Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Chancellor Randy Pembrook presented his third annual State of the University Address to the campus community on Wednesday, Oct. 10 in the Morris University Center Meridian Ballroom. The address’ theme related to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s question about our compelling responsibilities – fulfilling the tasks we are called to address. Visit siue.edu/tv to view the presentation.
Pembrook noted that this was the 42nd State of the University Address, a tradition initiated by then-President Kenneth “Buzz” Shaw. “I am proud of our institution and how it has progressed in many areas discussed in those early State of the University addresses, including academic quality, recruitment, retention and external relations,” Pembrook said.
Pembrook began by addressing enrollment and the introduction of new or expanded programs to meet marketplace needs and demands. He pointed to online offerings such as a master’s in criminal justice policy, a master’s in healthcare informatics, the School of Nursing’s growing RN to BS program and the medical technology specialization in biological sciences as success stories. He also noted bachelor’s programs in integrative studies, international studies, mechatronics and robotics, and nutrition, along with the introduction of a master’s of fine arts in creative writing and a master’s in pharmaceutical sciences as programs meeting student demand.
“We will continue to be innovative, efficient, responsible, and diverse in order to provide access to those who need us to be all of those things,” Pembrook said. To compete for prospective students, SIUE added additional recruiting personnel both in Chicago and internationally, implemented a domestic tuition rate for all students, increased scholarship funding, and created a research and analysis unit within enrollment management. SIUE also has partnered with Royall and Co. to support traditional student recruitment and Academic Partnerships to aid the School of Business’ master’s of business administration (MBA) efforts.
Pembrook celebrated the successes of the 2017-18 academic year, including numerous faculty and staff honors and grants, successful community collaborative partnerships, innovation grant initiatives, student achievements, enrollment accomplishments despite the overall drop in total enrollment, academic advancements and facilities improvements.
“We will continue to pursue excellence regardless of circumstances,” said Pembrook, who touched upon the state allocation conversation that occurred throughout the 2017-18 academic year and the change in system leadership. He also introduced the steering committee for revising the University’s strategic plan.
Among the 2018-19 goals, Pembrook focused on completing Phase II of the enrollment management plan and development of the academic strategic plan. He also is looking forward to completing the Center for Faculty and Innovation, round three of the innovation grants process and increasing salaries to the degree that enrollment and state budgets will allow.
SIUE’s facilities upgrades continue with the already in progress Founders Hall renovation and planning for an expansion of Alumni Hall. Other projects to anticipate are Morris University Center upgrades, a performing arts center, East St. Louis Charter High School improvements and University Park expansion.
Photo: SIUE Chancellor Randy Pembrook.