ISU’s Kinzy applauds university’s COVID-19 response, boasts achievements during first address

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NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — The Illinois State University heard remarks from school president, Dr. Terri Goss Kinzy, on Tuesday in her first State of the University speech.

Kinzy addressed numerous topics including the university’s COVID-19 response, enrollment numbers, and funding from the state.

With the pandemic, she said ISU lost about $25 million in funds, with approximately 30% of the lost funds not being made up through state or federal funds. ISU received about $85 million dollars in federal funding from the CARES and other acts.

In response, Kinzy said ISU was one of few places that didn’t lay off any staff or cut wages, but said the impacts will be felt for a long time.

“We are very strong, but it will have an impact on us for the long term on our ability to do creative and innovative things to advance education in Illinois,” Kinzy said.

Kinzy said Illinois State University is funded 43% less than other public universities in the state, but hopes this changes with a newly created commission in Springfield.

“The governor recently signed the commission equitable public university funding act creating the commission on equitable university funding,” Kinzy said. “My personal goal is to represent ISU on this commission and be integral in moving ISU toward a stable and equitable funding formula.”

She said enrollment to ISU continues to be a high point for the school, with more than 20,000 students at the start of the fall semester.

COVID vaccination rates continue to climb on campus. According to Kinzy, 92% of staff are fully vaccinated and 76% of all students are as well.

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