Edwardsville, IL (PRWEB) October 17, 2012
During her first official address to the campus community this afternoon at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe specified the important next steps the institution must take to channel its positive momentum.
From the Morris University Center Meridian Ballroom, Furst-Bowe greeted a receptive crowd of more than 500. Her list of initiatives included:
“Whether you are a faculty member, a staff member, student or a member of the greater community, you are a stakeholder in the success of this institution,” said Furst-Bowe during the address. “You play a key role in determining where we go from here, and I invite all of you to become involved in our strategic planning process in the next few months.
“We need everyone’s help to recruit high quality students for next year and the years to come,” she added. “Perhaps most critically, we need everyone to focus on increasing our student retention and graduation rates by enhancing what we do for our students in and out of the classroom—teaching, mentoring, encouraging, guiding and directing students to the many support services offered on campus.”
Furst-Bowe noted the institution’s goals are consistent with those of SIU System President Dr. Glenn Poshard. They include increasing retention and graduation rates along with online course offerings and completing the Science Building project, as well as the internally funded additions to the Engineering, Art and Design, and Vadalabene Center buildings.
One of the greatest challenges facing the institution, she added, includes declining state funding, which has dropped from 46 percent of the total operating budget in fiscal year 1999 to 26 percent in fiscal year 2011. She praised the faculty and staff for managing significant efficiencies that have safe-guarded SIUE’s financial position.
Among the other high points, Furst-Bowe reported that SIUE received 207 grant awards totaling more than $43,000,000 in FY12. She added the University received a record 17,060 applications for the current fall term, including 10,600 from freshmen—a three percent increase from last year. The new freshman class has an average ACT of 22.8, which ties the previous high, and includes approximately 550 merit and need-based scholarship recipients with an average ACT of 27.