Sambursky requests to cancel Friday executive committee meeting, pushes for release of documents

By Brian Munoz, Staff Reporter

UPDATE: The meeting has been officially cancelled as of Friday morning. 

Trustee Joel Sambursky has called for the executive committee meeting, scheduled Friday, to be cancelled and called on board chair Amy Sholar to convene the full board and consider placing SIU President Randy Dunn on administrative leave.

All board members received information that would warrant the calling of a meeting to consider placing Dunn on administrative leave while an investigation is conducted by an external legal counsel, Sambursky said in an emailed statement.

“Should the executive committee decide to do so, an acting president would then need to be appointed to allow for the work of the campuses to continue while President Dunn is on leave,” Sambursky said. “To be clear, the intention of the executive committee meeting was never to permanently replace President Dunn, as falsely expressed by Chair Sholar and others.”

See more: Board chair announces committee does not have authority to remove Dunn

The special executive committee meeting that was announced on Wednesday was scheduled for Friday had two items on the meeting agenda – consideration on putting Dunn on administrative leave and appointing an acting president.

During executive committee meetings all trustees have the right to attend and participate and any action that is taken by the executive committee is eventually ratified by the full board at a future meeting, Sambursky said.

The executive committee meeting was called according to Board policy, with the guidance of the general counsel of the university, Sambursky said.

“Chair Sholar did not even attempt to reschedule the July meeting and was instead content with waiting until September to meet as a full board,” Sambursky said.

Sambursky said that after Sholar released her statement this afternoon, the university’s general counsel reaffirmed the legal authority for the meeting to take place and potentially take action on the items listen on its agenda.

Sambursky further alluded to Sholar’s claim to transparency in the open letter to the system written last May and called for the immediate release of all documents that the board has received on the basis for the calling of the executive committee meeting.

See more: Board committee to hold meeting, consideration to put Dunn on leave

The regular July board meeting was cancelled and the next time the full board would convene for a regular meeting would be in September, according to the board’s schedule.

“It would be unconscionable for the executive committee to not meet to discuss and potentially take action on matters that are permitted under SIU board policy,” Sambursky said.

Sambursky said that it is apparent that Sholar not only disagrees with his interpretation of the bylaws but also that of the general counsel.

“This sets the wrong precedent for the Chair of the Board to claim the ability to override the majority of the executive committee and to ignore the legal opinion provided by the General Counsel of the SIU System,” Sambursky said.

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

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