Restructuring is not a good idea

By Gus Bode

What was State Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Collinsville, thinking when he submitted an amended proposal calling for the Board of Trustees to restructure and require six members to be alumni of SIU – three from Edwardsville and three from Carbondale – or a resident in the immediate area?

Doing this would push four people out of their positions before their terms have officially expired. More importantly than that, however, is the ill effect the proposed restructuring would have on SIUC.

There have not been any major complaints of the BOT in its current structure, and requiring members to be alumni or residents of the immediate area does not necessarily mean the individuals chosen will have the universities’ best interests in mind.


It is better to have people who are not directly connected to the University because then they are not entering a position with a bias for a specific issue. But while it may not appear the BOT members not living in the area are not connected to the University, in essence, they are.

The BOT is supposed to represent a college’s student population, and with SIUC being a school that has students enrolled from all across the state, as well as across the country and internationally, having board members only from the immediate area is not representative of whom the University caters to.

The only positive aspect of the proposed bill is having both student representatives vote every year instead of alternating years.

We in no way believe SIUE should not have good representation on the board, but because SIUC is a larger campus, it should have a louder voice within the board than SIUE.

If the current BOT is effective and getting its job done effectively and in a timely manner, there is no reason Hoffman should be trying to restructure things. If there were internal problems and it became necessary to restructure the board, SIUC should have a higher number of members.

Why did Hoffman submit the proposal? When the first proposal was submitted, Hoffman was quoted as saying it was to help SIUE step from the shadows of SIUC. The amended proposal is to give SIUE an equal say in university business and not get the short end of the stick after SIUC has been given the attention of meeting concerns.

Any proposal dealing with the restructuring of the board should have been postponed, or at least proposed, to take affect when the current members’ terms expire.


It is a good thing the bill died in the Senate, and instead of resurrecting it in November when the General Assembly meets, it should be buried and laid to rest forever.

To Hoffman, and other officials, if it’s not broke, don’t try to fix it, because that is when problems begin to occur.