Poised to face the triumphs and challenges of a new year, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift reflects on the accomplishments and high points of 2010.
It was an exciting year at the “e,” Vandegrift said, recounting the top 10 best University stories of 2010:
- For the second consecutive year the University was recognized by its peers and reported in U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges 2011 as one of 68 “up and coming schools” in the nation. SIUE was cited for making “innovative changes in the areas of faculty, student life, campus life and facilities.”
- A study by School of Business faculty revealed the University had a $471 million annual economic impact on the St. Louis Metropolitan Area, a 32 percent increase from five years ago. 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 completed half of a $250 million, Year 2012, construction and infrastructure improvement plan.
- Fall 2010 enrollment stood at 14,133, representing the highest total in the University’s history. Currently, 3,500 students reside on campus and nearly 4,000 students have relocated to the area to attend SIUE. With undergraduate tuition and fees held by the SIU Board of Trustees at $8,401, SIUE continued its position as the lowest cost public university in Illinois.
- The Daily Beast, an online national news magazine, recognized SIUE as the 21st safest campus in the nation, as part of its top 50 safest colleges listing.
- Washington Monthly ranked 551 master’s universities nationally with SIUE placing in the top 50, citing its work with students and the University’s contributions to the community it serves. Among the top 50, only 14 public universities were listed.
- For the sixth consecutive year, the U.S. News edition of America’s Best Colleges listed SIUE among 15 universities, including four public institutions, as having outstanding capstone experiences.
- All SIUE athletics teams competed fully at the NCAA Division I level. The final certification self-study in the process of transitioning to Division I is scheduled for completion July 1, 2012.
- For the seventh consecutive year, SIUE was ranked in the top tier of all Midwestern universities by U.S.News, including among the top 20 public Midwestern master’s universities.
- In FY10, SIUE faculty and staff won nearly $29 million in grants and contracts, a 40 percent increase from 2005, including $7.9 million for research, $3.5 million for academic instruction and support, and $17.3 million for public service projects.
- The SIU Board of Trustees approved a plan to create the SIUE Nature Preserve, a 380-acre expanse of natural area on the western edge of campus between the campus core and along Stadium Drive and New Poag Road.
“We at the “e” realize we have experienced growth and good fortune during the last year despite difficult economic times,” Vandegrift said.
“We recognize that our ability to continue to progress and thrive is a testament to the region’s support of higher education in recognition of the importance of SIUE to the well-being and prosperity of the citizens of Southern Illinois.”