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*** UPDATED x3 *** Pritzker abruptly withdraws appointments of two WIU trustees

Thursday, Jul 11, 2019

* On the same morning as Western Illinois University’s scheduled board of trustees’ meeting today, Gov. Pritzker withdrew two of his recent appointments.

Nick Padgett, the managing director of Chicago’s Frontaura Capital, was seen as a potentially lucrative contact with high-dollar donors was appointed to WIU’s board in late March. So was Jackie Thompson, who started at Western working a clerical job and worked her way up to Vice President for Administrative Service before she retired in 2011. Neither had yet been confirmed by the Senate.

I’ve asked the governor’s office for an explanation, but haven’t yet heard back.

* It’s likely the withdrawals had something to do with this story from late May

Former Western Illinois University Trustee Lyneir Cole is accusing several of the newly-appointed board members of a “plot to fire” WIU President Jack Thomas.

Cole’s accusation is based on a series of email exchanges among trustees, retired faculty and others sent between April 25 and May 10, 2019.

The main series of emails took place primarily between Larry Balsamo and Jackie Thompson. Balsamo is a retired history professor and former department chair who is also listed as a member of the WIU Foundation Board on the WIU website, although his current status was not confirmed as of this writing. Thompson is one of the newly-appointed trustees and the former president of the WIU Foundation Board. She resigned from the foundation board when she became a trustee.

The content of the emails between Balsamo and Thompson revolves around discussions with other trustees and unnamed parties.

“Jackie, it was good to meet with you again, seemed like old times,” Balsamo wrote in an April 27 email. “I know that you are facing some really demanding challenges in your new position, but if things are going to get better here that will likely have to be instigated by you and your board colleagues. Two things, I will write to Eric this weekend to open a dialogue, and Jack just has to go.“

While not explicitly stated, “Eric” may refer to Erik Dolieslager, a trustee who was appointed to the WIU board in March this year. A later email by Balsamo to Thompson refers to a phone conversation Balsamo had with Trustee Nick Padgett in which Padgett told Balsamo that “Jack was really (dug) in as president…and some board members wanted to move on Jack, some did not really have a position and were on the fence, and some we need some work. He liked the idea of us approaching Aguilar.“

Also in the email between Balsamo and Thompson are comments referencing concerns about perceived racism. Balsamo wrote on May 7, “I am picking up some disturbing () about the Jack situation and so is at least one other member of the group. My fear is that the Jack predicament cannot easily be separated from race. (My) guess is that right three members of the board, the two African Americans and Aguilar will be at least skeptical about any immediate move on Jack and they may be supported by some in the governor’s office and certainly some in the legislature…. I know certainly that some of the opposition to Jack is racist, but even if he were purple he has been a near total failure here.“

He later wrote on May 9, “Race hangs over this whole situation, but I have the feeling that if Jack were white or even Asian he would have been gone some time ago.“

Cole made the accusation in a May 23, 2019 email which he sent to members of the current board of trustees and Thomas with the subject heading, “The plot of WIU board members.” Attached was a document with images of the emailed conversations and commentary by Cole. He forwarded the email later that day to Jesse Ruiz, Deputy Governor, and then again to media outlets shortly before 1 p.m. on May 26.

This administration micro-manages its appointees more than any I’ve ever seen.

*** UPDATE 1 *** Jordan Abudayyeh…

The administration determined it was in the best interest of the WIU community to go a different direction, and we wish both of them well. We expect to name additional appointees shortly.

*** UPDATE 2 *** I’m told by the governor’s office that both trustee appointees were likely not going to be confirmed by the Senate. They apparently didn’t handle the process well.

*** UPDATE 3 *** The board meeting was canceled

The turmoil at Western Illinois University continues.

On Wednesday night, two members of the university’s eight-person Board of Trustees were quietly removed.

Then, on Thursday morning, the board canceled two days of regularly scheduled meetings in Moline.

The reason was low attendance: only three members showed up, preventing a quorum from being met. The quorum for a board meeting is five. […]

Several Macomb faculty and residents had driven roughly 80 miles to attend the scheduled meeting, at the WIU-Quad Cities campus, only to learn of its cancellation. One WIU-Macomb staff member had heard that one trustee was said to be sick and another had a family emergency.

* Related…

* House Republicans troubled by Pritzker’s revocation of his own board appointments

- Posted by Rich Miller        

82 Comments »
  1. - Last Of The Moderates - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 10:30 am:

    Sad the Governor has to micro-manage his appointees. It undermines the spirit of the appointment and confirmation process—especially given the separate university boards were created in 1995 from a more centrally managed system. For someone that ran on being different, the Governor is proving he is anything but.

    And more to the story, the board meeting scheduled for today was abruptly cancelled when they failed to meet quorum. I’m sure the Governor was pulling more strings.

    Do better Governor!


  2. - Nonbeliever - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 10:30 am:

    What am I missing? Yes, we knew that Balsamo and Thompson contacted each other and expressed concerns about Thomas probably with the intent to have him fired.

    So what! Why is this illegal or even unethical? Should not various individuals be able to discuss such a move without it being a ‘plot’.

    Are faculty, alumni etc. not able to express their concerns to each other and to seek remedies that in their opinion best for the university?

    Again, what am I missing?


  3. - Macomb - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 10:31 am:

    Admin manages the Trustees very closely. I (a low level manager) have been told in meetings that I am not to contact or engage the Trustees without Administration’s prior approval.


  4. - JS Mill - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 10:39 am:

    Is the desire to make a change actually a plot? It seems that somebody on one end or another of some type of action always wants to portray it with the negative connotations of a plot or a conspiracy.

    If they thought he wasn’t any good then they should have wanted to make a change.

    The emails related to race are sketchy. If he was bad make the case on its merits based on his performance, leave the race aspect alone.


  5. - Samuel Culper - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 10:46 am:

    Don’t email about anything remotely controversial.


  6. - downstateR - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 10:48 am:

    I’ve never heard how Mr. Cole received copies of the emails he cites. Does anyone know?


  7. - JT - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 10:54 am:

    I wondered if he would pull some of his new appointments due to the lucrative exit package Thomas got but that doesn’t seem to be the issue here. I suppose one could argue that these board members discussions being publicly aired was a factor in the generous nature of his exit package so in that sense maybe it is related.


  8. - Last Of The Moderates - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 10:55 am:

    -I’ve never heard how Mr. Cole received copies of the emails he cites-

    First, the emails shared in the story never list any of Jackie Thompson’s responses. They are only emails sent to her. So for the most part, they are pretty irrelevant.

    Second, Cole seems very secretive about how he obtained them to begin with and my initial research shows other people asking the same question as you per the Voice FB page. And it doesn’t sound like he has any intention of giving a response.


  9. - Donnie Elgin - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 10:56 am:

    potential OMA violations here…”The PAC stated that
    whether email conversations are a meeting depends on the substance of the communications
    and whether the communications rise to the level of a deliberative discussion of business”


  10. - Nonbeliever - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 10:58 am:

    - Macomb - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 10:31 am:

    “Admin manages the Trustees very closely. I (a low level manager) have been told in meetings that I am not to contact or engage the Trustees without Administration’s prior approval.”

    This is my observation also and has been for a long time. And it applies not just to administrative employees.

    Faculty and the Union are basically told to clear everything with the administration before contacting the BOT. And surprising that has been done. I understand why the administraive employees have toed the line on this matter but why faculty and the Union (AFT) have ‘cooperated’ in this, I do not know.


  11. - A guy - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 11:00 am:

    As ole Hawk would say:

    “They gone”


  12. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 11:00 am:

    Dear Ms. Hammond, Mr. Demmer,

    Your phony concern for WIU flies in the face of the votes taken in the 99th GA.

    If you had your way, with the former governor, WIU would be closed today. Your votes speak to how you actually feel.

    The phony Raunerite way is this idea… people will forget.

    How can you continually have voted to starve higher education then wring your hands with concern now?


  13. - Anon - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 11:10 am:

    The rumor in Macomb this morning is that the 11-12 July BOT meeting has been cancelled owing to the fact that two additional members of the WIU BOT have resigned, thus depriving the Board of a quorum. Initial reaction to the removal of Padgett and Thompson is one of disappointment, since they were considered to be well qualified and deserving of Senate confirmation.


  14. - Last Of The Moderates - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 11:13 am:

    -Dear Ms. Hammond, Mr. Demmer-

    Is there a single Republican you do like? Your constant bashing seems so counterproductive to your objective of strong higher ed. Rep Hammond voted to override the Rauner veto on the budget and passed the income tax. She faced a 500k primary against her as a result. Yet, you call her a Raunerite? Can you name a Republican that isn’t?

    When you continue to put down people that stand up and do what is right even when it’s difficult, we get more divisiveness and polarization than we have now.


  15. - Scamp640 - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 11:22 am:

    @ Last of the moderates: You might not remember this, but before Norine voted to override the Rauner veto, she sided with him for more than a year as WIU twisted in the wind. In addition, it was the local Republican party that engineered the “Fire Jack” initiative. Norine only cares about Norine. She was willing to sell out WIU to maintain support from Rauner.


  16. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 11:23 am:

    ===Is there a single Republican you do like? Your constant bashing seems so counterproductive to your objective of strong higher ed. Rep Hammond voted to override the Rauner veto on the budget and passed the income tax.===

    … and yet you gloss over… the 99th GA. A whole GA… and while the former governor refused to fully fund higher education, Ms. Hammond was wholly complicit.

    I’m suppose to thank the arsonist for bringing a hide later?

    I did, ironically, thank the “Perfect 10” and the “Brave 15”. After a whole GA, it was them who made a difference.

    But, to then gloss over *why* they had to do that after the 99th GA, and the abrupt turning on Rep. Andersson… nah, I’m fine, thanks.

    Raunerism and being a Republican are two different things.

    If Ms. Hammond would like to renounce her destructive votes of the 99th GA, I’m quite sure I’d feel very different.

    ===When you continue to put down people that stand up and do what is right even when it’s difficult===

    Narrator: A whole GA they did what was asked, not what was best for their districts.

    ===we get more divisiveness and polarization than we have now.===

    So we forget how folks voted against their districts, in this case to passively close universities like WIU? Nope.

    Hold accountable how we got places.

    ===She faced a 500k primary against her as a result. Yet, you call her a Raunerite?===

    So she voted to hurt WIU… to be safe from the voters… and when she decided to do what was right and reverse her own damage, it really became a question… about… money… against her?

    That’s a profile in courage?

    I thanked her for her votes, but… in the end… her concern in the 99th… was to help close WIU.


  17. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 11:29 am:

    “people that stand up and do what is right even when it’s difficult”

    Lol, who would that be? Hammond did what was right only after it became clear that Bruce’s financial support was going to be outweighed by his unpopularity


  18. - Pick a Name - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 11:34 am:

    Several universities have been completely mismanaged and are way, way top heavy with administrators.

    Somehow, it is Rauner’s fault. Sigh


  19. - Louis G. Atsaves - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 11:34 am:

    ===I’m told by the governor’s office that both trustee appointees were likely not going to be confirmed by the Senate. They apparently didn’t handle the process well.===

    “They” meaning the Governor’s office?


  20. - also macomb - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 11:37 am:

    ==In addition, it was the local Republican party that engineered the “Fire Jack” initiative==

    I would implore you to not blame the actions of TWO people on the entire local Republican Party….


  21. - Blue Dog Dem - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 11:37 am:

    Westerns’ enrollment has dropped nearly 5000 in the last decade. SIUC more than that. Maybe. Just maybe we should quit talking about race and think about consolidation.


  22. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 11:38 am:

    ===Somehow, it is Rauner’s fault===

    Rauner exacerbated the troubles of the universities by purposely not fully funding them, in hopes of their closure.

    Look at Alaska, today actually, and see what that Raunerite plan could’ve meant for our universities.

    Keep up.


  23. - Samuel Culper - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 11:44 am:

    It should come as no surprise that the Governor is erring on the side of caution when a controversial topic is raised that can needlessly distract him from governing the State and, at the same time, impact him with his liberal base of voters.


  24. - Fav human - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 11:44 am:

    >>Voted for a year…

    So did S. Andressen and yet you seem ok with him.


  25. - Fav human - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 11:46 am:

    > micromanaging

    Not really. If he tried to dictate to them after their appointment it would be. but making sure he really has the right people in the right spots seems like one of the important aspects of his job.


  26. - Last Of The Moderates - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 11:46 am:

    -Raunerism and being a Republican are two different things-

    I agree but I don’t think you really believe it. To my unanswered question, is there single Republican you do like? It doesn’t sound like it because you make all Republicans into Raunerites. If overriding your own Governors veto and voting for a tax increase to save social services and higher ed, isn’t good enough for you, then nothing will be. So quit attacking “Raunerites” and just attack Republicans because that seems like what you are really after.

    And you are entirely entitled to that opinion, just be honest about it. In other words, own it.

    To my last point, when we attack moderates—for being moderate—we get fewer of them. Again, you can do this if you want. But if you want to help higher ed, maybe we shouldn’t beat up one of the few Republicans who actually stood up for it.


  27. - Scamp640 - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 11:53 am:

    @ Last of the Moderates. Norine Hammond voted at least four times against a budget that would have helped WIU. How is she not a Raunerite? Local state senator Jil Tracy never voted for a budget that would help WIU. How is she not a Raunerite? Let me ask you this question: What was the voting record of Dale Righter, Republican representing the district that is home to Eastern Illinois University? Was he a staunch advocate for EIU? Or did he also acquiesce to Rauner?


  28. - Dutch - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 11:54 am:

    I don’t know where Jackie Thompson actually stands on this issue, but having a “mustang” who worked her way up from a clerical position to a VP position would have seemed to me to have been an ideal choice for a BOT member. Somebody who actually understands how a university works as opposed to political appointees who haven’t set foot on a college campus since the day they graduated. Too bad she got caught up in whatever sort of infighting is going on at WIU.


  29. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 11:57 am:

    ===I agree but… ===

    Not a great start.

    ===is there single Republican you do like?===

    Yes.

    ===It doesn’t sound like it because you make all Republicans into Raunerites. ===

    You vote your switch like a Raunerite, then *think* “they’ll forget, I’ll just say a bunch of stuff I knew was right before, but…”

    You confuse accountability to likability.

    This isn’t grade school. “I like them so they get a pass”

    Nope.

    Real people got laid off because of Ms. Hammond. Funding was withheld, because of Ms. Hammond, and when Ms. Hammond did right… there was no… “I was wrong, my vote reflects how wrong I was.”

    ===And you are entirely entitled to that opinion===

    Well, i appreciate your allowing me that, lol

    ===f overriding your own Governors veto and voting for a tax increase to save social services and higher ed, isn’t good enough for you, then nothing will be.===

    Narrator: a whole General Assembly existed with Ms. Hammond helping the purposeful destruction, including higher education.

    Until Raunerites “own” their destruction, they ain’t no Republican.

    Rauner bought the brand, funded it, Diana Rauner tried to brand it. If you ignore that, and those who “got in line” for the Rauner money, that’s on you, because the folks who did, voted a whole GA against the state, their districts, constituents… for reforms, nothing more.

    ===when we attack moderates—for being moderate—we get fewer of them.===

    Voting not to fully fund higher education in her own district is a “moderate” position?

    That’s fun.

    ===… maybe we shouldn’t beat up one of the few Republicans who actually stood up for it.===

    … except when she didn’t. For a whole sitting of a general assembly.


  30. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 11:59 am:

    ===So did S. Andressen and yet you seem ok with him.===

    Whipping votes, not just deciding to be “Green”.., and it cost him by being singled out…

    Yeah, I’m good with him.


  31. - W E Robinson - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 12:03 pm:

    @also macomb-

    If you truly believe it was only “TWO” people, there’s a bridge I’d like to sell you.


  32. - Last Of The Moderates - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 12:14 pm:

    -And it cost him by being singled out-

    Did you forget the 500k primary to Hammond? That wasn’t at all singling her out?

    -Whipping votes, not just deciding to be green-

    Your line in the sand is pretty crooked . You are ok with S. Anderson even though he and Hammond voted the same way the entire GA. The difference being that he was whipping votes and she “just decided to be Green”.


  33. - Not a Billionaire - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 12:14 pm:

    I was always afraid they looked under the hood. If you were on campus this spring there is no way enrollment numbers were not padded.


  34. - H-W - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 12:16 pm:

    A couple thoughts.

    First, it does not matter how Cole got the emails. Anyone can FOIA emails between state employees. I am surprised people have not done so to see what is in the emails.

    Second, racism. Racism is implicated whenever one says, ‘we cannot ignore the fact that we are aligning ourselves with the racists.’ One cannot deny racism is involved when a couple of the secondary players have publicly stated WIU (in their opinion) has recruited too many minority students. One cannot deny racism is a party to the actions at WIU when the community is practicing colorblind racism to deflect from racism.

    Third. I am a professor. Everyone knows me. I have never once had any problem whatsoever taking my thoughts directly to administrators, BOT members, presidents and vp’s, etc. I have always done so. I also speak freely in the press. In that context, the people above who suggest that they have been denied the ability to contact the BOT with ideas because their immediate supervisors do not allow them to do so should be more concerned with the supervisors, and not suggest some sort of conspiracy theory about micro-management.

    Fourth, if two members of the BOT were asked to step down by the Governor’s Office, that is the prerogative of the Governor’s Office. It would stand to reason the Governor’s Office did so because they were uncomfortable with the appearances of a BOT acknowledging racism is exists without openly and directly confronting that racism in our midst. Perhaps the governor was frustrated that after being told explicitly to work with the administration, some of the BOT worked explicitly to remove the administration.

    PS - Oswego is spot on regarding the role of the local republican party spearheading the “Fire Jack” movement. I may be wrong, but I am of the belief that Rep. Hammond’s campaign manager, the owner of Farm King, was a key player in the signage campaign. I know he was among the very first to do so.


  35. - Not a Billionaire - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 12:17 pm:

    I missed 2 of the 6 required student orientations but the other 4 had less than 150 cars combined. A few came by train but those numbers are very low.


  36. - Lyneir cole - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 12:20 pm:

    The reason it’s a problem is because I actually have emails from February 2019 long before nick and Jackie were appointed. Then discussing their plan prior to appointment is the plot. Everyone that wants to know how I received the emails should talk to the individuals involved. They can answer how they were messy with their ideals.


  37. - also macomb - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 12:27 pm:

    @W E Robinson I know for a fact that two people spearheaded a campaign that in no way reflected the overall views of the local party.


  38. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 12:32 pm:

    To the now withdrawn,

    One of the major problems, not only at WIU, but the SUI system as well, is the idea that politics and the monies with the university(ies) are being put, and at times rightly, in a bright light which causes real questions of leadership, then they appear to head towards “parachutes”, some golden, exacerbating the existing “difficulties”

    You control what you *can* control. Being hyper-involved, like no other seen by someone like Rich, not only do governors always own, the micromanaging becomes something, scrutiny, you can’t control.

    There needs to be a revamping of higher education in Illinois.

    I’ve made my own case for it.

    It’s these type of micromanaging damage, some not directly done by the administration, but makes every move after a heightened mistake or a highlighted hiccup.

    There needs to be a bigger picture type of game plan of reform to help offset the micromanaging that isn’t helping anyone, or anything, including in this case WIU


  39. - DrT - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 12:32 pm:

    Look, Lyneir. OK, you’re not happy you weren’t reappointed to the Board. Get over it. Let Western focus on moving forward instead of trying to ensure we sink the ship. Thomas and his leadership were simply a failure at righting the ship because they ignored, made excuses, and blamed others. You, sir, are part of the problem, and clearly with to continue to be so.


  40. - also macomb - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 12:33 pm:

    Over generalizations are my specialty. I know for a fact 2….I should have said I know for a fact that “a few”. Please forgive my generalization. What I’m trying, and clearly failing, to say is that I know a lot of people who disagreed with that movement.


  41. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 12:36 pm:

    ===Did you forget the 500k primary to Hammond? That wasn’t at all singling her out?===

    Who primaried her? No, who supported her primary opponent?

    Who backed her?

    Is this what you’re going with, LOL

    ===Your line in the sand is pretty crooked . You are ok with S. Anderson even though he and Hammond voted the same way the entire GA.===

    Leaders emerged. It was noted it was Rep. Andersson’s whipping of the votes that mattered… according to Leader Durkin and the Governor.

    That’s a pretty straight line.

    ===The difference being that he was whipping votes and she “just decided to be Green”===

    Who backed and helped Ms. Hammond in the primary?

    Would Rep. Andersson had that same help?


  42. - W E Robinson - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 12:38 pm:

    @also macomb

    Two people can spearhead anything but without supporters, there is no “campaign”. They didn’t own all of the businesses involved. However, all businesses, participating or not, are now paying for a stupid stunt.


  43. - Scamp640 - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 12:40 pm:

    @ Also Macomb. If there were only two people involved, why was a Norine Hammond staffer involved in the “Fire Jack” initiative? Why were there many more than two “Fire Jack” signs distributed in front of businesses and private residences in Macomb? Are you saying only two people did all of that? Are you saying that these signs were displayed without property owners’ permission?

    The local Republican Party was completely quiet while Norine voted against budgets that would have helped WIU. Jil Tracy never voted for a budget to help WIU.

    The local Republican Party is complicit in all of this. Local Republicans need to accept the blame that their blind support of Norine and Rauner ultimately caused the current problems at WIU and in Macomb. Local mismanagement at WIU certainly made things worse. But Rauner, Norine, and Tracy, among other Republicans were the initial cause of the problems we currently face.


  44. - Not a Billionaire - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 12:51 pm:

    Lynier Cole had a state job and stayed on the BOT.


  45. - Last Of The Moderates - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 12:54 pm:

    -That’s a pretty straight line-

    Glad you clarified—one must whip votes, not just vote yes to be “forgiven”. Lol

    And I’ve yet to see where you have chastised the dems who didn’t vote to override. Like I said, you really just don’t like Republicans so just own it already.


  46. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 1:00 pm:

    ==Thomas and his leadership were simply a failure at righting the ship because they ignored, made excuses, and blamed others.==
    What attempts at righting the ship did Dr. Thomas do? How did it fail? Care to elaborate?


  47. - JS Mill - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 1:01 pm:

    =put down people that stand up and do what is right even when it’s difficult=

    What exactly were they standing up for? They were mad that the governor rescinded the nominations of two people they didn’t like. I guess they felt deprived of the opportunity to criticize them more? And calling this governor heavy handed etc. compared to their overlord for four years is an absolute joke.

    =So did S. Andressen and yet you seem ok with him.=

    What district does he currently represent? You want to talk about OW’s position on former president Hoover as well? It is equally as relevant.

    These two are current legislators jumping in to seem relevant. They are not.


  48. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 1:34 pm:

    ===What exactly were they standing up for? They were mad that the governor rescinded the nominations of two people they didn’t like. I guess they felt deprived of the opportunity to criticize them more? And calling this governor heavy handed etc. compared to their overlord for four years is an absolute joke.===

    This is the correct real-time criticism.

    While my nuanced criticism reaches to a big picture, - JS Mill - hits the actual phony and onion-like action being done.

    “Legislators Angry That They Can’t Be Angry Anymore”

    That whole part of this layered onion is part of the immediate farce.


  49. - JT - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 1:43 pm:

    Lyneir - care to address your involvement in these violations of the law? https://www.tspr.org/post/union-calls-criminal-investigation-wiu-leaders


  50. - Joe M - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 1:48 pm:

    The Governor should have replaced the entire new board for having given Jack Thomas the golden parachute that he received.


  51. - Scamp640 - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 1:54 pm:

    @ Joe M: Sure, express anger at the golden parachute. However, where is your anger at Norine and the Republican party for taking at least $36,000,000 away from the WIU operating budget in 2016?


  52. - JS Mill - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 1:57 pm:

    =@ Joe M: Sure, express anger at the golden parachute. However, where is your anger at Norine and the Republican party for taking at least $36,000,000 away from the WIU operating budget in 2016?=

    Or the nearly $1 billion (annually) in wasted funding to cover penalties for the additional backlog of bills during the Rauner years? What would that money have done for our state?


  53. - DrT - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 2:08 pm:

    Well, Da Big Bad Wolf, that is exactly the point. Dr Thomas and his leadership team did nothing to right the ship. All they did was ignore the developing problem, make excuses for why there was a problem, and then blame others of the existance of the problem. The entire upper admin under Thomas NEEDS TO GO. Yet, Senior VP Rives, the one in charge of all the “strategic planning” and who was Thomas’ right-hand-man, is trying ever trick in the book to get appointed the new President. NO, NO, NO. Western needs fresh ideas. Let’s see what Abraham, though hired as our new Provost, can do as Acting President.


  54. - Nonbeliever - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 2:18 pm:

    Waiting for am honest explanation as to why these two people had their nomination withdrawn.

    Of course, I might wait for a very long time.


  55. - Scamp640 - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 2:32 pm:

    @ DrT. Compared to a year ago, there has been almost complete turnover in upper administration. Your wish has been granted. In fact, Senior VP Rives is the only remaining upper-level administrator. There is even a new admissions director.

    I take your point that new ideas are needed. But I must respectfully disagree with your point that WIU has not been doing anything. Please keep in mind that WIU was preoccupied with simply making payroll. WIU’s reliance on foreign students has been stymied by federal immigration policies put in place by Trump. WIU is in a region with declining demographics.

    Despite these obstacles, WIU has tried to expand dual enrollment programs with high schools, WIU embarked on community outreach initiatives, and it created new online and hybrid degree programs. WIU has done this even as it has lost hundreds of employees. So, it is completely incorrect to say WIU did nothing. What you are witnessing here is the ongoing concatenation of Rauner and Norine starving WIU of about 50% of its operating money for almost two years.

    Show me a business that could survive with half of its revenues cut without notice. It is safe to say that any business having to confront that reality would struggle, regardless of who is in charge.


  56. - JS Mill - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 2:49 pm:

    =Despite these obstacles, WIU has tried to expand dual enrollment programs with high schools, WIU embarked on community outreach initiatives, and it created new online and hybrid degree programs. WIU has done this even as it has lost hundreds of employees. So, it is completely incorrect to say WIU did nothing.=

    Absolutely spot on.


  57. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 3:08 pm:

    ===And I’ve yet to see where you have chastised the dems who didn’t vote to override.===

    Narrator: Franks, Drury, and Dunkin are no longer in the General Assembly.

    Also, you must not have been around during all these votes.

    You think I gave Franks, Drury and/or Dunkin a pass?

    Yikes, LOL


  58. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 3:10 pm:

    ===Despite these obstacles, WIU has tried to expand dual enrollment programs with high schools, WIU embarked on community outreach initiatives, and it created new online and hybrid degree programs. WIU has done this even as it has lost hundreds of employees. So, it is completely incorrect to say WIU did nothing. What you are witnessing here is the ongoing concatenation of Rauner and Norine starving WIU of about 50% of its operating money for almost two years.===

    Restaurant Quality.

    Whew.


  59. - M L - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 3:23 pm:

    Lyneir Cole,
    If you are so concerned about racism at WIU, why did you vote to eliminate the African American Studies major here?


  60. - Last Of The Moderates - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 3:25 pm:

    -You think I gave Franks, Drury and/or Dubkin a pass-

    You have almost entirely focused your criticism at the Republicans. I’m asking you to own that—that’s all and it’s not much. If you can give evidence of a constant and repetitive criticism of Connor, Costello, Moylan, Mussman, Stuart, Yingling—than I’ll stop now. Otherwise, you target Republicans—which is fine—just don’t pretend that you don’t.

    Again, I’m moderate and call it like I see it.


  61. - Scamp640 - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 3:32 pm:

    @ M L: The African American Studies program had low numbers. If WIU had kept it, while cutting other programs with higher enrollment, you would have likely screamed “reverse racism” or “affirmative action” is at work again. Stop blaming the victim. WIU has certainly made some bad decisions. I totally agree.

    However, none of these bad decisions comes close to having the negative impact on WIU as the impact of Rauner and Norine withholding millions of dollars. If you care about WIU, you should work to make sure that people get elected who care about public higher education. Focus your opprobrium on the most influential and meaningful targets.


  62. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 3:33 pm:

    ===You have almost entirely focused your criticism at the Republicans===

    Franks, Drury, and Dunkin aren’t IN the General Assembly.

    === I’m asking you to own that—that’s all and it’s not much. If you can give evidence of a constant and repetitive criticism of Connor, Costello, Moylan, Mussman, Stuart, Yingling—than I’ll stop now===

    So now I’m *NOT* entitled to my own opinion. You are now dictating what is going to be acceptable… according to you? LOL

    Friend, I’m very comfortable with my positions, who I will criticize, who I won’t… and especially why, given this Post… is focused on Ms. Hammond and Mr. Demmer in a column Rich cited.

    ===Otherwise, you target Republicans—which is fine—just don’t pretend that you don’t.===

    This ain’t Facebook. The column grabbed by Rich had Ms. Hammond and Mr. Demmer.

    You questioning my methods takes nothing away from my points you can’t refute.

    ===Again, I’m moderate and call it like I see it.===

    LOL, actually your an apologist for Ms. Hammond that allowed her to get “hammered and shook” because you ridiculously think you have my number.

    Ok. Go with that.


  63. - Anonanonsir - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 3:38 pm:

    ==micromanages==

    Appointees in Illinois usually get paid very handsomely for the hours they put in. If micromanagement means that the administration is choosing someone who is capable, diligent, and respectful of the public purse, then please micromanage.


  64. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 3:40 pm:

    ===get paid very handsomely===

    Um, no.


  65. - Anonanonsir - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 3:56 pm:

    ==Um, no.==

    Depends on whether you factor in the Illinois “adjustment” I suppose.
    Regardless of the specifics in this case, then I guess those six-figure appointees to various boards, etc., work 50-hour weeks year-round to justify their pay.


  66. - Last Of The Moderates - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 4:03 pm:

    -Oswego-

    I love reading your comments and have for nearly a decade. To the contrary, I’m glad you have your own opinions otherwise I wouldn’t be able to read them.

    All I did was point out your criticism nearly always targets Republicans. This is almost always done under the guise that they are Raunerites. Yet, by your logic every Republican would qualify for (except for maybe a loophole for Anderson because he whipped votes, minimal snark intended). I think you would agree is an opinion I’m equally entitled to hold.

    Seriously though, I have and will continue to enjoy reading your comments.


  67. - JT - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 4:06 pm:

    Um, Anonanonsir, Trustees receive the tidy sum of exactly $0, plus travel expenses to the meetings.


  68. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 4:17 pm:

    ===This is almost always done under the guise that they are Raunerites. Yet, by your logic every Republican would qualify for (except for maybe a loophole for Anderson because he whipped votes, minimal snark intended). I think you would agree is an opinion I’m equally entitled to hold.===

    Exhibit A:

    The voting records of the formerly known GOP Caucuses of the 99th GA.

    You vote like a conservative, odds are, you’re gonna be called “conservative”

    You vote like a liberal, odds are, you’re gonna be called a “liberal”.

    You vote for Raunerism ideals, let alone hold a whole state hostage for a whole General Assembly, odds are, you’re gonna be called a Raunerite.

    The lone… the only… the one GA member that called this out *and* said they did wrong? Rep. Breen.

    Note: Ms. Ives is also an acceptable answer, but if you’d like that to be the standard after, then that’s your decision.

    The party has a real choice.

    They can realize the 39% Rauner got, the 44 seats that are not Democrats in the House, and the 19 Senate seats that are not held by Dems is a reflection on Raunerism, Trump, monolithic ideas and beliefs, and try to move being what Republicans were by telling voters “We were wrong, we heard you, we need to be better and more inclusive to ideas and beliefs, and accept that 80% agreement”…

    … or they all stay Raunerites hoping no one notices, while becoming more of a regional, angry, white, rural coffee clutch looking to get below 15 in the Senate, below 40 in the House, and end all thoughts of winning a statewide race.

    If you’ve been “reading” me for a decade, you’d know this and probably complain I type it too much, so while I appreciate the *thought*, lol

    ===Seriously though, I have and will continue to enjoy reading your comments.===

    Be well.


  69. - Anonanonsir - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 4:24 pm:

    ==Trustees receive the tidy sum of exactly $0, plus travel expenses to the meetings==

    Thank you. Obviously a blanket comment about appointees was off base. But I still see a potential upside to micromanagement, if done for the right reasons.


  70. - Uncle Ernie - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 4:56 pm:

    Scamp is so right Norine voted against the well being of WIU right along with Raunerites, and it almost lost her job, It should have. There was a large contingent of local businesspeople and VIP’s that wanted Jack gone, they pushed until they got their way. The once good school is now half its former size and who knows if it will ever come back.


  71. - Nonbeliever - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 5:25 pm:

    And there was a large contingent of Faculty who wanted Thomas gone.


  72. - Scamp640 - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 5:37 pm:

    @ nonbeliever. I also know of WIU faculty and administers who voted for Rauner and Norine. Some of them are no longer here. Architects of their own demise.


  73. - Nonbeliever - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 5:40 pm:

    @Scamp640

    I am certain you do. And you can count on there were a relatively small percentage.

    And I KNOW of faculty who hate Rauner and still wanted Thomas to go.

    So wise up before making such an irrelevant comment.


  74. - Joe M - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 6:39 pm:

    == Scamp640 - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 1:54 pm:

    ==@ Joe M: Sure, express anger at the golden parachute. However, where is your anger at Norine and the Republican party for taking at least $36,000,000 away from the WIU operating budget in 2016?==

    Scamp640, What makes you think that I am not angered, even enraged at Norrine Hammond and the Republican party. You shouldn’t be accusing people that you don’t even know for things you have no idea about what their views are.


  75. - Scamp640 - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 7:08 pm:

    @ Nonbeliever. As an emeritus faculty member, I realize how much respect you deserve. So yes, I will wise up.

    The only thing worse or more arrogant than a senior faculty member (which I am), is an emeritus faculty member, who thinks their experience from a decade ago has relevance today.


  76. - Annon - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 7:16 pm:

    Lynier,

    =I actually have emails from February 2019 long before nick and Jackie were appointed.

    Nick didn’t have a WIU email account before he was appointed… how did you get these emails again?


  77. - Flqpdoodle - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 8:06 pm:

    =The only thing worse or more arrogant than a senior faculty member (which I am), is an emeritus faculty member, who thinks their experience from a decade ago has relevance today.=

    Truth


  78. - Not a Billionaire - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 8:19 pm:

    Welp OW with faculty and emeritus like these guys Rauner would have it easy as far as shutdown. All this nonsense is going to a annoy Priztger. Politically it only affects one one superminority member and I just think Tracy doesn’t care.


  79. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 8:30 pm:

    - Not a Billionaire -

    The folks willing to hurt their districts, luckily saving universities has become partisan, and the majority party is that saving party.


  80. - Not a Billionaire - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 8:41 pm:

    You are so right OW.


  81. - Not a Billionaire - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 8:42 pm:

    I think Word would have something witty to say. He could state facts in such a clever way compared to my boring manner.


  82. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 11, 19 @ 8:52 pm:

    - Not a Billionaire -

    Friend, I miss him too.


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