September 02, 2005

SIUC will welcome students affected by Katrina

by Tom Woolf

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale is opening its doors to undergraduate and graduate students attending Gulf Coast universities disrupted by Hurricane Katrina.

Chancellor Walter V. Wendler announced today (Sept. 2) that SIUC will enroll students from affected universities at the in-state tuition rate. The University will expedite the admissions process – including waiving application and late registration fees – and assist the students in finding housing and with other needs as they arise.

Jackson County, home to SIUC, is one of 16 counties in the southernmost part of Illinois that are part of the Delta Regional Authority (DRA). The DRA is a federal-state partnership serving a 240-county/parish area in an eight-state region that also includes Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, Arkansas and Tennessee. Its focus is on remedying severe and chronic economic problems by stimulating economic development.

SIUC is the only four-year university in Illinois located in the Delta region.

"We have much in common with the states and universities devastated by this natural disaster," Wendler said. "We will provide whatever assistance we can to minimize the disruption to students' education."

Wendler has been at the forefront of the effort to create the Delta Higher Education Association so that universities in the Delta region can combine resources to take a comprehensive approach to attacking health care, environmental and educational needs.

Students or parents may call Jim Carl in SIUC's undergraduate admissions office at 618/453-2961, or e-mail at and identify themselves as being affected by Hurricane Katrina.

"We don't have all the details in place just yet, but it is important to let students and families of students at our sister institutions in the Delta know that we are here to help," Wendler said. "We will make it as easy as possible for these students to become part of our University community and ensure their educational needs are met."

SIUC will also work with students who are National Guard members who may be called to duty to help with relief efforts. "We'll do everything possible to address the individual needs on a case-by-case basis," Wendler said.

Serving others is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence through Commitment, the blueprint guiding the University as it approaches its 150th birthday in 2019.