• 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.
  • Chamber Announces 2016 Chamber Champion Award Winners

    Jul 27, 2016

    The St. Louis Regional Chamber is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 Chamber Champion Awards.  Please join us on the evening of Monday, September 19, 2016 to celebrate with our award winners.  For more details on the event or to register, please contact Sherri Bailey at (314) 444-1134 or sbailey@stlregionalchamber.com.

    Champion Award Winners
    Missouri Senator Bob Dixon
    Missouri Representative Mike Colona
    Missouri Representative Jim Hansen
    Missouri Representative Mike Kelley
    Missouri Representative Jeremy LaFaver
    Missouri Representative Sharon Pace
    Missouri Representative Caleb Rowden
    Missouri Representative Anne Zerr

    Champion Award winners are lawmakers that have championed a priority issue for the Chamber and achieved meaningful success this session.

    Advocate Award Winners
    Missouri Senator Doug Libla 
    Missouri Senator Kurt Schaefer
    Missouri Representative Tom Flanigan
    Missouri Representative Todd Richardson

    Advocate Award winners are lawmakers that have championed a priority issue for the Chamber this session.

    Catalyst Award Winners
    Illinois Senator Matt Murphy 
    Illinois Senator Heather Steans 
    Illinois Representative Jerry Costello, II 
    Missouri Representative Justin Alferman
    Missouri Representative Shamed Dogan

    Catalysts Award winners are up-and-coming lawmakers that demonstrate promise for championing a priority issue for the Chamber in the future.

    Legacy Award Winners
    Missouri Senator Joe Keaveny
    Missouri Senator Eric Schmitt

    Legacy Award winners are lawmakers that have demonstrated a lifelong commitment to inspiring a greater St. Louis region.