CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Southern Illinois University’s new Carbondale interim chancellor says improving student retention is top priority to address the school’s declining enrollment.

Interim chancellor John Dunn had his first public meeting with students and faculty Wednesday afternoon. He took the post about a month ago.

Dunn also said Wednesday that it’s important to hire new faculty and strengthen understaffed department. He says SIU has “big holes we need to fill.” The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports Dunn took questions for an hour on everything from diversity to grading policies. He often warned the crowd that money will be a challenge.

Dunn said he’s hopeful for more state support under new Gov. J.B. Pritzker. Dunn said he wants to increase fundraising efforts nationally, seeking donors and industry partners.