Rauner removes Joel Sambursky from SIU Board of Trustees


Gov. Bruce Rauner gives a thumbs up after giving his first speech as governor on Jan. 12, 2015 at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield. (Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

By Sarah Gardner @RabbitEarz93, Daily Egyptian

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s two-day purge of former Gov. Pat Quinn’s appointees across the state hit home for the SIU Board of Trustees.

Joel Sambursky, who was appointed to the board in September 2013, was one of more than 100 people ousted Tuesday.

Sambursky said in an email he understands Rauner’s desire to present his own recommendations.


“I understand this action to be procedural given Governor Rauner’s efforts to combat last-minute appointments which I was not a part of. While disappointed in the news, it is an honor to be able to give back to my alma mater in this way,” Sambursky said in the email.

SIU President Randy Dunn said Sambursky could get another chance to serve on the board, as Rauner reconsiders some of the pulled positions.

Sambursky served as a member of the board’s architecture and design and audit committees. Student trustee Adrian Miller said there were nearly 200 appointments yet to be confirmed by the senate when Rauner took office. He said there is still a chance Rauner would reappoint Sambursky to his position, and Sambursky being a Republican may help.

“Joel has been a phenomenal asset to the board,” Miller said. “I’m disappointed he won’t be with us for the next meeting.”

He said having to re-educate a potential new appointee before the next meeting would be unhealthy for the board and the university, and hopes Sambursky will be reappointed before the next meeting.

In addition to the challenge of bringing a new appointee up to speed, Miller said if no student trustee is appointed to vote and just one member of the board is absent from the March 19 meeting, there would be an issue of the board meeting quorum.

“I would hope that Gov. Rauner will step up and make sure that the vote is appointed for the student vote. … And I hope he does it before the next meeting,” Miller said, “It’s a similar situation to Joel.”


The list of people in state positions Rauner has ousted has grown quickly after his inauguration on Monday. In a press conference, Rauner said he was aiming to undo some of Quinn’s appointments made shortly before he left office, according to the Chicago Tribune.

“What we’re going to do is across the board cancel all appointments, we are going to cancel all hires, cancel all, rescind all, the actions that the governor has taken since Nov. 1,” Rauner said Monday.

He said his office wanted to rescind decisions Quinn made and give all positions a hard look over time.

“Rauner’s definitely sent the message statewide that the status quo is coming to a little bit of a change,” Miller said.

Sambursky said he was honored to serve his alma mater, and would gladly aid Rauner in the future.

“I stand ready and willing to assist [Rauner] in any way possible as we work to support Southern Illinois University,” he said.