Two state legislators call for Dunn’s resignation following release of emails, notes on state funding shift


Brian Munoz

SIU President Randy Dunn speaks to SIUE Chancellor Randy Pembrook about tuition increases at the SIU Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017, in the Meridian Ballroom at SIUE. (Brian Munoz | @BrianMMunoz)

By Brian Munoz, Staff Reporter

Two state representatives called for SIU President Randy Dunn’s resignation following the release of emails and meeting notes that show Dunn working with SIU Edwardsville officials in an attempt to shift more than $5 million in state funding from the Carbondale campus.

“For the health of the university system, to preserve the future of SIU Carbondale, and because of his obvious and blatant disdain for my constituents and for the SIU Carbondale campus, President Dunn should resign from his position and he should resign immediately,” Rep. Terri Bryant, R-Murphysboro, said on the House floor Thursday afternoon.

The call for Dunn to resign comes in light of former faculty senate president Kathleen Chwalisz’s opinion piece in the Southern Illinoisan.


“President Dunn, calling the people in my district, the constituents that I serve, ‘bitches’ (sic) is not acceptable,” Bryant said.

“Those are hard working people that are fighting to protect what they have built… Mr. Speaker, ladies and gentleman of the house, I stand before you as a loud and proud ‘bitcher,’” Bryant said.

One on of the emails obtained by Chwalisz through the Freedom of Information Act, Dunn said that the 60/40 funding split between campuses was to silence individuals from Carbondale.

“No, no… Im w/ you… I get it. A reference to the 60/40 now – which yes, goes back to before even Duane can identify – is simply to shut up the bitchers from Carbondale who are saying loudly we shouldn’t even be doing the $5.125M at this time,” Dunn said in an email to SIUE Chancellor Randy Pembrook, SIUE Budget Director Bill Winter and Vice President Duane Stucky according to a document obtained by Chwalisz through the Freedom of Information Act.

Dunn said that he acknowledges that is no written policy directive designating a Carbondale/Edwardsville 60/40 split, but have indicated that it has been an aspirational goal.

“The point of the matter is that if you look at the historical funding allocation between the two campuses – which when comparing SIU Carbondale and the School of Medicine to SIUE, is actually 70 to 30 percent,” Dunn said in a written statement sent out Thursday afternoon.

The emails were sent before the SIU Board of Trustees rejected the proposed $5.125 million shift in funding from Carbondale to Edwardsville in April.


In emails and meeting notes, Dunn put SIU Edwardsville officials in charge to come up with a justification for a manufactured dollar amount all while SIU Board of Trustees Chair Amy Sholar was in on the plan, Chwalisz wrote.

Dunn put forth the opinion that the transfer shouldn’t be so large as to be easily rejected yet so little as to have no meaning, according to Chwalisz.

“Ultimately, he suggested a number around $5 million,” according to the notes obtained by Chwalisz.  

Dunn also went on to later state that Sholar was in favor of proceeding as a first phase of shifting funds, that it was important to move before the board vote may shift unfavorably for SIUE, according to the notes obtained by Chwalisz.

Following the April 12 SIU Board of Trustees meeting, SIUE Chancellor Randy Pembrook sent a university-wide email expressing his frustration with the board and the Carbondale campus.

“The time has come for SIUE to capitalize upon its strengths and potential to create a new era, something that has been recognized by our legislators,” Pembrook said in the email.

Pembrook later states that Rep. Jay Hoffman, who represents SIUE’s district, would be presenting legislation that would create separate trustee boards for the Carbondale and Edwardsville campus, according to Pembroke’s email, which was obtained by the Daily Egyptian.

Illinois House Bill 5861 calls for the abolishment of the current SIU Board of Trustees and calls for separate boards to be created for the Edwardsville campus and the Carbondale campus.

The bill would also realign the affiliation of the medical school, traditionally affiliated with the Carbondale campus, to the Edwardsville campus.

During the March 11 Board of Trustees working day, several board members expressed their concern about the $5.125 million shift.

“We have not had any discussions about this,” Joel Sambursky, board secretary, said during the meeting. “We haven’t analyzed it, we haven’t reviewed it.”

The proposed funding shift was first brought to the board on March 9 and was added to the Board of Trustees’ April 12 meeting agenda on the week of March 19.

SIUC Chancellor Carlo Montemagno said at the board meeting he was told about the proposal on March 21.

In an email to Pembrook, Winter and Stucky, Dunn stated that he had not briefed Montemagno on what was going to happen.

I have yet to get Carlo briefed on what will be happening…I will be walking him through it all by Friday, before the agenda comes out, but heads’ up that I won’t be going there with our CEO call tomorrow,” according to an email obtained by Chwalisz.

Chwalisz said that Montemagno was never briefed on the reallocation proposal, becoming aware of it with the general public when the April Board of Trustees agenda was posted online on March 30.

Chwalisz stepped down as president of the Faculty Senate in March, saying that her support for the chancellor’s plan to reorganize the campus had become a distraction to her duties. She did not return calls and emails from the Daily Egyptian seeking comment Thursday.

Montemagno said he was disappointed by the statements.

“I am, of course, dismayed and disappointed by what appears to be an active, deliberate effort to undermine the Carbondale campus and, by extension, the entire SIU system,” Montemagno said in a blog post statement. “The process and lack of transparency did not serve us or our colleagues at Edwardsville.”

Montemagno said that the disrespect to Carbondale’s faculty, staff and community is especially disturbing.

“However, these concerns are best addressed by the Board of Trustees and system leadership,” Montemagno said.

Republican state Rep. Chad Hays of Catlin joined Bryant in calling for Dunn’s resignation, the Chicago Tribune reported.

“On behalf of all Salukis, you go to hell, sir,” Hays said.

Staff reporter Brian Munoz can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @BrianMMunoz.

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