Carbondale Chamber of Commerce sent the following letter to the SIU BOD:
An Open Letter to the Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees
As representatives of the Carbondale business community, we hold a keen interest in the happenings and discussions at Southern Illinois University. We are paying special attention to Chancellor Carlo Montemagno’s plans for reorganization and restructuring of the University.
As the largest economic engine not only for Carbondale but for all of Southern Illinois, what happens at the University – its successes in all areas (enrollment, research, athletics, cultural and artistic endeavors and more) as well as its shortcomings – affect us all. In recent years, the continuing freefall in enrollment has negatively impacted most of our businesses, even forcing many once-profitable enterprises out of business.
There is no doubt that Chancellor Montemagno’s plan is challenging and ambitious. We believe that the time for action is now. Reorganization must not wait for extended, lengthy discussion, reviews and inaction. With years of declining enrollments and numerous leadership changes, the University, the city and region and our businesses cannot afford any delay.
Something must be done, sooner than later. The time for study, posturing and inaction is over. We stand with the Chancellor and his proposed plan and will do everything in our ability to support him and Southern Illinois University.
Board of Directors
Carbondale Chamber of Commerce
Me, I am still not sold on the need for re-organization as the cure for what ails SIUC. Of course, my background is marketing, so I am admittedly biased, but SIUC needs to do a lot better job of marketing itself in the southern Illinois region. When you have a situation where every university in the region, except SIUC, sends representatives to a recruiting opportunity at CCHS, there is not an organizational problem, there is a recruiting problem