SIUE will benefit from a spending plan unveiled recently by Illinois Gov. George H. Ryan, who continues to put education at the top of his priorities for the state.
In offering his budget, which recommended increasing higher education spending by $134 million next year throughout the state, Ryan asked the Illinois Board of Higher Education to take his overall totals, including salary levels, and allocate them to next year's budget. Ryan's higher education recommendations represent 99.5 percent of the IBHE's recommendation.
As part of the Governor'srecommendations, SIUE liberal arts students would benefit from a $1.1 million technology training program that teaches them computer skills. SIUE's School of Business hopes to improve career opportunities for these students, while serving the large number of Fortune 500 companies and other businesses in Southwestern Illinois and the St. Louis area.
Chancellor David J. Werner said the IBHE's budget proposal would allow funding levels at which SIUE will continue providing quality education in Southwestern Illinois. "We are pleased with Gov. Ryan's continued support of higher education," Werner said. "We look forward to the revised recommendations to be considered by the IBHE in light of the Governor's announcement."
SIUE's plans for the money also include:
• $710,500 for infrastructure repairs. SIUE hopes to address heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems in Peck, Alumni and Founders halls; and
• $434,200 for upgrading electrical systems servicing Dunham and Rendleman halls.
SIU administrators will work closely with the IBHE staff in the weeks ahead as it considers SIU's overall strengths, opportunities and requests. "Gov. Ryan deserves recognition for his tenacity when it comes to making sure education in Illinois excels," said SIU President James E. Walker. "This is a very good budget for higher education and SIU, and we'll work with the Governor to support it as it moves through the General Assembly."
Ryan delivered his annual budget address to the General Assembly in Springfield Feb. 21. In the months ahead, the General Assembly will consider the Governor's recommendations. A final state budget for fiscal year 2002 is expected in May.
Depending on which report you read, the demand for "high-tech" workers ranges from 10,000 new jobs a year to more than a million job openings in the next 12 months.
Regardless of which number is most accurate, there is no escaping the fact that the demand for high-tech workers continues to escalate. This new demand comes at a time when more and more working Americans need or want to change careers.
For those looking to cash in on the information technology job opportunities, SIUE is again offering the "High-Tech Worker Boot Camp." It's an intensive program designed specifically for talented individuals, and provides the skills needed to qualify for jobs in the information technology industry.
The program takes applicants from all backgrounds and job experience, and is not limited to people with high-tech skills and knowledge. The Intensive Summer Program will be offered, between June 4 and Aug. 1; a Weekend Format Bootcamp also is available and will run from between May 5 and Jan. 26, 2002. Classes will meet every other weekend.
"Like many colleges and universities across the country, SIUE produces its share of annual MIS (management information systems) graduates," said Mary Sumner, assistant dean for development in SIUE's School of Business, and director of the High-Tech Bootcamp program. "But, we're not keeping up with demand. We also have people who are looking to try a new career, or who need to be retrained for a new job."
The program provides students with an effective way to obtain good, basic information technology skills, Sumner said. "This is an intensive program that will make people more marketable to those companies who need high-tech employees," she said. "Employers are looking for people with the analytical, problem-solving, and communications skills needed for information technology careers," Sumner said.
"The program of study was developed in conjunction with our Technology Advisory Board and provides academic preparation in information systems that is equivalent to a specialization in Management Information Systems."
The "High-Tech Bootcamp" includes:
Openings for the Bootcamp are limited and highly competitive. Each of the candidates will participate in an interview that enables them to share their objectives and experiences. SIUE offered the High-Tech Bootcamp for the first time last summer; more than 80 candidates applied for about 30 openings. Those who completed the course went on to work for such companies as Amdocs, Andersen Consulting, Boeing, May Company, Sporting News, Sprint, and UPS.
Anyone interested in learning more about the program, should contact Kerri McCann (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mary Sumner (email@example.com) or visit the web site. http://www.siue.edu/BUSINESS/bootcamp
Most first-time visitors to SIUE are very impressed with its woodland beauty and interesting architecture. In fact, that first impression could make the difference in whether a potential student decides to attend.
And, that first impression is something very important to Steve Brandenburg, who began Dec. 4 as the new assistant director for Building Services and Grounds. His philosophy revolves around Grounds workers and Building Services workers performing jobs that are just as important as student recruiters.
"We're all part of the same team," he said. "Just like a business where customer service is important, we're concerned about attracting students and keeping them here once they arrive.
"SIUE has great academic programs, but if the place is a mess, students won't want to come back," Brandenburg said. "Same with employees-they won't enjoy working here if the bathrooms are dirty."
Formerly a facilities supervisor at Murray State University in Murray, Ky., Brandenburg holds a bachelor of science in agriculture from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A Chicago area native, he's happy to be back in his home state. "The week I arrived here, we got eight inches of snow. I said to myself: 'Welcome back to the Midwest, Steve.'"
By the way, snow removal also comes under Brandenburg's purview. "One of the things we're doing now is readying our equipment for the changeover to spring but still walking that fine line because we could get that last big blast of winter."
While worrying about the change in seasons, Brandenburg's staff also must attend to the day-to-day task of keeping the campus presentable inside and out. "Everyday, we work the entrances and the core campus to pick up litter," he said. "I don't want to enter campus in the morning and see litter. No one wants to see that.
"Then, I meet with my foremen and we decide what's the priority that day. We can't be everywhere at once but if we put things in priority order, we can accomplish a lot."
Brandenburg said he's working on a four- to six-year plan for Grounds and Building Services. "This university will be growing and I'm excited about being a part of that, but with growth comes more students and subsequently more maintenance issues. This plan will address equipment needs, personnel needs, and deferred maintenance issues.
"I want this university to be neat and attractive," Brandenburg said. "It can't look like Opryland or Walt Disney World, but that's not really what's needed for an educational institution. However, we can work to maintain what we have and make some improvements, too."
Under the Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI), a public institution of higher education in Illinois may accept a "D" grade being transferred by a student from another school.
That issue became the subject of a flurry of e-mail opinions recently flying around the Faculty ListServ, with pros and cons traded.
SIUE accepted other terms of the IAI in 1998 but it was January of this year before the provision about transfer grades was finally accepted. Part of the delay was because of the debates on the issue. "The idea behind the IAI was to bring some sort of standardization for transfer students," said Bill Hamrick, Faculty Senate president.
"The second part of the IAI on that question, though, does not bar departments within the university from establishing other requirements in terms of grades," Hamrick said. For example, Hamrick pointed out, a C is still required as a passing grade for English 101. So, a D transfer in that class would need to be re-taken in order to gain course credit for the transferring student.
But that point is what Sociology Chair Hugh Barlow maintains is the problem. "Sociology does not accept D grades from transfer students, either" Barlow said. "And, there are many other departments that have the same restrictions. Why then institute a university-wide policy that is not, in reality, university-wide?"
"Furthermore," Barlow contends, "if SIUE wants to continue its reputation as a quality institution emphasizing excellence in undergraduate education, it is questionable to accept transfers of D grades, which mean that a student's work in a course was 'below average,' or 'unsatisfactory.'"
As to the argument that a D anywhere else should be as good as a D at SIUE, Barlow says that won't fly. "If a student takes one of our courses and earns a D, this is an internal matter; we know the standards for the course and how the course was conducted. Furthermore, academic advisors can address the issue directly with the student," Barlow said.
Hamrick said that before IAI was accepted totally here, SIUE had been the only state university in Illinois that wasn't accepting D grades from transfer students, which raised questions of fairness and consistency. "We have instructors on this campus who give a D as a passing grade," he said. "There are instructors at other institutions that give D as a passing grade.
"We have adjunct faculty who simultaneously teach at nearby community colleges," Hamrick said. "It would be unreasonable to think that their standards would differ substantially from one institution to another.
"We have to give credit to be fair. We've never been able to prove that our Ds are any better than a D from another school. Although we don't want to encourage D work, the fact is that the grade level does exist."
Todd Gober, who has led his junior college team to a national ranking in each of the last five seasons, has been named the new Cougar volleyball coach, Athletic Director Cindy Jones has announced.
Gober, who begins his duties at SIUE on March 1, posted a record of 204-54 (79.0 percent) as the head coach at Southwestern Illinois College. He produced five junior college All-Americans, 22 All-Region selections, four conference Most Valuable Players and four Conference Freshmen of the Year.
"We are truly happy to welcome Todd to the SIUE athletic family," Jones said. "We were very impressed with his credentials on and off the court." Gober becomes the third head coach in school history following Sandy Montgomery and Acting Coach Joe Fisher.
Gober's teams have not dropped below 20th in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) rankings and have risen as high as seventh in the nation. In 1998 and 1999, Southwestern Illinois College appeared in the NJCAA tournament and finished fifth and ninth nationally, respectively.
Gober won two Conference Coach of the Yea awards, two Region 24 Coach of the Year awards and two District 15 Coach of the Year awards. SIUE picks up a coach who holds a 96-percent graduation rate from 1996 through 1999. Twenty-one of 24 graduating sophomores under Gober received scholarships to four-year institutions. One of his graduates was Shanan McLean, who was second in kills per game (3.18) this past season for SIUE.
While Gober was working as Southwestern Illinois College's head volleyball coach, he also was an adjunct instructor of volleyball at SWIC as well as a vice president and compliance officer at Citizens Community Bank in Mascoutah.
Gober earned a bachelor's in business (economics) from Northwestern (IA) College in 1985 and a master's in finance from Saint Louis University in 1991. Gober and his wife, Joan, reside in Freeburg.
Sylvia, the "howling" comedy by A. R Gurney, will be presented by the Theater of the Deaf as part of Disability Awareness Day on March 7 in the Morris Center.
Gurney's popular comedy is about a married couple who "adopt" a dog named Sylvia and how their lives change. The theater troupe is from St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley and will perform the play at 1 p.m. in Meridian Ballroom. Admission is free.
Also part of the day is a 10 a.m. student and faculty panel discussion about "Learning Disabilities," with Tamara Arthaud, assistant professor of Special Education and Communication Disorders, and Jim Boyle, a learning disabilities specialist for the SIUE Office of Disability Support Services, sponsors of the event.
From 10 a.m.-2 p.m., representatives of local vendors and agencies who serve people with disabilities will be available in Goshen Lounge.
The event also is sponsored by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Development and Public Affairs, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, the Office of the Assistant Provost for Cultural and Social Diversity, the Office of Equal Opportunity Program, the Department of Theater and Dance, the SIUE Student Council for Exceptional Children, and the SIUE Chapter of the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
For more information, call Jane Floyd-Hendey, (618) 650-3782.
The Cougars softball team is still waiting to get under way. Due to cold and rainy weather, the Southern Indiana Tournament was cancelled last weekend, postponing the 25th-ranked Cougars 2001 debut.
However, Coach Sandy Montgomery and her team are prepared. "We have been working hard in practice," said Montgomery. "I am happy with us defensively, but offense and pitching are always a question, since we haven't been on dirt yet this season."
The Cougars travel to the Schutt Sports Lead-off Classic in Irving, Texas, this weekend to open up the 2001 season. SIUE plays three games on Friday (3/2), starting with Nebraska-Omaha at 9 a.m. The Cougars also will face Central Arkansas at 1:30 p.m. and Abilene Christian at 6:15 p.m. on Friday. Bracket play continues on Saturday and Sunday (3/3-3/4).
The softball team returns 10 players, including two All-Americans in junior Erin Newman (Fairfield, Calif.) and sophomore Katie Waldo (Peoria). "We have a talented group and we will just have to wait and see what will happen when we get out on the field."
Misi Clark, Sarah Cook and Crystal Gladson capped off their SIUE careers by helping the Cougars to an 81-62 victory over Kentucky Wesleyan Feb. 24 in the Vadalabene Center.
Clark led the team with 24 points, while also recording eight rebounds and seven assists. Cook finished with 16 points, going 7-of-8 from the field, while Gladson finished with seven points and team-high nine rebounds.
The game remained close in the first half, including nine ties, before SIUE pulled in front 23-22 on a free throw shot by Clark. The Cougars took control from there as they lead 46-32 entering the half. In the second half, SIUE led by as many as 26 points. The Cougars finished the night shooting 53.1 percent (27-58) from the field, while Kentucky Wesleyan shot 38.7 percent (19-58).
Jessica Robert and Sarah Larson also finished in double figures by scoring 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Leslie Warren led the Panthers with 15 points, while Crystal Martin scored 12 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.
The Cougars are the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament. The team prepares for the GLVC Quarterfinals next Wednesday (Feb. 28) when they face the No. 6 seed, Indianapolis, at noon in Evansville, Ind.
Coach Darryl Frerker and his men and women's indoor track teams head to the Great Lakes Valley Conference Indoor Championships this weekend (2/26) in Romeoville. Frerker expects good things after last weekend's meet.
"If this past Saturday is any indication, we should move up in the standings on the guys side," said Frerker. "I was pleased with the overall team performance. I think we have the momentum up going into the conference meet."
Daniel Walden (Springfield) missed the national qualifying time by one one-hundredth of a second in the 800-meter run at the Saluki Indoor Open last Saturday, with a time of 1 minute, 55:01 seconds. On the women's side, Frerker said they are not where they were a year ago.
"We are down compared to last year but a second-place finish last season was outstanding."