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.