News Local/State

SIU Trustees Begin Plans for Presidential Search

An entrance to SIU-Carbondale.

Southern Illinois University trustees say they'll take their time finding a new system president. Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

It'll be several months before SIU Trustees settle on a new President for the system.

After a tumultuous spring and summer, the Board's special meeting Tuesday appeared to bring Trustees together, as they work on the process for searching for a new leader.

Board Chair Amy Sholar says they want to take their time.

"We have some tasks at hand that are monumental. We have to pick a new President to lead our system. We also have some work to do on each campus, we have work to do within the system office, and we have to look at staffing. There's just a number of our procedures and processes that we need to take a good long look at."

After months of bickering, accusations, and stalemates, Trustees came together to agree that time is needed to right the ship before a new President is chosen. Interim President Kevin Dorsey says he's pleased with how things went.

"It just felt so normal. It was a collegial group of people talking about issues that we collectively needed to work on."

The Board plans to hire two consulting firms to do analysis of both the governance and the system itself. Cost for each of those contracts will be less than $100,000.

Trustee Tom Britton says it amounts to making the departure of President Randy Dunn an opportunity for SIU.

"Out of the kinds of controversies we've endured the past several months, or at least since I've been on the board, come real opportunities. This board would be making a big mistake if we didn't take advantage of the opportunities we have to pull things back together."

The Board next meets in Edwardsville in September.