• Illinois Public Affairs Network Discusses Funding Challenges in Higher Education

    Jul 28, 2016

    Leaders in higher education in Southwest Illinois spoke to a full room of Illinois Public Affairs Network members on Friday, July 15th at the Doubletree Hotel in Collinsville. Dr. Randy Dunn, President of the Southern Illinois University System, and Ken Scheffel, Vice President of Enrollment Services at Lewis and Clark Community College spoke to the budget challenges higher education institutions in Illinois are facing.  Sen. Dave Luechtefeld spoke to higher education funding from the legislature’s perspective and provided a legislative update.

    Kent Scheffel spoke to the impact of delayed and reduced funding from the state on Lewis and Clark Community College.  He cited a number of examples, including reducing the number of adjunct faculty by more than 30, which in turn reduced more than 60 class offerings and creates challenges for students.  Adult education classes have been cut, as has travel and supply budgets, and the school is in a semi-hiring freeze.

    Dr. Randy Dunn echoed many of the sentiments shared by Kent, and spoke to three major ways they are impacted, through dismantling, disinvestment, and disinterest.  He noted that the funding cuts and delays have led to a dismantling of their organizational infrastructure, disinvestment in the schools and in the communities they serve, and disinterest from students.  Both speakers noted that it was tough to watch the migration of students from Illinois to other states.  MAP grant applications are down by 18,000 and SIUE growth will slow next year, both indications of Illinois students going to colleges and universities in other states.

    Senator Luechtefeld gave some context, that higher education has faced significant cuts over the last three governors’ administrations.  It made it tough for them to be cut repeatedly, then hit with a budget crisis and state higher education institutions don’t have any spare resources to deal with it.

    Dr. Randy Dunn, President of the Southern Illinois University System speaks to the July IPAN meeting as fellow panelist Kent Scheffel of Lewis and Clark Community College looks on
    Dr. Randy Dunn, President of the Southern Illinois University System speaks to the July IPAN meeting as fellow panelist Kent Scheffel of Lewis and Clark Community College looks on.
  • Press Release: Inaugural Festival for College Students to Show the Best of St. Louis

    Jul 07, 2016


    Contact: David Messner

    (314) 444-1147


    ST. LOUIS, MO - The St. Louis Regional Chamber will host its first annual Show U St. Louis College Festival for the region’s college students on Saturday, August 27 from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. at Poelker and Kaufman Parks east of Soldiers’ Memorial in downtown St. Louis. This free event will be an opportunity for St. Louis area college students, particularly those new to St. Louis, to learn more about the many activities, cultural institutions, restaurants, neighborhoods, and nonprofits that make the region a great place not only to go to school but also to live, work, and play after graduation.

    Show U St. Louis is part of the St. Louis Regional Chamber’s focus on attracting and retaining college-educated young people who are the region’s next generation of talented workers. “Show U St. Louis will be a big welcome party with a purpose,” says Greg Laposa, Vice President Education Strategies at the Regional Chamber. “We kept hearing from students at Washington University, St. Louis University, Webster, and other schools that once they got off campus and got to know St. Louis a little better, they loved it. We want to make sure they get that chance to know our region.  The festival is a snapshot of what is available in terms of career opportunities, places to live, and ways to have fun and give back to the community.”

    The festival will be open to all students with a college ID from one of the region’s 47 two- and four-year colleges and universities. It will also feature live local performances by Mvstermind, Roland Johnson & Soul Endeavor, ICE and DJ Sinamin. “Show U St. Louis will let college students have a great time and meet other students from around the region before they get deep into their studies,” says Laposa.

    The Chamber is still accepting applications from regional attractions and organizations interested in participating in the festival. Visit www.showustl.com for vendor and contact information. 

    Show U St. Louis