Senate rejects Quinn’s trustee appointments

By Laura Wood

The Illinois Senate unanimously rejected Gov. Pat Quinn’s three appointments to the SIU Board of Trustees Wednesday.

SIU’s Board of Trustees Chair Pro Tempore Roger Herrin interrupted the debate about graduate fee waivers during Wednesday’s executive session to announce the senate rejected the appointment of Lee Milner, of Springfield, Melvin Terrell, of Chicago, and Sandra Cook, of Collinsville.

The Senate voted 0-23 against the governor’s request, according to an Associated Press article.


Herrin said because the board was about to enter closed session, Milner and Terrell, who were brought in last minute, had to leave. Although he did not go into details, there was much discussion on the Senate floor about the appointments, he said.

“I’ve been aware, a little earlier in the day, that they talked about me on the senate floor way the hell more than they talked about (Milner and Terrell), okay,” he said. “I got ripped up pretty good myself. I don’t know why , but I believe in karma, and having said that, I regret it.”

Quinn appointed them as replacements to three members — Chairman John Simmons, Secretary Mark Hinrichs and Vice Chairman Ed Hightower — whose terms were up last month.

To replace Simmons as chair, Trustee Don Lowery nominated Herrin to fill the spot until Thursday’s election, and Trustee Donna Mannering seconded the motion. The appointment was unanimous, but trustees at the meeting did not say whether or not the election was invalid because of Milner’s and Terrell’s vote. Cook was not present.

Sen. William Haine, D-Alton, told the Associated Press he did not know the nominees’ qualifications, and Quinn didn’t seek Senate advice on the appointees, which is a state constitution requirement.

Please see for updates on this story as more information becomes available.

Karsten Burgstahler can be reached at [email protected] or 536-3311 ext. 255