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Governor promised “superstar” appointee a year ago, hasn’t delivered

Thursday, Jan 18, 2018

* One year ago today

Gov. Bruce Rauner says there is potential for “superstar” talent to join the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

The Republican governor is tasked with filling the seats for three trustee terms that expired this month. Rauner said he is interviewing a number of high-caliber candidates.

“If we could land one or two of the individuals we are talking with, it would be national or international headlines,” Rauner said while on a visit to Champaign’s Franklin Middle School on Wednesday. He indicated the candidates care about the UI and already have connections to the school.

* This week

As the board prepares to elect new officers Thursday in Chicago, Gov. Bruce Rauner has yet to choose an appointee for the ninth statewide seat vacated last January.

“Our administration is still in the process of considering candidates for this vacancy,” Rauner spokeswoman Rachel Bold said Tuesday.

Last January, three members’ terms expired: Democrats Patricia Brown-Holmes and Ricardo Estrada and Republican Karen Hasara. At the time, the governor said he hoped to fill those vacancies with “superstar” talent.

“If we could land one or two of the individuals we are talking with,” he said 11 months ago, “it would be national or international headlines.”

Bold did not respond to questions about whether those individuals were still in the mix.

* Today’s News-Gazette editorial

It’s hard to dismiss the suspicion that Gov. Bruce Rauner has forgotten that he needs to make one more appointment to the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

Rauner, obviously, has a lot on his mind these days.

His office is preparing a budget for the new fiscal year that begins July 1. He’s preparing for legislators to return to Springfield while running for re-election. So he’s clearly busy.

Nonetheless, it’s past time for him to fill the only vacancy on the nine-member University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

12 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jan 18, 18 @ 9:52 am:

    Just do your job. This ain’t a heavy lift. You’re in charge on this one. BTIA(TM) should have told you. Or somebody should have told them.


  2. - Don Gerard - Thursday, Jan 18, 18 @ 9:55 am:

    One would think when Rauner BOT appointee Stuart King is hosting a big-money GOP fundraiser at his house Rodney Davis would be all over the Governor about attending to the largest employer in his district…you would think, but you’d be wrong.


  3. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jan 18, 18 @ 10:00 am:

    Chris Kennedy will be available soon


  4. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 18, 18 @ 10:02 am:

    When your goal is starve the stable universities and close the “others”, this makes sense that Rauner doesn’t care a spot is open.

    Think on this… Carbondale, Edwardsville, Charleston, Macomb…


  5. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Jan 18, 18 @ 10:07 am:

    “Rauner, obviously, has a lot on his mind these days.”

    That’s basically been the problem from day 1. The guy has always had something on his mind other than the actual responsibilities of the job. Not everything is press conferences and TV announcements. There’s a lot of little stuff that’s supposed to get done and all indications are this guy and the rotating crews he surrounds himself with are increasingly unaware of that task let alone up to it.


  6. - JS Mill - Thursday, Jan 18, 18 @ 10:08 am:

    Maybe they didn’t teach him the meaning of the term “superstar” at Dartmouth.


  7. - Reality Check - Thursday, Jan 18, 18 @ 10:10 am:

    Rauner’s previous appointment to this board was his crony Don Edwards who worked under Rauner at GTCR, was one of the top donors to Rauner’s campaign and served on the board of a GTCR-owned company that profited from group homes where disabled people were neglected and died. Rauner is also a partner in private equity investment funds of Flexpoint Ford where Edwards is CEO. But, you know, superstars.


  8. - Flynn's Mom - Thursday, Jan 18, 18 @ 10:13 am:

    Trumpian again.


  9. - Jocko - Thursday, Jan 18, 18 @ 10:53 am:

    Rauner’s not taking a salary so, as the saying goes, “You get what you pay for.”

    I’m reminded of Mr. Leland having to let Kramer go in “The Bizarro Jerry” episode.


  10. - RNUG - Thursday, Jan 18, 18 @ 10:59 am:

    Rauner will wait until after the election … then appointment himself so he will still have a public position.


  11. - McLincoln - Thursday, Jan 18, 18 @ 6:09 pm:

    “You get what you pay for.”

    - Somehow, I feel like we’ve still been ripped off.


  12. - James Knell - Thursday, Jan 18, 18 @ 7:40 pm:

    Somebody has too much money, and he is not one of the guys talking.


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