Rauner appoints two to SIU Board of Trustees, re-appoints Sambursky

By Luke Nozicka, @lukenozicka

Gov. Bruce Rauner appointed a U.S. district court judge and a lawyer to the SIU Board of Trustees on Friday, and re-appointed Joel Sambursky.

After Friday’s appointment, both candidates must be approved by the Illinois Senate.

Carbondale native John Gilbert, 65


As a U.S. district court judge, Gilbert presides over criminal and civil cases. In 1992, he was nominated to join the courts by President George H.W. Bush on a nomination by Congressman Henry Hyde, according to Judgepedia.org.

Gilbert’s career, according to the website—which calls itself an encyclopedia about America’s courts and judges:

  • 1988 to 1992: Judge in Illinois’ First Judicial Circuit Court
  • 1978 to 1988: Member of the Illinois State Elections Board
  • 1983 to 1985: Vice Chairman, Illinois State Elections Board
  • 1981 to 1983: Chairman, Illinois State Elections Board
  • 1975 to 1978: Assistant City Attorney in Carbondale
  • 1974 to 1975: Special Assistant Attorney General, Illinois Public Aid Enforcement Division
  • 1974 to 1988: Private practice in Carbondale

Gilbert earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois and his law degree from Loyola University Chicago.

Carbondale’s student representative on the board Adrian Miller, who met Gilbert about seven years ago as a junior at Carbondale Community High School, said Gilbert does not jump to conclusions, something the board will benefit from.

“He looks at all the facts and takes his time to make his decision,” said Miller, who is interning for House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago. “The guy is phenomenal. … [The] Carbondale community I know is near and dear to his heart.” 

Alton native Amy Sholar, 43

Sholar, who graduate in business administration from SIU-Edwardsville in 1998, received her law degree in 2001 from St. Louis University School of Law. She specializes in family law, including divorce and juvenile abuse cases.


Amy is a divorced mother of two who understands the realities facing families today,” according her law office’s website. “She takes on battles that others are afraid to tackle.”

  • In 2004, created Law Office of Amy Sholar, P.C.
  • Recipient of the 2012 Women of Distinction award, according to a press release from Rauner’s office

Sholar said she was asked about the position by Rauner’s staff two weeks ago. Working in Edwardsville, Sholar said SIU is a big part of her life, so she is excited to give back to the university.

“My goal is to do as much as I can and be fiscally responsible, but at the same time try to improve the university and maintain the level of standards it already has,” she said. 

Like many people in the state, she said the governor’s budget appears to be a large issue.

“I’m assuming that there is going to be a lot of financial issues, so hopefully we can maintain the level of services in spite of the anticipated budget problems,” she said.