- The students aren't as good coming out of high school as they would like.
- Funding is down to all public universities.
- Every student has a car, so the train isn't as important.
- SIU doesn't have the top physicics, chemistry, english, etc. department in the state.
- You can't change the past, so deal with the mess you inherited.
I hope it is clear to everyone by now that SIU students are not as prepared to be college students as students of the past. They have less skills in math, science, note taking, study habits, and reading than students of just 20 years ago. They do know more about Google, video games, cable channels, trying to study while doing IM, playing music, watching TV, surfing the net all at the same time then the old timers.
These changes in ability to learn what the college offers is a large problem. SIU should stop complaining about it and figure out how to address it.
Americans have decided to stop funding public universities at the almost 100% level of the past. Bummer.
A question might be why haven't the business people of Southern Illinois gone to Springfield and banged their fists on the table about this? The answer is the lack of accountability from the universities make it very hard to support them in this way.
If every student from Chicago has a car, then they don't ride the train to Carbondale. If you are driving, it is a lot cheaper to drive from Northern or Western.
SIU isn't U of I, and isn't going to have the top research in any major field unless someone drops a bomb on our State's land grant university. Get over it. SIU has lots of great people and does great things, but will never have the resources to play with the big boys.
It does have the resources to be the best undergraduate education provider in Illinois though.
SIU has been poorly managed since Morris got sick in the last 1960's. There hasn't been much building, there is lots of deferred maintenance to buildings, the staff has been poorly managed to the point they unionized. But, this is in the past.
Go work with what you have, there is plenty of talent, buildings and money to build something better. To do well an administrator will have to do the right things.