TO: Faculty, Staff and Students
Chancellor's Update: Message from the President
President Poshard asked that we distribute the following information to the SIUE campus community.
Vaughn Vandegrift, Chancellor
FROM Dr. Glenn W. Poshard Office of the President
I am pleased to report that last night the state legislature approved spending authority of $33.5 million to the Illinois Student Assistance Commission for the state's monetary award program, a taxpayer supported student financial aid grant program that assists low and moderate income families with the costs of higher education. These funds will be put to use immediately by ISAC and will provide assistance to more than 8,000 students in the SIU system for the spring semester. I have every expectation that Governor Quinn will sign this supplemental appropriation. Without this legislative action, our students would have had their spring MAP grants cut by 8%, representing a financial loss to the University of at least two million dollars and the real possibility of many of these students not being able to continue their education. Restoring funding to the MAP was an important goal for our veto session agenda and I am pleased that the legislature saw the wisdom in doing so. As I visited with legislators yesterday, I got the strong sense that they are now beginning to understand that this fundamental shift in thinking that a public education is no longer of public value is not good public policy for the state of Illinois and is actually inhibiting the economic prospects of the state. As we witness the vast disparity in incomes and opportunities in this state, the only real solution is making a public higher education an economic right. I will continue working at the state level on these important affordability issues and to ask our chancellors to keep this issue very much at the forefront of their efforts. Thank you for your attention.