A President, Fighting for Every Nickel

Southern Illinois U.'s leader contends with state's $13-billion in red ink

A University President, Fighting for Every Nickel 1

Adam Gerik for The Chronicle

At the Statehouse, Glenn W. Poshard lobbies for Southern Illinois U.: "This university opened every door for me. Without the education I got here, I couldn't have aspired to anything else."

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close A University President, Fighting for Every Nickel 1

Adam Gerik for The Chronicle

At the Statehouse, Glenn W. Poshard lobbies for Southern Illinois U.: "This university opened every door for me. Without the education I got here, I couldn't have aspired to anything else."

The predicament of Southern Illinois University is plain to see in the condition of the engineering building's leaking chiller, which has been rigged up with an aluminum gutter and a couple of garden hoses for drainage. Like so many things on this campus, it is slowly deteriorating, and there is no money coming from the state to fix it.

Illinois's state-budget deficit, at $13-billion, is one of the worst in the country. And it follows years of lackluster support for higher education.