Rauner appoints Southern Illinois Healthcare surgeon to SIU Board of Trustees

Marsha Ryan. (SIH Medical Group)

Marsha Ryan. (SIH Medical Group)

By Luke Nozicka

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner on Thursday appointed a Southern Illinois Healthcare surgeon to the SIU Board of Trustees.

Reached by phone Thursday night, Marsha Ryan, of Murphysboro, said she is honored to have been chosen by the Republican governor to serve on the university’s governing board for a term of six years. She will fill an open seat left by Roger Herrin, a retired podiatrist and longtime business owner from Harrisburg who on Jan. 12 announced his resignation from the board.

Ryan, who said she plans to retire from SIH at the end of the month, said she learned of her appointment when her husband came across the news first reported by the Southern Illinoisan. The governor’s office confirmed her appointment Friday morning.


“In addition to being an alumna of SIU, Ryan’s experience as an adjunct professor and as an employee will bring an important perspective to the board,” Rauner said in a prepared statement.

The surgeon, who specializes in breast cancer treatment, is no stranger to the university.

Before joining southern Illinois’ largest health care system, the longtime educator worked as an assistant professor of clinical surgery in the SIU School of Medicine and as an adjunct professor at the SIU School of Law.

Ryan has served on numerous boards and committees throughout the region, including the Southern Illinois Symphony Board and the SIU Art and Design Advisory Board, according to her curriculum vitae. She also served as president of the SIU Foundation.

“It’s a big job and I will be new to it,” Ryan said, adding that she looks forward to contributing to the board and helping it “continue to fine-tune” the university.

Ryan earned her bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma City University in 1968 and her medical degree from the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine in 1972. She earned her law degree from the university’s law school in 1987, according to her university biography.

The surgeon will fill the board seat left by Herrin, who most recently served as chairman of the board’s finance committee. During an interview with the Daily Egyptian after he announced his resignation, the 79-year-old said he and his wife were moving to Naples, Fla., where they own a home.


As the president of RDK Management Services, Herrin also said he recently sold five long-term health care facilities throughout southern Illinois. His term with the board was set to end Monday.

Vice chairwoman Donna Manering’s term with the board also ends this month.

Manering and Herrin were appointed to the board by Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn in March 2011 and April 2011, respectively. Quinn was defeated by Rauner in the November 2014 election.

Manering, who holds three degrees from SIU, including a doctorate in education administration that she earned in 2000, serves as a member of the board’s executive, academic matters and finance committees.

Manering also served as chairwoman of the search committee that in early 2014 assisted the board in hiring Randy Dunn as SIU’s president.

From left to right: SIU Board of Trustees member Roger Herrin, SIU President Randy Dunn and Vice-Chair Donna Manering. (Anna Spoerre | @annaspoerre)

As a longtime educator, Manering worked for 21 years in the Carbondale Elementary School District as a first, third, fourth and fifth grade teacher, a special education resource teacher and an academic talent resource teacher. She also taught at SIU.

From 1994 to 1995, Manering was a high school principal for Cobden Unit School District 17. She then served as assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in Carbondale Elementary School District 95 from 1995 to 1999.

With the appointment of Ryan, the governor has placed three members on SIU’s governing board.

In February 2015, Rauner selected Carbondale native John Gilbert, a U.S. district court judge, and Alton native Amy Sholar, a lawyer who specializes in divorce and juvenile abuse cases, to join the board.

The board is composed of nine members; seven chosen by the state’s governor and one elected student from both of the university system’s two main campuses. Elected students serve for a single year while those appointed by the governor stay for six. The positions are unpaid.

Each year, one of the two student trustees is allowed to vote on university business and policy, a power awarded by the governor.

The trustees are tasked with managing, changing and creating policies that affect the university’s faculty, staff and students throughout the SIU system. The university’s network includes the Carbondale campus, with a School of Medicine in Springfield and a partnership in the University Center of Lake County in Grayslake, and SIU-Edwardsville, with a School of Dental Medicine in Alton and a center in East St. Louis.

Ryan will join the trustees in her new role Feb. 9 in Edwardsville during the board’s first meeting of the semester.

Staff writer Luke Nozicka can be reached at 618-536-3325, [email protected] or on Twitter @lukenozicka.

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