SIU’s Dunn makes appeal to alumni

Submitted by Carbondale Times on

Carbondale Times

SIU President Randy Dunn is seeking the support of alumni in attempting to break the gridlock in Springfield that has prevented the passage of a state budget.

In a video sent to alumni Tuesday, Dunn urged them to sign a petition at Change.org asking lawmakers to reach an agreement on the state budget in order to preserve higher education in the state.

Dunn said that amid uncertainty across the state, higher education is slipping through the cracks.

“This is especially distressing for SIU and out sister institutions because 90 percent of state spending has been permitted to continue, either by court order or because of a continuing appropriation,” Dunn said. “That means that although with some difficulty the work of the state is continuing, higher education has nothing.”

Even before the budget gridlock got underway in July, SIU was preparing for a possible state appropriations cut of more than 30 percent. Lawmakers since approved a cut of about 8.75 percent — still about $9 million for SIU’s Carbondale campus, although Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed that budget. Still lacking finality, SIU has instituted a plan to trim about $13.5 million internally.