Retired SIU School of Medicine dean named interim president, Dunn separation agreement approved


J Kevin Dorsey. Image courtesy of SIU School of Medicine.

By Brian Munoz, Staff Reporter

EDWARDSVILLE – The SIU Board of Trustees has unanimously voted to appoint J. Kevin Dorsey as Southern Illinois University’s interim president, following the termination of Randy J. Dunn in light of recent attempts to dissolve the SIU system.

Dorsey will be acting president for a one year term but could be less if the Board of Trustees appoints a president after a national search.

SIU Board Chair Amy Sholar announced “information will be forthcoming over the next several months regarding the organization of a search committee and the process by which the university will look for its next leader,” through a news release sent out following the Monday meeting.

Dorsey will be paid a base salary of $430,000 per year, according to hiring paperwork.

Prior to retirement, Dorsey was the third dean and provost of the SIU School of Medicine in Springfield. The School of Medicine was founded in 1970 and is now under the direction of Jerry Kruse.

Dorsey earned his bachelor’s degree at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut in 1964 and his doctoral degree in physiological chemistry at the University of Wisconsin 1968.

He was a postdoctoral fellow in biology at The Johns Hopkins University from 1970 to 1973. After earning his medical degree at SIU in 1978, he completed his internal medicine residency and a two-year fellowship in rheumatology at the University of Iowa in Iowa City from 1981 to 1983.

Dorsey  returned to southern Illinois in 1983 where he practiced rheumatology and taught medical students. He is board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology by the American Board of Internal Medicine and is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Rheumatology.

Dorsey is also member of Sigma Xi and Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society.

The board appointed Dorsey dean and provost of the School of Medicine in 2001 where he served until his retirement from the position in 2015.

Dunn will be on paid leave effective Tuesday, before officially being terminated from his position on July 30, according to the agreement.

The mutually agreed upon separation agreement also agrees to hire Dunn as a visiting professor at SIU Edwardsville on a $100,000 annual salary, starting January 1. His role as a visiting professor at SIUE will continue through the Spring 2020 semester.

See more: Dunn to be removed as SIU President after attempt in dissolving university system

State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) said Dunn choosing to step down is the end of an era and the beginning of a new one under Dorsey.

Senator Paul Schimpf (R-Murphysboro) said he is glad a resolution has been found between Dunn and the Board of Trustees “that will allow for new leadership to work toward a unified system.”

“I look forward to working with Interim President Dr. J. Kevin Dorsey during this challenging period for all of higher education in Illinois,” Schimpf said through an emailed statement.

“The next president of the Southern Illinois University system should remember that they are charged with protecting and preserving the health of the entire University system as a whole,” Bryant said through an emailed statement. “I want to take this opportunity to wish Dr. Dorsey all the best as he begins this new chapter for himself and for the University.”

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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