Southern Illinois University Has Weathered Many Storms…And We Will Find Calm Shores…In This Stormy Sea.

‘Southern Illinois University (known as SIU or SIU Carbondale) is a public research university located in Carbondale, Illinois, United States.  Founded in 1869, SIU is a flagship campus of the Southern Illinois University system.  The university enrolls students from all 50 states as well as more than 100 countries.  SIU Carbondale offers 3 associate’s, 100 bachelor’s, 73 master’s, and 36 Ph.D programs in addition to professional degrees in law and medicine.’    Wikipedia

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‘The university continued primarily as a teacher’s college until Delyte W. Morris took office as president of the university in 1948.  Morris was SIU’s longest-serving president (1948 – 1970).  During his presidency, Morris transformed SIU, adding Colleges of Law and Medicine and Dentistry.  Since World War II, higher education has been emphasized as a goal for more students.  Southern Illinois University grew rapidly from 3,500 to over 24,800 students between 1950 and 1991.’

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‘In 1957, a second campus of SIU was established in Edwardsville.  This school, now known as Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, is an independent university within the SIU system.’    Wikipedia

Schools die from either benign neglect or, the much more aggresses form, purposeful and intended neglect.

President Morris did not work his miracle in Little Egypt by, only the power of his personality and his commitment, but he was able to rally the ambitious involvement of legislators and governors and, at times, the active and workmanlike support of the Board of Trustees.

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I was told by both a chancellor and a president, when the custodial staff’s budget was cut in a draconian manner, that they hated it…but perhaps we would have to make our point through the lay-off of, extremely hard working and superbly dedicated, house keeping staff…and this included many disabled Building Services staff…and the caviler elimination of most of our over 200 hundred student worker positions…although this would most certainly result in their quitting school due to the loosing of their custodial positions.

I explained to the chancellor and president that the university buildings would be so unkempt and filthy and the classrooms full of debris and the restrooms without toilet paper that their lack of cleaning would result in the Board of Health shutting the campus down.

I explained that the students deserved better…and that their parents deserved better…and that they need not call me…as I would be spending 16 hours per day…stocking rest rooms.

And, so, my meager analogy is intended to illustrate a much larger point…now is the time for the timid to go home to the security of their safe and protected and untroubled gated community.

Now is the time for demonstrated and decisive and determined…leadership.

SIU was not built by hand ringing and determined neglect and leaders looking over their shoulders to ensure that no one in authority heard their meek criticism.

Our great country was built by great and courageous people.

Our great university was built by committed people who were risk takers and who conducted themselves with vision and purpose and a goal of excellence.

The civil service community is ready….

The students are ready….

The faculty are ready….

The administrative/professional staff are ready….

SIUC is to important to make a ‘point with’….or to use as an example…or to settle personal and petty vendettas!

‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth,’ Nathanael  asked in the Gospel of John?  ‘Philip said unto him, Come and see.’

So…there are those who would belittle us and snicker and wink and they would say to us…..can anything good come out of Carbondale?

Come and see.

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