SIU Assurance Argument

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SIU Assurance Argument

Executive Summary 

Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIU) is the flagship campus of the Southern Illinois University system. SIU, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2019, is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a longstanding commitment to service and outreach. SIU includes a School of Medicine that supports student training and faculty research on both its Carbondale and Springfield campuses. The institution is strongly committed to cultural diversity. Twenty-nine percent of the institution's total enrollment is comprised of students who are members of ethnic and racial minority groups. First generation students constitute over 40% of the student body.

The university’s mission focuses upon access and opportunity, inclusive excellence, innovation in research and creativity, outstanding teaching, nurturing student success, promoting regional economic development, and community outreach. The university is classified by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education as a High Research Activity Doctoral University, yet also emphasizes access to a number of underrepresented groups. SIU is located in rural southern Illinois and serves as the region’s largest employer. The university invests in a number of initiatives in response to the needs of the region. 

Organizationally, SIU is governed by the SIU Board of Trustees, who, along with the President, oversee the Carbondale and Edwardsville campuses. A Chancellor, who reports to the President, oversees the Carbondale campus. The university’s programs are organized into eight colleges. SIU houses 89 degree programs that receive accreditation or certification from external accrediting bodies. The university offers courses and programs online and at off-campus locations in 14 states.

SIU has faced a number of challenges since its last comprehensive evaluation. The institution has experienced a 37% decline in student enrollment over the last ten years, along with a concomitant 22% decrease in faculty, predominantly tenure-track. A number of recruitment and retention strategies have been implemented to address these declining enrollment trends. In addition, SIU has struggled with budget cuts since 2015. During the fiscal years 2016 and 2017, funding was reduced and delayed due to the budget impasse in the state of Illinois. SIU adopted a financial Sustainability Plan in 2017 to address this challenge. Despite these struggles, SIU continues to receive recognition for a number of aspects of its mission. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has identified over 4000 institutions of higher education in the United States.  Among these, the National Science Foundation ranks SIU in the top 5 percent in terms of research expenditures.

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