Board of Trustees Executive Committee to hold special meeting Friday, consideration to put Dunn on administrative leave


Brian Munoz

SIU President Randy Dunn speaks to press on Friday, May 18, 2018, during a press conference in the Stone Center. Dunn held the conference following the release of emails and notes where he said that the 60/40 funding split between Edwardsville and Carbondale campuses was to “simply to shut up the bitchers from Carbondale who are saying loudly we shouldn’t even be doing the $5.125M at this time.”

By Brian Munoz, Staff Reporter

The SIU Board of Trustees Executive Committee will vote on putting president Randy Dunn on administrative leave and appointing an acting president during a special meeting on Friday, according to the agenda posted on the board’s website.

The committee includes board chair Amy Sholar, Vice Chairman J. Phil Gilbert and Secretary Joel Sambursky.

Amy Sholar said in an interview with the Chicago Tribune that she was not involved in the decision to call the meeting and would not be attending due to work commitments.

The executive committee “has authority to transact such routine business as may arise during the recess of the Board and to act for the Board in all matters of an emergency nature upon which immediate decisions are necessary for the present welfare of the University,” according to board policies.

“I think it’s an attempt by a couple of board members to control the entire board, and I find that to be distasteful,” Sholar said in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. “It is extremely frustrating, and it’s not the way to govern.”

Dunn told the Chicago Tribune that he was unaware of the meeting being called and that he did not request to take any type of leave from his job.

“At this point I don’t know any more information than you do,” Dunn said. “I’ll be talking to my representation and seeing what I can find out beyond that. I’m trying to get some information myself on what’s planned with it.”

The Board of Trustees regular meeting on July 12 was cancelled, Wednesday morning.

The call for a special meeting comes weeks after the release of notes and emails that show Dunn was working with SIU Edwardsville officials in an attempt to shift more than $5 million in state funding from the Carbondale campus.

In the emails, Dunn spoke on the 60/40 state appropriation split between the campuses and said that it was to “shut the bitchers up from Carbondale.”

Following the release of the emails in an opinion piece written by former faculty senate president Kathleen Chwalisz published in the Southern Illinoisan, two representatives called for Dunn’s resignation.

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

SIU President Randy Dunn said on May 18 that he will not resign in response to the calls to do so from the General Assembly.

“No, I do not plan to resign,” Dunn said at a press conference on May 18. “At the same time, my employment agreement is with the Board of Trustees of the SIU system and that’s where the question on hat gets dealt with – not the General Assembly.”

SIU university spokeswoman Rae Goldsmith declined to comment and said that it was ““a matter that was best to be taken between  the board and the president.”

The meeting is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Friday June 8, in the student center at the Carbondale campus.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available. 

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

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