakistan native Sana Haque to Southern Illinois University.

“I found out about the school through online reports,” said Haque. “I looked at rankings, and then I looked at specific opportunities.”

Ultimately, Haque says it was an opportunity to be a graduate assistant that sealed the deal.

“It was a really good opportunity for me because there’s funding, and then there’s a chance to grow your skills,” said Haque. “It’s hard to turn that down.”

However Graduate and Professional Student Council President Matt Ryg is concerned that assistantships could become a thing of the past.

“With the $32 million proposed cut from Governor Rauner’s office I can’t imagine that graduate assistantships will go untouched,” said Matt Ryg. “It’s definitely going to send potential students the wrong message about SIU.”

A message that Assistant Dean Todd Headrick is confident will speak for itself given the school’s track record.

“One of the nice things about this substantial increase is it’s going to let the alumni know that we’re doing great things here at this college, and we thank them for their continued support,” said Todd Headrick.

With the financial future of the school uncertain, many departments are holding off on hiring graduate assistants until the final budget is set by the state.

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