The president of Southern Illinois University is defending more than $2 million spent on lobbyists in Springfield in the past dozen years.
President Glenn Poshard says lobbyists are necessary to keep track of the thousands of pieces of legislation that go before lawmakers in the Capitol each year.
SIU, with campuses in Carbondale and Edwardsville, and medical and dental schools, spent just under $2.2 million since 2000.
The former state senator and U.S. Congressman says the university has a $900 million-a-year budget and its staff often testifies on legislation in legislative committees.
He says lobbyists procured a million dollars in funding for cancer research and restored another million for corn-to-ethanol research at SIU Edwardsville.