By Hannah Meisel
* Southern Illinois University’s board of trustees is having a special meeting here in Springfield today as tensions reach a fever pitch over a potential split between SIU’s Carbondale and Edwardsville campuses. Click here to watch the Daily Egyptian’s live video stream.
On Sunday, the Southern called for SIU system president Randy Dunn to resign because of his perceived nonchalance about a possible split, and oh yeah, the “b*tchers from Carbondale” comment still seems to be poisoning the conversation…
Randy Dunn can no longer effectively serve as president of the Southern Illinois University system.
According to documents obtained by SIU Carbondale faculty member Kathleen Chwalisz and others provided by Board of Trustees member Phil Gilbert, Dunn appears to have withheld information from SIUC Chancellor Carlo Montemagno regarding a proposed $5.1 million shift in funding from the Carbondale campus to SIU Edwardsville.
The funding shift was in reference to the 60-40 split in state monies Dunn insists has been a part of the SIU system’s budgeting process since 1979.
To compound matters even further, Dunn sent a damning email to SIU Edwardsville chancellor Randy Pembrook, SIUE Budget Director Bill Winter, and Vice President for Administrative Affairs Duane Stucky stating that a reference to the 60-40 split was “simply to shut up the bitchers from Carbondale who are saying loudly we shouldn’t even be doing the $5.125M at this time.”
* Other coverage from today includes this Tribune story…
Southern Illinois’ trustees have scheduled a special meeting on Wednesday to discuss several bills that could dramatically change how the university is run. The outcome could compel the board to depart from its publicly neutral stance.
At issue is how money is divided between the flagship campus in Carbondale and its sister school in Edwardsville, which receives less funding even though it has grown to nearly match Carbondale’s enrollment.
“It is difficult to wear two different hats,” Edwardsville Chancellor Randy Pembrook said. “On one hand, we’re talking about what is in the best interest of the system, but the trustees live in a certain area, and they’re human. They are part of a community and these universities are very important parts of their towns.”
* Local TV…
During the open portion there will be three resolutions on the table (HB 1292, 1293, 1294) in regards to the 50/50 Appropriations, SIU System Split, and the “Reconstitution” of the Board of Trustees.
The board will vote on the University’s position on this, whether in favor, against or if they will remain neutral.
Randy Dunn has already said he wouldn’t resign. We covered this last week, but Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Swansea) says publicly that he’s going to call his bill to split SIU if the resolution to study the issue doesn’t go through. We’ll see what happens today.
*** UPDATE *** The board of trustees rejected a resolution to split the system in two and passed a resolution to oppose splitting the system.