Board votes to implement $26 million cut, Montemagno appointed chancellor

Daily Egyptian file photo

Daily Egyptian file photo

By Cory Ray

The SIU Board of Trustees approved a $26 million dollar budget cut called the “Financial Stability Plan” and appointed Carlo Montemagno as the university’s first permanent chancellor in three years at its regularly scheduled meeting Thursday.

The cut is split between a $6.8 million payback by various departments on campus and a $19 million permanent cut.

The plan, which was announced by SIU President Randy Dunn on Wednesday, suggests the possible elimination of seven programs:


  • B.S., Mining Engineering
  • M.S., Mining Engineering
  • B.A., Business Economics
  • B.S., Physical Education Teacher Education
  • B.A., Africana Studies
  • M.A., Political Science
  • Ph.D., Historical Studies

“[This] doesn’t mean that there won’t be a continued discussion on campus about what ultimately happens with them,” Dunn said.

The plan also features the dissolution of one academic college on campus, with the College of Science under consideration for a merger with the College of Liberal Arts or being split between the College of Engineering and the College of Agricultural Sciences.

Dunn said the administration has set the deadline to decrease the number of colleges by one for July 1, 2018, the start of the 2019 fiscal year.

Several administrative positions were filled during the meeting, including Carlo Montemagno’s appointment as chancellor the Carbondale campus.

Montemagno is the first permanently-appointed chancellor since 2014 when Rita Cheng left the university to accept a position as president of Northern Arizona University.

He will begin his tenure as chancellor on August 15, with an annual salary of $340,000.

Montemagno will be coming from the University of Alberta, where he served as Director of the Biomaterials Program, Canada Research Chair in Intelligent Nanosystems and Founding Director of the university’s Ingenuity Lab.


Former interim Chancellor Brad Colwell was appointed as Vice President for Academic Affairs for the SIU System, where he will receive an annual salary of $230,000. He will assume the position on Monday.

Scott Ishman, a geology professor and the associate dean of the College of Science, was appointed as Interim Dean of the College of Science, and he is expected to start Friday. Ishman’s appointment follows Laurie Achenbach’s retirement at the end of June, and he will receive an annual salary of $171,000.

Since the retirement of former Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Susan Ford on June 30, Associate Provosts for Academic Affairs David Dilalla and Lizette Chevalier have assumed the duties of the provost.

At the meeting, Dilalla was approved for a temporary salary increase to $169,000, while Chevalier  received a salary increase to $174,000 for assuming the provost duties.

According to the board minutes, university administration will now begin to focus on hiring an interim provost or conducting a national search to fill the position permanently.

Judith Marshall was appointed as the Executive Director of Administration and Finance for the university. She will oversee the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Administration and Finance after the retirement of Kevin Bame.

Marshall has served as Executive Director of Finance at the university for the last seven years and has also worked as the University Budget Director.

She will begin the position Friday with an annual salary of $175,000.

Editor-in-Chief Cory Ray can be reached at or on Twitter @coryray_de.

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