Southern Illinois President Survives Board Vote

June 22, 2018

The president of Southern Illinois University stayed on the job Thursday when the system's trustees deadlocked in a vote to place him on administrative leave.

Trustees were voting on a proposal to place President Randy Dunn on leave for six months while outside legal counsel investigated his conduct. But they split 4 to 4, meaning the effort did not pass and ending plans to consider appointing an acting president, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The showdown follows weeks of tumult surrounding Dunn's presidency. Trustees had planned a meeting earlier this month to discuss removing him, but it was called off at the last moment.

Two trustees who led efforts to oust Dunn wanted him removed because he allegedly worked behind the scenes to support legislation to dissolve the Southern Illinois system, they revealed Thursday. It previously hadn't been clear why Dunn was on the hot seat. The change in question would have separated campuses in Carbondale and Edwardsville.

Evidence suggests the president helped to draft state legislation to separate the two campuses and concealed information about the proposal from the board, said one of the trustees, Joel Sambursky. He called Dunn's actions indefensible.

But the chancellor at Edwardsville, Randy Pembrook, said he was glad Dunn would be continuing as president.

Tensions within the system were already running high over the distribution of funding between campuses.

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