The chancellor of Southern Illinois University's Carbondale campus is being forced from his job, a week after a faculty panel concluded that a strategic plan he had drafted for the institution included material he had "lifted" from one he had written in his previous job.
Walter V. Wendler, the Carbondale chancellor since 2001, had been accused by critics of plagiarizing material from a strategic plan for Texas A&M University, where he was vice chancellor and coordinated work on the plan, for one at Southern Wendler had said that he was using his own intellectual property, but a faculty panel, while defending his character, criticized Wendler for not being more careful about identifying the source of his work.
At a news conference Wednesday, Glenn W. Poshard, president of the Southern Illinois system, said that he had decided to "build my own team," and that Wendler would return to a full professorship in Carbondale's architecture department.
He appointed the provost, John Dunn, as interim chancellor. “Dr. Dunn is a proven administrator who not only understands the challenges that lie ahead for us,” Poshard said. “He is also personally and professionally committed to working with me and the board of trustees to insure that the transition period between chancellors is one of opportunity and progress for this university.”
A local newspaper, The Southern Illinoisan, published the text of a statement it said Wendler had sent. It said: "The chairman of the Board of Trustees, Roger Tedrick, and the President of Southern Illinois University, Glenn Poshard, share the responsibility to select people to provide vision, leadership and management for Southern Illinois University Carbondale. They believe at this time that there is a more effective leader for the campus and will set out to find him or her. I wish them the best in that quest, and appreciate the opportunity I have had to serve Southern in my capacity as chancellor."