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Administrators with the University of Illinois system paid a visit to Southern Illinois this week.

They said they want to be more involved in Southern Illinois — and that they would like for the region to be more involved with the system’s campuses, programs, outreach and economic development efforts.

Working toward that goal, a group of U of I leaders spent Monday in the region as part of a statewide tour, meeting with legislators, business leaders and representatives of Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

System President Timothy Killeen said the tour was long overdue.

“We acknowledge that we haven't been here enough, frankly, as the state’s land grant university system, and we are meaning to pay more attention to the southern part of the state,” he said in an exclusive interview with The Southern. “We hope in return, the southern part of state will pay more attention to us.”

This story appeared in The Southern Illinoisan on Oct. 5, 2021.

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