ISU Enrollment

Humdinger

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It's just plain lazy, but if you know anything about the history of athletic administration at Illinois State, it makes sense.
Nothing personal, but that's a total bullsht, uneducated, and lazy comment. Every AD and Prez in the last 35 years has looked at the possibilities. Many reasons why it hasn't happened.

But if you have FBS ambitions...write the check for a mid 8-figure endowment, my friend. Have a nice day! (and yes FBS would be nice)
 
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Humdinger

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Quite a few comments about Spack's tenure, keeping him or dumping him. By football coaching terms, Spack has been at ISU a very long time and he is the most successful coach in ISU history. I do not think he is in jeopardy of being replaced any time soon. You have to wonder or at least consider that he may become too comfortable. Does the fire burn as hot as it did when he first arrived in Normal? Probably not. At ISU, a definite basketball school, if he keeps turning out seasons with more wins than losses and makes the playoffs most years he is as safe as a newborn baby in his/her Mother's arms. I think every school and program has a philosophy and self-imposed standards. Football has never been THE sport at ISU. If Spack turns out mostly winning seasons (winning is defined as one game over .500) then I think the ISU athletic department is happy. A playoff game or two every couple of years...great. It appears to be more of a mediocre approach.
Any time you have an AD change...every Coach is on notice. Just the way it is. I'm rooting for Brock and let's get on a roll, 'Birds!
 

Virginia Redbird

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Any time you have an AD change...every Coach is on notice. Just the way it is. I'm rooting for Brock and let's get on a roll, 'Bird

Any time you have an AD change...every Coach is on notice. Just the way it is. I'm rooting for Brock and let's get on a roll, 'Birds!
The AD takes his marching orders from the University. If the school is okay with a better than .500 football program and making the playoffs on a somewhat regular basis then that is the AD's mark to hit. I think ISU is just fine with Coach Spack as Head Football Coach (I am as well but I play Devil's Advocate at times). I don't think Coach Spack is on any notice with the new AD in any manner at all. Brock would have to have several bad seasons to be under that type of scrutiny. Just my opinion but I don't think that ISU or the Athletic Department have football championships as the goal. That would be nice and they would certainly take them but they are not really interested in the investment it would take to reach that level. They are not all in on football, not even close to all in. Again, I am not saying going all in is the best way to go financially but I see it that consistent winning seasons and some playoff games and a slightly above middle-of-the-pack position in the MVFC are satisfaction enough for the school and athletic department. If Hancock was being filled on a regular basis and the fan base as a whole was as vocal as some of us on this board it would probably be different.
 

Virginia Redbird

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There are things I might question about Coach Spack but competitive fire and pursuit of excellence are not among them.
I don't know him at all. But everyone can get comfortable and complacent. Not talking about the season or game day specifically. Coaching at his level is a 365-day-a-year job. Is he the same bundle of fire every day as he was the first year in Normal when he was trying to build a tradition and establish himself as a head coach? Probably not. Everyone is human.
 

redbirds2000

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Nothing personal, but that's a total bullsht, uneducated, and lazy comment. Every AD and Prez in the last 35 years has looked at the possibilities. Many reasons why it hasn't happened.

But if you have FBS ambitions...write the check for a mid 8-figure endowment, my friend. Have a nice day! (and yes FBS would be nice)
Has every school that moved from FCS to FBS had a check written for a mid 8-figure endowment? Probably going to be many opportunities to move up over the next 4-5 years. Jacksonville State (A teacher's college) with 9,000 students and in a town of 13,000 people has figured it out. Maybe the AD and President should make a phone call and see how they did it? Maybe it was a big donation? If Jacksonville State from the OVC can figure this out, why can't ISU?
 

Total Red

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Has every school that moved from FCS to FBS had a check written for a mid 8-figure endowment? Probably going to be many opportunities to move up over the next 4-5 years. Jacksonville State (A teacher's college) with 9,000 students and in a town of 13,000 people has figured it out. Maybe the AD and President should make a phone call and see how they did it? Maybe it was a big donation? If Jacksonville State from the OVC can figure this out, why can't ISU?
Could Illinois State be FBS? Sure it could. And we could have a field hockey team if we really wanted one. But FBS football has never been a priority of the Redbird FANBASE and so it hasn't been something any athletic administration since Sheahon Zenger has promoted. It's a common assumption that this has been a top down decision when it has really been bottom up.
 

Bird Friend

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I'm gonna have to say it's donor based. They spent $47M in 2010 to renovate their football stadium to accommodate 24k fans. They only have $16M athletic budget. Interestingly, they receive 75+% of their athletic funds from Institutional/Government support, meaning the school and the government. ISU gets about 33+% of its athletics budget from institutional/government support.


If you go to JSU's athletics site, you'll see their athletic facilities are really, really nice. There's no way they can do what they've done without having some major donor support.
 

NashvilleBirdFan

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Where are you getting your enrollment numbers NashvilleBirdFan? *source*
Google was my friend!!!

And some of those numbers were 2021-22 as this years numbers were not released.. the reality is we can gripe about this or that within the athletic department, but the school is kicking ass.. Its UICU, UIC and ISU and then the rest, the directional schools are all a dumpster fire.
 

Redbirdwarrior

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Google was my friend!!!

And some of those numbers were 2021-22 as this years numbers were not released.. the reality is we can gripe about this or that within the athletic department, but the school is kicking ass.. Its UICU, UIC and ISU and then the rest, the directional schools are all a dumpster fire.
It is my job to keep an eye on these numbers and you are right. The school is kicking major ass, especially in competition with the other directional schools (both FBS and non-FBS). The only other school that is showing fairly consistent growth not in the 3 you mentioned is SIU-E and much of that has to do with it still being relatively new. My company actually has both EIU and WIU on a list that suggests they may lose accreditation if trends continue.

WIU, for example, started the 2015-16 year with 9000 students on campus. This year, they started with 5800 and that is actually up 250 students from last year.

I think high school students are no longer feeling quite the pressure to go to a backup school where they could just find a trade or even not worry about college at all. Companies are largely hurting for people and are beginning to pay $45,000-$50,000 a year entry level with no experience or degree. If you are a B- high school student who gets denied by U of I, are you going to say "well, better go to WIU" or are you going to realize that you could make $200,000 in that 4 years instead? And that is assuming they don't do trade school and make closer to $350,000 in that 4 years.
 

NashvilleBirdFan

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Who in their right mind would visit Illinois State, NIU, EIU or WIU and not choose ISU??? B-N, Dekalb, Charleston or Macomb to spend your next 4 years?? So congrats on ISU, but also to Bloomington-Normal for creating a great community with so much to offer the students.
 

jwa123

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All of these entering freshman entering with high GPAs. An expansion of the nursing program and a new engineering school. I get the impression all fields of study are elevating and I know for sure the business school is light years ahead of when I was a student.

What does ISU think it is focusing on academics? An institution of higher learning? Screw that! We want to be FBS in a lower rated G5 conference!!!
 

Humdinger

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It is my job to keep an eye on these numbers and you are right. The school is kicking major ass, especially in competition with the other directional schools (both FBS and non-FBS). The only other school that is showing fairly consistent growth not in the 3 you mentioned is SIU-E and much of that has to do with it still being relatively new. My company actually has both EIU and WIU on a list that suggests they may lose accreditation if trends continue.

WIU, for example, started the 2015-16 year with 9000 students on campus. This year, they started with 5800 and that is actually up 250 students from last year.

I think high school students are no longer feeling quite the pressure to go to a backup school where they could just find a trade or even not worry about college at all. Companies are largely hurting for people and are beginning to pay $45,000-$50,000 a year entry level with no experience or degree. If you are a B- high school student who gets denied by U of I, are you going to say "well, better go to WIU" or are you going to realize that you could make $200,000 in that 4 years instead? And that is assuming they don't do trade school and make closer to $350,000 in that 4 years.
Some eye-opening perspective right here.
 

NashvilleBirdFan

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This is off memory, but I am thinking when I was at ISU around 1990, our enrollment was around 18K and NIU was around 25K.. so ISU +12% and NIU -40%? And our academics are a hell of a lot tougher now than 30 years ago..

NIU fans talk about their football program, ISU fans talk and brag about their university.. which is more sustainable ????
 

isuquinndog

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This was from the DeKalb news paper in February of 2020.

Fall 2019 enrollment at NIU was at a 50 year low. The university hasn’t been this low since 1966 when the reported total enrollment was 16,440. The peak was in the 1980s with almost 26,000 students.
 

dpdoughbird06

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Who in their right mind would visit Illinois State, NIU, EIU or WIU and not choose ISU??? B-N, Dekalb, Charleston or Macomb to spend your next 4 years?? So congrats on ISU, but also to Bloomington-Normal for creating a great community with so much to offer the students.
You’re welcome. 😁

Today’s college students seem to like the brewery/beer Hall we just opened next to D.P. Dough, too. They blend well with the rest of us older grads.

Uptown is unrecognizable from the Downtown Normal I frequented as a student around Y2K. I do miss Jake’s/Micheleo’s, Boo Boo’s (even though we ended up in their building after they closed) Deadpan Alley and Hot Heads for that cheap weekend haircut.

I’d miss the bars of that era, too, but I was too young-looking to do anything but get kicked out of Rocky’s for underage consumption and envy my older friends drinking vodka lemonade pitchers at Shanigan’s; they all closed the year before I turned 21.
 

NashvilleBirdFan

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You’re welcome. 😁

Today’s college students seem to like the brewery/beer Hall we just opened next to D.P. Dough, too. They blend well with the rest of us older grads.

Uptown is unrecognizable from the Downtown Normal I frequented as a student around Y2K. I do miss Jake’s/Micheleo’s, Boo Boo’s (even though we ended up in their building after they closed) Deadpan Alley and Hot Heads for that cheap weekend haircut.

I’d miss the bars of that era, too, but I was too young-looking to do anything but get kicked out of Rocky’s for underage consumption and envy my older friends drinking vodka lemonade pitchers at Shanigan’s; they all closed the year before I turned 21.

My nephew did not get accepted to U of I for accounting, so he decided on either ISU or NIU, he had been to ISU a few times and knew that vibe, they went to visit NIU and they didn't even get out of the car. They pulled into Dekalb and drove onto the campus and he said no chance he wanted to go there because it was such a dumpy area.
 

NashvilleBirdFan

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This was from the DeKalb news paper in February of 2020.

And now its 15649, which includes a lot of grad students that attend classes as their remote campuses so never step foot in Dekalb..

WIU is trying to follow that path as they now have a campus in the Quad cities as they attempt to build enrollment up..
 

dpdoughbird06

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And now its 15649, which includes a lot of grad students that attend classes as their remote campuses so never step foot in Dekalb..

WIU is trying to follow that path as they now have a campus in the Quad cities as they attempt to build enrollment up..
WIU is actively shuttering/mothballing buildings left and right - including entire dorms - in order to afford repairs to others. Not sure how you recover from where they’re at.
 

Birgs

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The AD takes his marching orders from the University. If the school is okay with a better than .500 football program and making the playoffs on a somewhat regular basis then that is the AD's mark to hit. I think ISU is just fine with Coach Spack as Head Football Coach (I am as well but I play Devil's Advocate at times). I don't think Coach Spack is on any notice with the new AD in any manner at all. Brock would have to have several bad seasons to be under that type of scrutiny. Just my opinion but I don't think that ISU or the Athletic Department have football championships as the goal. That would be nice and they would certainly take them but they are not really interested in the investment it would take to reach that level. They are not all in on football, not even close to all in. Again, I am not saying going all in is the best way to go financially but I see it that consistent winning seasons and some playoff games and a slightly above middle-of-the-pack position in the MVFC are satisfaction enough for the school and athletic department. If Hancock was being filled on a regular basis and the fan base as a whole was as vocal as some of us on this board it would probably be different.
Spack is also 60-years-old. I mean, I think the guy has earned the right to go out on his own terms, which are likely only a few years away anyways. While he's a "tough guy" he also comes off as realistic and not the type to selfishly "wear out his welcome" for his own ego.
 

Humdinger

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Spack is also 60-years-old. I mean, I think the guy has earned the right to go out on his own terms, which are likely only a few years away anyways. While he's a "tough guy" he also comes off as realistic and not the type to selfishly "wear out his welcome" for his own ego.
I'll reiterate again. I like Brock. I liked Dan and still do. Still some Donewald people on this forum. But this is kind of surprising to read this from you.

Programs do NOT serve the coaches. Coaches are there to serve the program. When that gets mixed up you have major problems.

Perhaps things are a wee bit different in the big time, like Coach K. But not at dear old ISU.
 
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