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Careful what you wish for

Friday, Jul 29, 2016

* News-Gazette

Faculty groups that oppose the appointment of a Champaign cybersecurity expert as the sole faculty member on the Illinois Board of Higher Education have suggested a compromise.

Let John Bambenek be one of the IBHE’s nine public members rather than the faculty representative.

The suggestion was raised last month at meetings among Bambenek, a University of Illinois lecturer, and faculty from the UI and the IBHE’s Faculty Advisory Council.

“I met with them and listened to their concerns and forwarded them to the governor,” Bambenek told The News-Gazette on Thursday. “At this point, no decision has been made.”

The IBHE has one vacancy for a public member, a term that would expire in January 2019, according to agency spokeswoman Candace Mueller.

DePaul University Professor Marie Donovan, who chairs the Faculty Advisory Council, said she heard Bambenek phone Rauner to relay the group’s recommendation after its meeting with him.

That arrangement assumes they’d be much happier with whomever Rauner chooses as the alternative faculty representative.

Somehow, I kinda doubt they’ll be overjoyed with the governor’s choice.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Federalist - Friday, Jul 29, 16 @ 11:24 am:

    Somehow, I kinda doubt they’ll be overjoyed with the governor’s choice.

    Ya think!

    But I do believe that this person should not be a faculty member appointment unless that person is fully tenured faculty member.

  2. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Jul 29, 16 @ 11:28 am:

    Seems like shuffling deck chairs with no real substantive impact, but if it settles the issue, fine. They can move on to complaining about the next faculty member pick for a different reason.

  3. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jul 29, 16 @ 11:30 am:

    I think the beef is that the Governor ignored their recommendation by appointing Bambenek. IIRC, the Faculty Advisory Council traditionally recommends the IBHE board slot designated as the faculty representative on the board. Seems appropriate, right?

    Except Rauner ignored them, which is his prerogative, and appointed what the full-time faculty believe to be an unqualified candidate.

    The compromise seems to be a way for everyone to win: Bambenek can still serve on the board, and the faculty can still have one of their vetted candidates serve too. It’s win win.

    This should be a good way out for everybody and would be except for the fact that the Governor’s team is so vindictive. You’re right Rich, Rauner is probably looking for a high school drop out to represent faculty on IBHE.

  4. - Ghost - Friday, Jul 29, 16 @ 11:31 am:

    i see their point. they want somone who has had fewer lawsuits thrown out for being baseless claims.

  5. - X-prof - Friday, Jul 29, 16 @ 11:42 am:


    If I were Rauner, I’d jump on the proposal. He can still appoint a tenured faculty member who won’t represent faculty interests and claim that he’s that reasonable guy in the room, willing to compromise.

  6. - Time for a FOIA - Friday, Jul 29, 16 @ 11:43 am:

    I think the objection may have something to do with the fact his salry doubled from the 2014-2015 to 2015-2016 school years as a way for Rauner to reward his friends. The fact he got a lecturer position without and advanced degree is suspect in and of itself.

  7. - so... - Friday, Jul 29, 16 @ 11:46 am:

    ==I think the objection may have something to do with the fact his salry doubled from the 2014-2015 to 2015-2016 school years as a way for Rauner to reward his friends. The fact he got a lecturer position without and advanced degree is suspect in and of itself.==

    Good lord.

    1) Bambenek started lecturing at U of I well before Rauner was elected
    2) The Governor has no control over U of I salaries

    I think your tinfoil hat is on a little too tight.

  8. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jul 29, 16 @ 11:47 am:

    ===I think your tinfoil hat is on a little too tight===

    True dat. And they wonder why he appointed Bambenek. lol

  9. - Anonymous - Friday, Jul 29, 16 @ 12:29 pm:

    U of I is still paying Michael Hogan 300K a year to teach one course at UIS. I’m sure he has free time to devote to such an important position.

  10. - G'Kar - Friday, Jul 29, 16 @ 12:29 pm:

    As I mention in an e-mail I sent Rich in April (that for some reason he did not receive until July), for many of us it was not necessarily his political positions (which most of us do disagree with), but the fact that he was an adjunct and not a full time tenured (or at least tenure-track) faculty.

  11. - Obamas Puppy - Friday, Jul 29, 16 @ 1:06 pm:

    Ya think? This GOvernor places such a priority on highere education why would he want to undermine it with some ideologue that wants to privatize the system in order to help others make money. Nah!

  12. - steve schnorf - Friday, Jul 29, 16 @ 2:14 pm:

    I don’t agree with Bambenek very often, but I believe he has integrity. He would bring a perspective to the Board that is frequently missing now. By the way, my disagreement with many of his education ideas is not that they would be a bad way to structure education if we were starting a new state, but that we simply can’t/won’t get there from here, and therefore spending time on them is wasting time that could be used to pursue helpful suggestions that we could do.

  13. - Just Chilling - Friday, Jul 29, 16 @ 2:30 pm:

    It’s so much fun to watch university faculty (and I are one) try to play politics. So now instead of one Rauner vote there will be two? This solves what problem, how?

  14. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jul 29, 16 @ 2:34 pm:

    ===(and I are one)===


  15. - Anonymous - Friday, Jul 29, 16 @ 2:38 pm:

    Well, Rauner was going to get to fill both spots anyway. The question is whether he chooses to be vindictive about the next pick now?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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