SIU trustees to meet on future of university’s president

June 6, 2018

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Southern Illinois University’s board of trustees announced Wednesday a meeting will be held later this week to discuss the future of the school’s president.

Two members of the board’s executive committee called Friday’s special meeting to consider placing university president Randy Dunn on administrative leave and the appointment of an acting president.

Dunn in 2014 became president of the university, which has campuses in Carbondale and Edwardsville.

“At this point I don’t know any more information than you do,” Dunn told the Chicago Tribune. “I’ll be talking to my representation and seeing what I can find out beyond that. I’m trying to get some information myself on what’s planned with it.”

It was not immediately clear which two members of the board’s executive committee called for the meeting. Board Chairman Amy Sholar, Vice Chairman J. Phil Gilbert and Secretary Joel Sambursky make up the executive committee.

Dunn in recent weeks has been embroiled in a controversy over funding of SIU’s two campuses. He has expressed support for the equal division of funds because the campuses have equal numbers of students. Currently, about 64 percent of state funding goes to Carbondale and 36 percent to Edwardsville.

The issue broke into the open last month when a faculty member revealed Dunn tried to move more than $5 million in state appropriations from Carbondale to Edwardsville campuses.

Carbondale professor Kathleen Chwalisz said last month in a newspaper column that documents obtained through public records requests show Dunn hid the proposed transfer from Carbondale Chancellor Carlo Montemagno. Dunn used an expletive in an internal email last month that said he used certain funding distribution figures “simply to shut up” those against the reallocation.

A release of emails revealed he used crude language in dismissing the concerns of officials at the Carbondale campus. State Reps. Terri Bryant, R-Murphysboro, and Natalie Phelps Finnie, D-Elizabethtown, both called for Dunn’s resignation.

Legislation has been introduced to the General Assembly to separate SIU-Carbondale and SIU-Edwardsville. The legislation would establish new boards for each campus. The board of trustees last month passed a resolution opposing legislation. It also voted to oppose a bill introduced by Democratic Rep. Katie Stuart of Edwardsville that would mandate an equal allocation of state appropriations between the Carbondale and Edwardsville campuses.

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