Despite challenges presented by the economic downturn, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has progressed in its efforts to update existing structures, reallocate and create space to accommodate growth, and enhance infrastructure.
Since 2006, SIUE has been in the process of investing nearly $300 million in campus construction projects. Some of these have included:
"Each and every one of our projects is meant to improve services and enhance educational offerings for students, as well as support and encourage faculty in teaching and research opportunities at SIUE," said Rich Walker, assistant vice chancellor for administration. "We are particularly proud of the fact that the majority of our projects are completed within the specified timeframe and under the projected budget."
The University isn't stopping with its current list of completed projects. It expects to introduce another round of projects during the next fiscal year. Future projects, some of which have begun, include:
The Science Building projects are being funded through, and managed by, the Illinois' Capital Development Board. The enhanced Science Building facilities will further the University's standing as a premier Metropolitan University in the St. Louis area, as well as nationally, said SIUE Kenn Neher, vice chancellor for administration. He added, "When these projects are complete, this will significantly enhance the student learning experience at SIUE. The University has a strong commitment to educating tomorrow's workforce for careers in science and health care professions that are currently experiencing workforce shortages."
SIUE Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift has said the lack of a new science building "has been the single most important factor limiting future growth" at the University.
Three departments, including chemistry, biological sciences and environmental sciences, will move into the new structure upon its completion. Physics, mathematics and statistics will stay in the existing structure, which will be completely gutted and remodeled.
A 2010 Economic Impact Study conducted by members of the SIUE School of Business faculty showed the University had a $471 million annual economic impact on the St. Louis Metropolitan Area. This reflects a 32-percent increase from a study released in 2005. It also reported that SIUE is the second largest employer in Madison and St. Clair counties, with nearly 2,500 full-time employees and a total yearly payroll of more than $130 million.
"The University has a strong commitment to enhancing the quality of life for our students, and we work closely with the community and the region to make that happen," Vandegrift said. "Being good stewards of taxpayer dollars is critical to our continued success as an institution."
Other projects that are part of the University's $300 million expenditures include improvements to the Environmental Resource Training Center, the Early Childhood Center, Korte Stadium, Cougar Village, the SIU School of Dental Medicine, the SIUE School of Pharmacy and the University Bookstore. Also, University signage and entrance-ways were enhanced to allow easier campus navigation, and landscaping, sidewalk and roadway improvements were made to ease traffic flow.
Residents of the Eco-House, an upper class Focused Interest Community in University Housing at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, are pursuing resources to make their dreams a reality. The Eco-House, an upper class community of nine residents designed to support sustainable living, conservation and community service, created the video, Heart Behind the Oval to submit to the Ford Motor Company.
The three winning videos (based on public votes) will be selected. The student will receive a scholarship and the non-profit organization will be awarded a grant.
The Eco-House video submission focused on projects to be pursued if awarded the scholarship and grant. Projects included: solar panels, completing a windmill, expanding the existing compost system, creation of butterfly garden and community education.
Vicky Dean, assistant director for Residential Education, commented on the impact of Eco-House on the campus community. "The Eco-House residents are actively working together as a community to find unique ways to implement sustainable initiatives in their home," she said. "As a Focused Interest Community, the Eco-House and its first cohort of residents have exemplified the concept of what a living and learning community can do. I'm excited to see just how much of an impact they will make on this campus."
Participation in the Heart Behind the Oval contest is just one of several initiatives being explored by the Eco-House community. Community members have participated in grant writing and are working with partners within the campus community.
Next year, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville student Julian Glover will study and perform in one of the largest cities in Central Europe.
Glover, 20, was one of 900 outstanding American undergraduate students from more than 380 colleges and universities who won the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, which makes it possible to study abroad. Glover, who is working on a major in speech communications and a double minor in sociology and music, has a grade point average of 3.68.
"I was thrilled to know that I had won," said Glover, who will travel to Prague, where he will reside from January through May 2012.
The senior would not have been financially able to travel and study outside of the country if it were not for the Gilman Scholarship. Gilman Scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply toward their study abroad program costs.
But Glover said he expects the educational and cultural advantages to far outweigh the financial costs of the trip. After being immersed in another culture, the student said the most important lesson he hopes to receive is better and deeper appreciation for cultural diversity.
Likewise, the Gilman Scholarship Program aims to diversify the kinds of students who study abroad and the countries and regions where they go. The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the Institute of International Education's (IIE) Southern Regional Center in Houston, Texas.
Yet another benefit of the trip will be to help Glover graduate. The student will complete his requirements for his minor in sociology while in Prague. Glover will also continue to play his cello, while attending the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.
The International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000 established the scholarship and since that time, more than 6,500 students nationwide have received the award. Gilman, a U.S. congressman who retired in 2002 after serving 30 years in the House of Representatives and chairing the House Foreign Relations Committee, said: "Studying abroad is a special experience for every student who participates.
"Living and learning in a vastly different environment of another nation not only exposes our students to alternate views, but also adds an enriching social and cultural experience," Gilman said. "It also provides our students with the opportunity to return home with a deeper understanding of their place in the world, encouraging them to be a contributor, rather than a spectator in the international community."
The Catholic Campus Ministry (CCM) at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, which has offered a Christmas Vigil mass on Dec. 24 for more than 20 years at SIUE's Center for Spirituality and Sustainability, will instead this year offer Christmas Day mass at 10:30 a.m. Sunday. The change in plans has occurred because of unforeseen scheduling conflicts.
Christmas Vigil mass will resume next year as usual. In addition, the CCM announced there will be no mass offered on Sunday, Jan. 1. For more information, call the center, (618) 650-3246.
The gift of a building valued at $817,000 from an ardent supporter will help Southern Illinois University Edwardsville as it continues its efforts to define excellence.
Defining Excellence—the Campaign for SIUE is reaching its goal to raise $50 million by garnering alumni and community support. To date, nearly $30 million has been raised. The building, an existing structure located in SIUE's University Park, was made possible through the generosity of Ralph Korte, founder of the successful Korte Company of Highland, alumnus and longtime University advocate.
"I feel very good about my business degree from SIUE and without my degree, I don't think my company would be nearly as successful," said Korte, who earned his bachelor's from the School of Business in 1968 with a decade of hard work and night classes. "I'm still heavily involved and I want to see the University achieve great things."
"My love for SIUE and my dedication to make it a better place prompted my decision. SIUE will be here for a long time after I'm gone. I hope my gift will help set an example for others to give."
The gift is the latest example of the support the University has received from outstanding alumni and members of the community. Dennis Terry, president of the SIUE Foundation, said "Ralph Korte is a tremendous alumnus of SIUE, and he never goes anywhere without praising the University. This gift is but another addition to his legacy at SIUE."
"Ralph has been a great asset to SIUE, and he has given us so much support over the years," added Byron Farrell, chair of Defining Excellence—The Campaign for SIUE. "As we move forward toward our goal of $50 million for the campaign, we hope that Ralph's continuing benevolence will encourage others to join us in this special endeavor for SIUE."
SIUE Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift acknowledged Korte's gift by noting that no graduate of SIUE has been more committed to the support of the University over the years. "We couldn't be more proud of Ralph Korte and what he means to SIUE," said Vandegrift. The exact use of the building has not yet been determined, but it is expected to be use for economic development in the University Park.
Publically launched in March, the major gifts campaign is about taking SIUE to a new level of prominence and performance. For more information, visit siue.edu/definingexcellence.
The Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees has awarded more than $8.3 million in contracts to eight Illinois companies and one Missouri company for two major projects on the SIU Edwardsville campus. The action took place today at the board's regular meeting at SIU Carbondale.
In the first project, the board awarded $5,830,025 in contracts to renovate the SIUE Art and Design Building. The renovation is part of a larger project that includes a new addition to the building which is currently under construction after approval earlier this year by the board. The new addition will be completed by fall 2012 and the renovation project will be ready fall 2013.
The Art and Design renovation, which is being funded by facilities fees, and the construction of the addition originally were estimated to cost $14.3 million, but addressing safety concerns regarding the condition of the present mechanical systems has raised the entire cost to $15.9 million. The Art and Design Building was constructed in 1994.
The Art and Design renovation contracts were awarded to:
The project will renovate the existing studio and office spaces for ceramics, design, drawing, glass, graphics, metals, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and textiles. Work includes reconfiguring the existing atrium in addition to addressing the mechanical systems safety concerns.
The board also awarded $2,513,836 in contracts for replacement of windows in SIUE's Rendleman Building to improve the building's energy efficiency and comfort. Funding for the work will come from facilities fees.
The renovation contracts totaling $2,513,836 were awarded to:
In other business today that affects the Edwardsville campus, the SIU board gave project and budget approval for an overlay on North University Drive and for track resurfacing at Korte Stadium. In addition, the board gave authority to the board's Executive Committee to award contracts for expansion and renovation of the Engineering Building as well as project and budget approval to construct a multi-discipline laboratory at the SIU School of Dental Medicine in Alton, both at a later date.
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville East St. Louis Performing Arts Program and the SIUE Charter High School will present "Holiday Showcase Celebration," at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 16. The performance will be held in the Multi-Purpose Theater in Building D at the East St. Louis Higher Education Campus, 601 James R. Thompson Blvd., in East St. Louis, IL, 62201.
Ticket costs are $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and children 12 and under. For more information please contact Theodore H. Jamison at (618) 482-6932.
The night will be filled with traditional holiday songs accentuated with dance, theater and music from the SIUE East St. Louis Performing Arts Program and the SIUE East St. Louis Charter High School. A few songs that will be performed include Whitney Houston's "Joy to the World" from Preacher's Wife, Kirk Franklin's "There's No Christmas without You," Vickie Winan's "Mary Did You Know," and Joan Javit's "Santa Baby."
Jamison is program director for the SIUE East Louis Performing Arts Program. The production is choreographed by Performing Arts staff members Andrea Smythe and Jack Williams and Charter High School staff member Jamila Ajanaku. The musical arrangement is produced by Charter High School staff member E.L. Wilkes. Special guest performances will include Vivian Watt, artistic director for What It Is Dance Co. in St. Louis, and Tiffany Scott, an artistic director from the African American Dance Company in East St. Louis, IL.
The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy has achieved a 100 percent pass rate on the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) and the Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Examination (MPJE) during the May 1-Aug. 31, 2011 testing cycle.
During this cycle the Illinois state and national pass rates for the NAPLEX were 93.88 percent and 94.16 percent, respectively. Also, the MPJE pass rates during this cycle were 92.25 percent for Illinois and 96.05 percent nationally.
"This is a testament to the caliber of students and graduates we have through the SIUE School of Pharmacy, as well as the quality of our faculty, staff and preceptors," said the School's dean, Gireesh Gupchup.