CUPB discusses U of I compact, recruitment

Samuel Nusbaum, Administration Reporter


The Council on University Planning and Budget discussed a compact the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign sent to legislators to guarantee themselves funding. They also discussed how to attract more students to Eastern.

Eastern President David Glassman told the CUPB that all presidents of Illinois state universities knew of what the U of I was going to propose.

The U of I’s proposal is designed to guarantee funding for themselves for the next five years as long as the university meets certain criteria.

The criteria include admitting a certain number of Illinois residents and accepting a certain number of international students, among other requirements. However, the U of I already meets the requirements it has set.

Glassman said if the U of I compact went through, then the other universities in the state would have a template to go off of to try and secure funding for themselves.

He said there is concern over how the lawmakers would react to the proposal.

Glassman said every lawmaker he talked to has asked him about the compact.

“All of a sudden, higher education is back to a top conversation and all of us, including U of I, want predictable and stable funding for higher education,” Glassman said.

He said if the compact is what it takes for the talk of funding higher education to continue, then he is fine with it.

Glassman said if the U of I is able to get the compact passed, then all other state universities will be filing a similar one.

Japhun Mays, a transfer student and recreation administration major, talked to the CUPB about his concerns regarding the lack of student excitement on campus.

Mays said Eastern’s homepage does not have students on the website until a viewer goes further into it.

Instead, Mays said “the website shows the nuts and bolts” of the university such as Desire 2 Learn and Panthermail, but it does not have any photos of students on campus.

He said he sees a lot of potential for the website that the administration is overlooking. Mays said the Internet is an important tool and it only takes several seconds for prospective students to look at the website and make up their minds about coming to Eastern.

Mays compared this feeling to a party, where if there is not a fun mood, a person does not want to be there.

“I know students who just got here and are thinking about transferring,” Mays said. “I am a transfer student and when I see that I am like, ‘all right, what is there that is making you want to transfer.’”

He said he sees “boring and bland” on the university website and not an atmosphere which would make him want to come to Eastern if he was a prospective student.

Mays said if the university can attract international students who, as he said, “travel in packs,” then the university can attract students from around the state.

Mays said he heard the university had more activity and student participation during the 2015 academic year.

He also brought up adding more activities to the school and getting more registered student organizations to increase their presence so people get involved.

Mona Davenport, director of minority affairs, said enrollment is down, so not many students will be walking around campus, which makes it harder to get students engaged. She said technology could be to blame, with students spending time on their phones and staying inside playing video games instead of being outside and interacting with each other.

“I think that is where our students come in and what can we do as an institution to get them more engaged,” Davenport said.

She said Eastern is not a school where students go out on the weekends or go home, but student organizations need to talk to each other to figure out how to make students more engaged.

Samuel Nusbaum can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].