SIU Trustees Support Reorganization, Approve John Dunn as Interim Chancellor

December 14, 2018
 
SIU Trustees approved the appointment of John Dunn as interim chancellor of the Carbondale campus at their meeting Thursday.

SIU Trustees approved the appointment of John Dunn as interim chancellor of the Carbondale campus at their meeting Thursday.

Southern Illinois University

In a unanimous vote, SIU Trustees say they support a reorganization of the Carbondale campus.

Board Chair Amy Sholar said it’s not an end game, but rather the beginning of the formal process of reorganizing some programs and departments on campus.

The reorganization proposal was first introduced last fall, when the late Chancellor Carlo Montemagno unveiled his SIU Vision 2025 plan. It's been controversial ever since. Supporters like Associate Professor Tom Shaw say the changes are necessary.

"The reactionary and defensive mechanisms of a monolithic organization has the potential to render SIUC nonessential and expendable in the realm of higher education," Shaw said. "I personally don't want that to happen. The time for action has been apparent for years!"

Opponents say it has no proven evidence of success, and they fear the effects it may have on students, faculty, and staff. Student Trustee Brione Lockett said he's still unsure.

"I heard a majority of students, in the meetings I've had, it's been a lot of negatives from students," Lockett said. "So, I love the fact that the faculty and administration care so much about this. But 'reorg' is just a word. The issues we have here are systemic."

To address some concerns, Interim President Dorsey added guidelines to the proposal, which he says will serve as a way for him to make sure the changes have campus support and are not unilateral.

Administrators say as the process has moved, roughly a third of the changes have been approved, a third are still in process, and another third have been rejected and conversations continue.

Thursday’s vote allows the SIU President’s office to forward proposed changes to the Illinois Board of Higher Education for their approval.

OTHER ACTION:

  • Trustees approved the appointment of Interim Chancellor John Dunn for the Carbondale campus, effective January first. Dunn has served in the capacity before, in 2006 and 2007. He'll serve for two years in the post, as the university finishes its search for a system President and then a permanent Chancellor search.

  • The Carbondale campus will also purchase new airplanes for its aviation-flight program. The purchase was first approved a few years ago, but budget issues kept it from being completed.

  • Saluki Stadium will get new field turf next summer. The original turf had outlived its usefulness, and needed to be replaced.

  • In Edwardsville, SIU will explore a post-doctoral clinic for the School of Dental Medicine, which would give underserved populations access to dental care.

Story source: Illinois Public Radio