Dr. Randy Dunn, recently selected as the eighth president of
the Southern Illinois University system, visited Kaskaskia College on Tuesday,
August 19. Dr. Dunn met with top KC
administrators in the boardroom of the Lifelong Learning Center on campus.
Dr. Jim Underwood, President of KC, presented an overview of
the College and its physical and academic expansion over the past decade before
turning to the importance KC places on its partnership with four-year
universities. KC currently has 2+2 and
other articulation programs in place with both SIU Edwardsville and Carbondale
as part of its University Affiliation program.
Dr. Dunn agreed that transitioning students seamlessly
between Kaskaskia College and the SIU system was very important, and asked for
advice on specific areas of study where cooperation could be expanded in an
expedited manner. Much of the discussion
centered on the challenge of migrating Education programs between the
institutions given the changing state requirements.
Dr. Dunn stated that he believes in the new model of
cooperation between community colleges and the state university system, and
plans to work to diminish the old attitude that the universities and the
community colleges are in direct competition for students. “We do not approach community colleges as
competition,” Dr. Dunn said. “We want to
collaborate and build together.”
As a National Research University, SIU Carbondale has
shifted some of its focus away from recruiting its student base from Southern
Illinois, and Dr. Dunn has embarked on his tour of what he calls “major
community colleges” in an effort to ensure that the student base in Carbondale
remains strong and growing.