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Dunn’s fate now rests with Rauner

Wednesday, Jul 11, 2018

* Post-Dispatch

The Southern Illinois University Carbondale Faculty Senate cast a vote of no confidence in SIU President Randy Dunn on Tuesday and is urging the Board of Trustees to remove him as soon as possible.

The resolution, which claims that Dunn worked to undermine the SIU system, passed 25-1; two senators abstained from the vote.

The group’s action comes after an analysis of nearly 1,900 pages of internal documents revealed that Dunn worked closely with SIU Edwardsville to develop a $5.1 million reallocation proposal, while leaving SIU Carbondale officials in the dark. Dunn also appears to have helped develop and guide legislation to dissolve the system.

* From the resolution

WHEREAS President Dunn has also acted contrary to the Board of Trustees statement Mutual and Respective Roles of the Board, President, and Chancellors which requires the System President to serve “as a ‘shield’ against outside interference in University and campus matters”;

WHEREAS President Dunn worked with SIUE leadership and constituents, the press, lobbyists, and legislators to write, guide, and promote legislation to dissolve the SIU System;

WHEREAS President Dunn coordinated efforts to undermine the SIU Carbondale Campus;

WHEREAS President Dunn’s activities have served in a variety of ways to damage the reputation of the SIU System at a critical time for all SIU campuses. WHEREAS President Dunn has lost the trust of the Carbondale faculty.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the SIUC Faculty Senate provides a vote of NO CONFIDENCE regarding President Randy Dunn and his ability to lead the SIU System.

FURTHERMORE BE IT RESOLVED that the SIUC Faculty Senate urges the Board of Trustees to meet as soon as possible to remove Randy Dunn.

* I’m coming pretty late to these developments, but the latest blowup started with a fine piece of journalism by the Southern Illinoisan in an article entitled “SIU president said he was neutral on campus split. Documents appear to tell a different story”

Shortly after the Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees voted down a proposal to shift millions of dollars to the Edwardsville campus this past spring, the chancellor of SIU Edwardsville sent out a bombshell announcement: A state representative would soon introduce legislation to split up the system.

A little over an hour later, SIU President Randy Dunn forwarded the announcement to his wife with a short message. “It’s on now. Xoxo,” he wrote.

For Dunn, who represents both Edwardsville and its sister campus, Carbondale, the April 12 board vote and separation bill filing represented what appears to be the culmination of several months of planning and working closely with Edwardsville officials.

Based on analysis of nearly 1,900 pages of internal emails, correspondence and meeting notes released by the SIU FOIA office, it appears Dunn was aware of the separation legislation before trustees were informed. The documents also suggest that Dunn’s staff might have assisted in developing the bill — even though Dunn publicly claimed a neutral stance on it.

If you haven’t read it yet, click here.

* Resulting stories…

* President Dunn’s full response to The Southern’s analysis of released documents

* Voice of The Southern: What’s done is Dunn: Given the problems facing the system, SIU needs a president like Abraham Lincoln, who said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Instead, Dunn’s actions are more secessionist.

* Southern Illinois lawmakers call for Dunn’s removal

Dunn survived a trustee motion to oust him because of a 4-4 tie. Both campuses have student trustees, with the tradition that one of the campuses has actual student voting powers for a year, and then the other campus gets the vote the next year. Edwardsville’s student trustee was Dunn’s saving grace.

* Regardless of tradition, however, the governor has the statutory authority to decide which campus has an official student trustee vote. The Southern recently interviewed the incoming Carbondale student trustee, Brione Lockett

“It’s intimidating because of the situation we’re in, but it’s less intimidating because my vote isn’t just supposed to be my own biased vote. It’s supposed to be the vote of the students.” […]

Lockett said the voting trustee for the 2018-19 academic year hasn’t yet been appointed, although the student trustees’ one-year terms began July 1. [Emphasis added.]

In other words, the ball is now in Gov. Rauner’s court.

It’s probably time for a peace conference.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 1:44 pm:

    =In other words, the ball is now in Gov. Rauner’s court.=

    Get ready for one of his patented own goals.

  2. - BlueDogDem - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 2:09 pm:

    He will wait til the correct political time.

  3. - IllinoisCitizen - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 2:13 pm:

    Rauner already put his thumb on the scale once when he appointed Tom Britton to the BOT, giving Carbondale the majority of appointments in the BOT.

  4. - Perrid - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 2:21 pm:

    “The resolution, which claims that Dunn worked to undermine the SIU system…” so SIUC is the entire system now, huh? I get no one likes funding being taken away from them, and downsizing hurts, but this level of whining and complaining and spinning of facts is unreal. Dunn probably needs to go just because SIUC has done such an awesome job of spinning this into them somehow being the victim, instead of them keeping their foot on SIUE’s neck (overly dramatic I know but hey, if the Senate can overreach so can I). Seriously, the status quo is not equitable and so lobbying for it is the definition of selfish, so I find it hard to listen to anyone from SIUC’s whining.

  5. - Stones - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 2:23 pm:

    Randy Dunn shouldn’t have left Murray State.

  6. - Archpundit - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 2:29 pm:

    I don’t see how Dunn can effectively run a university after lying that badly over what he is trying to do. Who is going to trust him?

    Even if you wanted someone sneaky, he’s incompetent at that. Who doesn’t realize your e-mails working for a public university are public record?

  7. - Saluki - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 2:30 pm:

    Rauner should do whatever is needed to fire Dandy Dunn. However, it is my observation that Rauner has very little interest in the happenings at SIU Carbondale.

  8. - Archpundit - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 2:30 pm:

    ====Seriously, the status quo is not equitable and so lobbying for it is the definition of selfish, so I find it hard to listen to anyone from SIUC’s whining.

    You aren’t wrong about the nature of the resource split, but how is a guy who was clearly lying to those at SIUC ever going to be able to be trusted by anyone?

  9. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 2:30 pm:

    Maybe we’re all asking the wrong question?

    Who wants to close the Carbondale campus more… Rauner or Dunn?

    That’s not snark.

  10. - Ron Burgundy - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 2:47 pm:

    A sitdown is a good idea, but it seems the differences are becoming irreconcilable amongst the leadership of the two campuses. A split might not be the worst thing if they are not pulling in the same direction and are out to disadvantage the other.

  11. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 2:57 pm:

    - IllinoisCitizen - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 2:13 pm:
    You are correct and now the Governor is giving a vote to the Carbondale Student Trustee, which gives Carbondale a majority on the Board….
    This is definitely a slap in the face of the Edwardsville campus and the whole metro east area. Apparently the Governor doesn’t care that he just wrote off any support from the metro east.
    Hard to win an election with moves like this?

  12. - Saluki - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 2:57 pm:


    Honestly, most of us would be happy to let SIUE and the prodigal children on that campus go their own separate way at this point. Hoffman and his ilk have been filing legislation to split the two campuses since 2003 when SIUC had an enrollment over 20,000. The enrollment issue is a convenient lever now, but this has always been about power for the Metro East Democratic caucus and had little to do with equitable funding.

  13. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 3:03 pm:

    The President is the public face of a University. How can Dunn be effective in his role after spoiling so many relationships not just within the campus but also within the Legislature?

  14. - Leatherneck - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 3:10 pm:

    - Saluki - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 2:57 pm:


    Honestly, most of us would be happy to let SIUE and the prodigal children on that campus go their own separate way at this point. Hoffman and his ilk have been filing legislation to split the two campuses since 2003 when SIUC had an enrollment over 20,000. The enrollment issue is a convenient lever now, but this has always been about power for the Metro East Democratic caucus and had little to do with equitable funding.

    If that happens, who gets the School of Medicine in Springfield: SIUC or SIUE, or do they go separate too?

  15. - Chicken vegeta - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 3:30 pm:


  16. - Chicken vegeta - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 3:31 pm:

    Oops, posted that in the wrong thread

  17. - perspective - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 3:44 pm:

    Carbondale faculty seems to be in denial that the Edwardsville campus now has caught up with them with the same student population numbers……and thus has a good argument for about half the total SIU funding

  18. - Annonin' - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 3:46 pm:

    Guessin’ the Cdale brain trust forgets the Eville to Cdale $35 million loan when GovJunk offered zip. Never forget the real enemy

  19. - OverDunn/NeverDunn - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 3:51 pm:

    Google it. Dunn had to leave Murray State. His contract was not renewed. For guess what, for being a partisan hack that disrupted MSU’s progress. No one hired him. Northern Illinois, Tennessee and others. The one school he did get a job YSU-he left them hanging. Dude has a pattern of being a jerk.

  20. - Delyte Morris - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 4:17 pm:

    The President makes my soul hurt; the Board has become a circular firing squad doing everything it can to sink the institution.

  21. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 4:23 pm:

    The one question I have not heard people ask is how does Dunn benefit by splitting up the SIU system. I personally cannot figure it out. Right now he makes (I think) over 300k a year with a housing allowance, etc., as the president of the SIU system. So if Edwardsville and Carbondale split there is no longer an SIU system and no longer any need for a President Dunn and his 300k salary,where does he go? How does he benefit? That is the question I don’t see anyone asking.

  22. - Jen - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 4:39 pm:

    Wow, Dunn’s wiki entry is interesting reading! He appears to be a serial job hunter. Dude must talk a good game. The fact that someone without much success in higher ed keeps getting considered for top jobs should be concerning to everyone. It appears his tenure at Murray State was a flop, yet two other universities were considering him for the top job, and SIU actually stole him from Youngstown?

  23. - SIU Prof - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 4:51 pm:

    Anyone who believes that SIUE deserves half of state funding had been misled.

    SIU Carbondale carries Masters and Doctoral degrees which require significant more resources. It is the only other research institution in the state outside of UIUC. The applied sciences bring in millions of dollars of revenue each year from federal grants.

    The motivation behind Randy Dunn seems to be centered around the fact his handpicked interim chancellor, Brad Colwell, didn’t get the job. This was recently confirmed from a BOT quote in that Southern article.

    So much of the negative publicity that SIUC had received this past year seems to have been orchestrated by Randy Dunn. This must be the first time that a University presidents had actively attempted to sabotage his own institution. Unbelievable!

  24. - Mr. Smith - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 5:22 pm:

    SIU Prof, let’s get the facts straight. Both UIUC and UIC are R1 research institutions. And both SIUC and NIU are R2 (as of the 2016 Classifications). I grant you that the funding needs are different between SIUC and SIUE. But being an R2 isn’t stopping your campus from its enrollment decline, especially compared to SIUE. So the funding formula probably needs to be a more fluid thing than it appears to be now.

    That said…

    Dunn seems like a bit (or more) of a slimeball, and SIU would be well rid of him. It’s a wonder that folks like that kust seem to keep finding places to ignore their past and hire them only to see them rinse / lather / repeat.

  25. - Olmsted - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 6:52 pm:

    Glen Poshard would have done the same as Randy Dunn…Most of SIU-Carbondale and Edwardsville problems started under Poshard leadership. The School has become a home for 1960’s and 70’s liberal professors.

  26. - IllinoisCitizen - Wednesday, Jul 11, 18 @ 10:31 pm:

    In any other setting, we would agree that 14,000 is more than 13,000. And yet, apparently now we get invent southern Illinois math to cook the books. The $5 million did not even restore the historic 60/40 split, so anyone who argues against the 5 miliion is suggesting that a Carbondale student is WORTH MORE than an Edwardsville student. And if you can’t support programs, maybe you shoukd get rid of them. It was reported today that your athletics department is $4 million in the hole. Perhaps you could eliminate a football team that doesn’t generate revenue. It’s the challenge the Carbondale campus has needed to face but won’t. Namely, that significant changes need to happen but haven’t — and likely won’t.

    We should also point out how many times the Carbondale faculty have voted no confidence in someone. If you’re in a relationship with someone, and the relationship keeps ending in the same way, At some point you have to be willing to say that the only common factor is you. That perhaps you’re the problem. The Carbondale campus has been without a permanent leadership on and off for years and maybe that says something about the Carbondale campus.

  27. - Spaghetti - Friday, Jul 13, 18 @ 3:10 pm:

    #1 SIUC built and has supported SIUE from day one when they started out as nothing. SIUE could not have built all of their campus buildings without relying on SIUC for bonds/collateral. Now SIUE is turning their nose up and not interested at all in returning the favor by helping/supporting SIUC.

    #2 I think President Dunn has lost all trust as a leader of SIUC. He didn’t even attend SIUC’s May commencement ceremony (and with no good reason)and left the brand new Chancellor to handle it all on his own. Just no showing of support by President Dunn at all.

    #3 I think SIUC and SIUE would be better off without him. Right now, yes, SIUE likes him…but that will change when he decides to stab them in the back around the next corner that benefits him.
    I think he’s jockeying for the two campuses to be separated, then wants UofI to absorb/merge with SIUE, and then he’ll have a cush job with the all important flagship/land grant college of IL. And/Or he’s vying for a position in Pritzker’s leadership. No matter what, I believe he is only looking out for himself.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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