Daily Egyptian

Letter to the Editor: President Dunn has failed to serve

Yenitza Melgoza

Yenitza Melgoza

By Emily Buice, Former SIUC Undergraduate Student Government President

Dear President Dunn,

As one of the “bitchers from Carbondale,” as you so eloquently put it, I am appalled, as is most of the Carbondale community over your behavior regarding the Carbondale campus.

The April meeting of the Board of Trustees made many question your motives, the recent article from former SIUC faculty senate president Kathleen Chwalisz in the Southern Illinoisan most certainly took any doubt out of my mind.  

It is clear that you are incapable of working with someone you have differing opinions with – to the point where you actively plotted to destroy one of the last university systems in Illinois.

You deliberately took steps with the SIUE Chancellor to blindside the Carbondale campus to either give up millions of dollars based on arbitrary numbers, or face the dissolution of a university system.

Dissolving the SIU system would take resources away from thousands of students and have taken away the bargaining power a system holds through advocating for a larger number of systems.

President Dunn, in short, your ego has put SIU in jeopardy and you have ultimately failed to serve the students of this system because of it.

I won’t argue that the allocation of state funding to SIUC and SIUE should be reevaluated.

However, it should be looked at by a third party, not as a flawed and biased report that was obviously intended to serve the purposes of President Dunn and not the purposes of SIU students.

Progress should not be shoved through back doors as President Dunn obviously attempted.

The clear disregard for the good of the SIU system clearly shows that Randy Dunn has no place as a leader within it.

Emily Buice is the former SIUC Undergraduate Student Government President.  She can be reached at her email at [email protected]

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7 Comments

7 Responses to “Letter to the Editor: President Dunn has failed to serve”

  1. Bradley Sketcher on May 17th, 2018 7:15 pm

    Thank you.

  2. Virginia Tilley (Professor of Political Science, SIUC) on May 17th, 2018 8:14 pm

    I appreciate and applaud the public engagement demonstrated by Ms. Buice that led her to write this letter. But frankly, I also find it deeply depressing that everything we teach at SIU was somehow jettisoned in a letter that gives the impression of being 100% based on one fiery account that appeared in a local newspaper — a paper that has, not incidentally, already demonstrated a strong-to-unprofessional bias in covering any matter to do with President Randy Dunn. Whatever happened to checking accounts for accuracy? Waiting for the reply? Even providing the right of reply before rushing to judgement? That is, dealing with evidence in a responsible way?

    That’s what we teach at SIU and it’s not meant to vanish from students’ minds the moment they finish the final exam and walk out the classroom door. If that’s the case, all Saluki grads might as well take that SIU degree, tear it up into little pieces and throw it into the wind, for all the good it has apparently done.

    If people want to protest something based on third-hand accounts of who said what when, then a little more homework is due than reading a single inflammatory article. That goes for our national politics as well as our campus ones.

    I don’t yet know what is going on with this SIUE budget business, except that the Chwalisz article was one shoe dropping and obviously we should wait for other one. (I’d like to know, for example, who wrote that FOIA document, from which Dr. Chwalisz cites so extensively, that read “Dunn said” so many times. It was authored by someone. Who? Why isn’t this shared with us?) President Dunn has already offered his own correction of the Southern’s article, and more revelations and counter-arguments will doubtless follow. We don’t yet know how it will all fall out.

    But as this unfolds, one thing is clear: some pretty unethical writing is already happening in the public media on SIU leadership that reeks of the seamy underside of politics — inflammatory, poorly sourced accounts without meeting the minimal standards of rights of reply — and as long as that’s the case, everyone in the SIU community is well-advised to be damned careful about swallowing anything anyone says at first brush.

  3. Dan Hillyard on May 20th, 2018 10:30 am

    As I read Professor Tilley’s opening remarks, I imagined Ms. Buice ducking the backhanded compliment. I jotted down the following thoughts, first for SIU students and then for the professor.

    For SIU students, please don’t let a saucy professor shame you over your engagement in civic discourse. Your world isn’t shrunken to classrooms and exams. So express yourselves pretty much how you want, where you want, when you want. It is generally okay to raise some eyebrows. All in all, your courage to participate is appreciated and inspiring.

    And professor, where is your fiery response to what you characterize to be your colleague’s “inflammatory, poorly sourced account”? Perhaps your outpouring is on the way, or the Southern won’t publish it. Or maybe you don’t pick on people your own size. In whichever case, President Dunn is exercising his right of reply, including in a saucy apology.

  4. hobo on May 21st, 2018 12:42 pm

    Well at least this takes some of the heat off the Chancellor! Ms Tilley may be right about the lack of accuracy in reporting, and it is too bad that many a story, column, letter to the editor have been so mean spirited towards the chancellor, president, BOT, and various heads of other groups. The real crux of the problem is that the SIUC ship is sinking, and sinking fast. Everyone is in a rotten mood. I am not sure who to blame, because there is so much blame to pass around. We live in a completely corrupt state that years ago allowed the budget, and mostly the pension costs, to be poorly managed. The pension and retirement medical benefits were and are too lavish for many(not all). Most of this mismanagement was the redirection of funds meant to go to pensions to some other program that was funded to buy influence, and then worry about the problem later. That problem has caused the budget impasse, higher taxes, road and bridge repairs, and less funding for schools. Instead we have roads to no where, airports we don’t need, abandoned prisons we did not need, and God knows what else. The lack of a budget last year and less funding to schools, has caused a lot of bad press and higher tuition costs passed to students and families. The higher cost of SIUC has played a big part, as has the bad press in the declining enrollment. SIUC is not a bargain anymore, especially compared to John A, SEMO, and Murray State. I don’t care how many professors and administrators want to debate that! So now ALL the rats from Dunn to the over-payed, and over-pensioned physical plant employees, professors, and others are all scrambling to blame someone. Us taxpayers never had it as good as you Ms Tilley,(or Dunn, Montemagno, former basketball coaches, Glenn Poshard) we just get to watch our local economy go down the tubes, our taxes go up to save your pension, and pay through the nose to send our kids to school. I wonder why I bother to stay in Illinois. I thought Rauner would make it better, but the same parties that worked to create all the spending and diversion of funds like Madigan have jammed up this state so bad it is helpless. When the party is over everybody is in a bad mood, and that’s really what’s going on here. Hope you rats can swim!

  5. hobo on May 22nd, 2018 8:30 am

    Everyone better start getting along soon, looks like the ship is sinking even faster. Ms Tilley-it looks to me there is plenty of evidence to have little faith in Mr Dunn. I hope you are close to retirement, you are just another one of the people at SIU that just want to be right no matter what it does to the University, just lie everyone one else out there. There is no diplomacy, no compromise, there will not be an SIUC in two years if this keeps up. I think Dunn and Montemagno should go. I’d be happier if Jerry Kill took over, I bet he could form a consensus.

  6. Chris Dueker on May 24th, 2018 2:34 pm

    Watching Old YouTube videos of Randy Dunn immersed in MURRAY STATE UNIVERSITY campus life made me laugh at how different he is now towards his employing school. His SIU youtube videos are pathetic budget blame games. One thing about chancellors,. At least Brad Colwell took advantage of Trueblood Dining Hall when he was a handcuffed interim spokesperson for the idea we need a chancellor. Cant say the Trueblood workers who were soon to be laid off ever saw Carlio. Randy Dunn.or even Housing Director John Shafer eat there in past couple semesters. Yet Carlo can find Marys restaurant expensive food in his siu budget when he wants to entertain people who are on his side already. There WAS a PLAN to build new and attractive housing to SIU in the housing budget 5 years ago and the dorms were packed full of underqualified kids who got free tablets to boot. Some of these kids were outright criminals or gangsta identified. .SINCE a combination of the students being kicked out or flunking out 5 years ago and a general conservative stance by the university to not improve housing or recruit heavilt in the Chicago Market among many other things, we are where we are. Did Housing or has housing considered offering each new student there own room in a tower for the same price as being logjammed into a thompson point room with anoher student to have to share more bathrooms. This one move could have kept Trueblood operating at a lower production level and reduced hours. Then residents of wall and grand apts would have a place to use their meal plan. Swim team and ither students who would want to live near the Rec center could then do so as well. Honestly for around 10 dollars a meal public cost, including drinks, a person ate great varieties of food. A little more welcoming approach to the public via a DE ad or signs off the street advertising the price and food, Trueblood could sustain costs.

    Its all wishful thinking because the people who come on 8-4. In SIU administrative roles have becone desensitized to the situation of SIU campus being a shell of its oldself. Apparently they have not accepted the financial crisis or just want to keep the public from outcrying by revealing too much. At least Randy Dunn has acknowledged it is a financial crisis. is He Too Proud to do his job and beg for money? We are at pass the hat, put out the coffee can at every business point. Each can should say SAVE SIU 4U We need SIU for each of our own livelihoods to succeed if we want to live in the immediate area.. Money donated should be transparently recorded and applied towards the demolition of Southern Hills eyesore buildings, Old Greek Row buildings and at least one of the towers. SIU is obviously not in a position to do anything but let these continue to be liabilities. This type of money should also be applied towards a refund credit to be given to any student who passes their coursework to subsidize the atrocity of SIU Tuition costs and thus attract students to achieve and earn the credit. Are you willing to commit to similar sacrifices Randy Dunn?

  7. gerry king on May 30th, 2018 11:28 am

    SIUC has been on the decline since 1969. Faculty are largely to blame. Poor selection in administrators. Both Randy Dunn and the current Chancellor head the list of those who are out of their league. Both must leave now for SIUC to pull out of it’ s spin. Next, the student body make up needs to improve.

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