Full Transcript: Bryant Calls on Randy Dunn to Resign as SIU President

Thank you Mr. Speaker and ladies and gentlemen of the House:

If you’re like me, one of the first things you do in the morning is hop online to read the news from back in your district while you have a cup of coffee…
Today started like any other, get up, get a cup of coffee, get ready for the day…
Then I open up my Southern Illinoisan App on my phone to read about what’s going on back home – Not surprisingly, SIU Carbondale is back in the news.
In fact, Southern Illinois University has been in the news a lot since I took my seat in this General Assembly.
As the State’s budget impasse dragged on, stories of program cuts, layoffs, potential closures, potential loss of accreditation, junk bond status, and more filled the pages of The Southern and the Daily Egyptian on a daily basis for months.

Then, there was the news of the hiring of a new Chancellor, who brought forward a proposal to reorganize and reinvigorate the Carbondale campus.

You’d think that would be good news for a change. You’d be wrong.

For months, the news that followed the new Chancellor’s hiring was all about how SIU President Randy Dunn and Carbondale Chancellor Carlo Montemagno weren’t getting along, and how they couldn’t agree on moving forward with implementing the reorganization plan.

I stood up last week on this floor to renounce a recent package of bills sponsored by legislators in this very chamber that would split SIU in two.

The filing of that attack SIU Carbondale package coupled with a failed plot by SIU President Randy Dunn to divert $5 million away from SIU Carbondale have all worked to harm recruitment efforts and added to an overall sense of chaos and dysfunction on the Carbondale campus.

So, back to TODAY’s news about SIU.

An opinion piece in today’s Southern Illinoisan includes a screenshot of an email sent by President Randy Dunn to Vice President Duane Stucky, SIUE Chancellor Randy Pembrook and SIUE Budget Director William Winter —  that was quite revealing. I’m going to quote from the article:

“Budget-related documents acquired through the Freedom of Information Act show that SIU President Randy Dunn actively concealed from SIUC Chancellor Carlo Montemagno his plan to transfer $5.125 million from the Carbondale to Edwardsville campus. He sought to use the fictitious 60/40 split formula to — “shut up the bitchers from Carbondale.”

President Dunn, you are the President of the entire SIU system…and, yes, that includes Carbondale.

President Dunn, the people you are calling “bitchers”, those are my Constituents. Those are my fellow Southern Illinoisans. Those are hard working people that are fighting to protect what they have built….

Southern Illinoisans…fighting to keep their economic engine, fighting to keep their jobs, fighting to get their kids to continue their education close to home, fighting for their ECONOMIC LIVES in Southern Illinois.

Mr. Speaker and Ladies and Gentlemen of the House, I stand today before you as a LOUD and PROUD “Bitcher” for SIU Carbondale. And if you think my voice is loud now, it’s only going to get louder until the attacks on SIU Carbondale stop.

And, before I go, I want to make a little news of my own – who knows, maybe it will even show up on my Southern Illinoisan app tomorrow morning…

The evidence revealed in today’s Southern Illinoisan article make it quite clear that President Dunn is not working for the Carbondale campus, and that he is in fact colluding with officials at SIU Edwardsville to work against it.

For the health of the University system, to preserve the future of SIU Carbondale, and because of his obvious and blatant disdain for my constituents and for the SIU Carbondale campus, President Dunn should resign from his position and he should resign today.
Thank you Mr. Speaker.