(EDWARDSVILLE, Ill.) In his sixth annual address to the University community, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Chancellor VaughnVandegrift delivered a status update of the University's key goals set in 2004, while also reveling in the national attention SIUE has been attracting in the past few years.
He pointed out that for the first time this year, U.S.News & World Report ranked SIUE nationally among 77 "up and coming schools firmly focused on improving the job they're doing today."
In his report, Material Progress Toward National Recognition, Vandegrift talked about the good news regarding SIUE and its future. He spoke today in Meridian Ballroom to about 400 members of theUniversity community and guests.
He said the University is now viewed as a first-choice, first-tier institution by its peers and was recognized nationally in 2006 by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) for its Senior Assignment program.
The AAC&U called SIUE's program an effective tool in gauging the comprehensiveness of academic offerings. Senior Assignment is required for all seniors at SIUE to demonstrate their degree of general education knowledge, as well as knowledge within their disciplines prior to graduation.
In addition to the AAC&U, the program has been recognized by U.S. News for the past three years as a model for other institutions across the nation .
In addition, Vandegrift pointed out, U.S. News has ranked SIUE in the top 15 public universities in the Midwest-Master's category for the fourth consecutive year and also is ranked in the top one-third of all public and private Midwestern universities by the magazine.
In his report, Vandegrift also examined the University's progress on the three initial goals set in October 2004, which include aligning the University's enrollment management program to attract a student population that is characteristic of a premier Metropolitan University; positioning the University as a premier Metropolitan University in the marketplace of ideas by establishing a brand in the higher education community; and developing the University's resource base.
An example of material progress in the area of enrollment management-with a record 13,940 students enrolled-is the significant growth the University has seen in full-time students, Vandegrift said, thanks largely to the SIUE School of Pharmacy, an increase in residential capacity with the addition of Evergreen Hall on campus in 2007 and the predominate enrollment of full-time commuting students.
Through a more than 119 percent increase in media exposure, the University has made successful progress in establishing a solid brand in higher education.
"In 2004 we determined that the 'manifestation of our institutional vision would not be solely dependent on the level of state funding.' In addition to our efforts to enhance state funding, we committed ourselves to 'attract more grants and contracts and raise more funds from private, corporate and foundation donors.'"
Vandegrift referenced progress made in the area by pointing out the passage of a state capital bill this past summer that included $78.9 million for SIUE to renovate its existing Science Building and to construct an 80,000-square-foot science lab facility.
"President Poshard played a significant statewide role in this accomplishment, serving as a spokesperson for higher education with regard to capital construction projects," Vandegrift said. "He continues to assist us as we work with the State Capital Development Board to enable our project to be among the first to be constructed in the state."
When talking about the University's resource base, Vandegrift referenced a report from the Office of the Associate Provost for Research, which stated in FY09 that SIUE faculty and staff received more than $29 million in grants and contracts for research, academic instruction and support, and public service projects, representing a 56 percent increase from FY04.
The report also stated an increase in extramural funding, from $2.4 million in FY04 to $8.5 million in FY09. Vandegrift also reported SIUE is ranked 211 among 662 listed institutions by the National Science Foundation for research and development expenditures.
SIUE is home to the schools of Business, Dental Medicine, Education, Engineering, Nursing and Pharmacy, the Lovejoy Library, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School, the East St. Louis Center and University Park.
Academically, Vandegrift stressed that producing tomorrow's citizen-leaders begins today in the classroom and on campus. He acknowledged the contributions of the SIUE faculty, noting that strengthening programs is essential to sending competent graduates into the world to take on leadership roles.
He also pointed to the newly constructed Student Success Center on campus, an addition that houses student services and centers contributing to the retention and graduation of students including International Student Services, Health and Counseling Services, Disability Support Services, Student Government, and the Career Development Center. These programs previously had been scattered throughout campus.