Officials respond to claims

By Lauren Duncan

Trustee alleged to have pressured JALC staff

 A few SIU officials said they did not know anything about accusations made against an SIU Board of Trustees member.

An article published in The Southern Illinoisan on Sunday stated former officials from John A. Logan College claim Trustee Don Lowery pressured the college’s staff to give his wife a job and pay raise. The article states both the former JALC Vice President for Administration Larry Peterson and former JALC Board Chairman Bill Kilquist claim Lowery pressured them.


SIU President Glenn Poshard said he didn’t know anything about the accusations.

“It happened a long time ago with another employer,” Poshard said. “I don’t know any more information than what was presented in the Southern Illinoisan.”

SIU Trustee Roger Herrin said all he heard about the accusations was what he read in the article.

“Why is that relevant to anything?” he said. “Whether it’s true, or not true, or partly true, what difference does it make? Judge Lowery was properly vetted, properly appointed, has done his job as trustee very well and some people don’t like that.”

According to the article, Lowery’s wife, Nita Lowery, was hired at JALC in 2001. Kilquist said Lowery told him his wife needed a raise. The article states JALC later hired a contractor to complete a study on the compensation of non-teaching professional staff in Feb. 2007, which found that Nita Lowery as well as other staff members were entitled to and received a $3,000 raise.

The article states Kilquist and Petersen said JALC then received several Freedom of Information Act requests from an attorney Nita Lowery was believed to be a client of.

The same law office later sent JALC a letter that called for $30,000 for her to continue in her position and “to relieve the college of any ‘past transgressions” as well as a promotion, the article states. Otherwise, she would resign and offer relief of any past transgression for $40,000, according to the article.


“In the settlement … JALC agreed to a one-time payment of $35,000 on the condition Nita Lowery resign forever from JALC, drop any claims or lawsuits against the college and current and former board members and employees, and waive any rights to any future employment at the college,” the article states.

The article did not state when the settlement was made.

Don Lowery did not return a phone call to the Daily Egyptian by press time Monday.