Governor appoints Thomas, Portwood as trustees

By Karsten Burgstahler


Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn appointed two members to the university’s Board of Trustees on Friday.

Pending Senate approval, former Adjutant General Randal Thomas and former SIU-Edwardsville instructor Shirley Portwood will fill two of the board’s three vacant seats as soon as its Thursday meeting. The governor’s office has not disclosed when a third nomination will be filed.


University President Glenn Poshard said he is excited to begin work with the new trustees, and he is happy the governor finally came to an agreement with the Senate.

“I think this is very good for our university, and I thank the governor and I thank the senators for working on this and getting it worked out,” he said. “I just want to go forward now and get back to serving the needs of our students in the way we should.”

Portwood, of Godfrey, taught at the Edwardsville campus between 1980 and 2010. She has also been a member of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency Board of Trustees since March 2010.

Thomas, of Springfield, was Illinois’ 36th adjutant general. He attended SIUE and received a bachelor’s degree in English in 1973 and a master’s degree in education in 1980.

With the two’s ties to the Edwardsville campus, they will join David Hamilton, the only present Edwardsville trustee, as representatives. Edwardsville trustees Mark Hinrichs’, John Simmons’ and Ed Hightower’s, terms expire in February, and trustees Hamilton and Marquita Wiley walked out of the board’s April 3 meeting after a majority of trustees voted to elect a permanent chairman with what they considered inadequate Edwardsville representation.

Trustees are scheduled to vote on 2013-2014 school year tuition and fee increases, approve Pathways to Excellence, the school’s new strategic plan, and vote on updates to new student-housing projects during their Thursday meeting.

Because the board lacks a chairman, the trustees will elect either a permanent chair or chair pro tempore before adjourning to executive session Thursday morning. After the session, the board will proceed with the regularly scheduled meeting.