February 08, 2005

SIUC Chancellor reaches out to Harrisburg

by Sue Davis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University Carbondale Chancellor Walter V. Wendler starts a new round of community conversations at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22, when he visits Harrisburg Middle School, 312 Bulldog Boulevard in Harrisburg.

It's the second stop in an ongoing series of "Your University, Your Community" discussions through which SIUC hopes to gain insight and feedback on various needs and expectations connected to higher education. "We want to help people achieve their dreams of earning a degree, and these visits are designed to help us find better ways to connect through academic, economic and social outreach," Wendler said. "We think these school house talks are important and we're inviting students, parents, teachers, school board members, local government officials and state legislators."

Harrisburg has long been connected to SIUC. Former Chancellor Don Beggs grew up there and the community has a strong network of SIUC alumni, some of whom plan to be at the meeting to greet SIUC's delegation.

"We don't presume to have the answers to any district's financial challenges, but we think there is room for conversations that could make it easier for students from area schools to attend college. We also want to hear about new ideas and concerns directly," Wendler said.

SIUC will visit Carterville on March 8. Other visits are also being planned. Outreach is part of SIUC's focus as outlined in "Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment," the long range plan for the University as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2019.