This week I want to focus on news regarding Southern Illinois University. The University and its President and Board of Trustees have made a lot of news lately. A major development occurred last week that resulted in my call for President Randy Dunn to resign his post immediately. More on that later.
But first – Illinois House Returns to Action for 10 day Sprint to Adjournment Deadline
Later today, the Illinois House starts back in Session after a three day break. As of now, the House is schedule to be in Session every day until May 31st, the scheduled adjournment date for this Spring session. Before today, the Illinois House has met in Session just 33 times in the last 5 months. That’s a pathetic average of just a little more than 6 days each month since 2018 began.
State law requires that a balanced budget be passed for FY 2019 prior to June 1st, or the General Assembly goes in to an overtime session where a significantly larger three-fifths majority is required to pass a budget. You may recall that prior to July of last year, Illinois went for 2.5 years without a budget in place. The carnage that resulted from not having a budget reverberated in waves that are still being felt in all corners of the State.
Passing a balanced, full-year, no-tax-increases State budget that properly funds services for our most vulnerable citizens, prioritizes our schools and universities, provides proper care for our veterans and for children and the elderly, and ensures public safety and critical state services remain functional will be my number one priority in the final 10 scheduled days of Session. You can keep up with the action at www.ilga.gov
Legislators’ Calls for Randy Dunn to Resign as SIU President Make Statewide Headlines
Last week, I took a moment to address the Illinois House in regard to an opinion piece featured in the Southern Illinoisan on Thursday morning. The op-ed was written by former SIU professor and facutly Senate President Kathleen Chwalisz following the release of documents obtained via FOIA.
What Chwalisz discovered were “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.” (SOURCE: Southern Illinoisan Op-Ed May 17).
Obviously, the use of the vulgarity in reference to my constituents in Carbondale is offensive to me. But, the idea that President Dunn was working behind the scenes to mask his plan to transfer money from SIU-C to SIU-E and keep the item from Chancellor Montemagno is unacceptable.
Another article, published on Sunday morning in the Southern Illinoisan takes an extended and detailed look at the timeline of events surrounding the lead up to my call for President Dunn’s resignation. You can read this past Sunday’s Southern Illinoisan article on this topic by clicking here.
Also, please take a few minutes to visit the links to headlines and articles below that have been generated on this subject in the last week:
It is indeed unfortunate that the news surrounding SIU has not been good in recent months. I take the task of calling for Randy Dunn’s resignation very seriously. It is not a happy day when you must call on the resignation of the leader of Southern Illinois’ flagship university and economic engine. However, it is my sincere belief that SIU needs a new leader that is committed to working for the good of the entire SIU system.
My office in Mt. Vernon is open Monday through Friday and my office in Murphysboro is open Monday through Wednesday, and on Fridays, each from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM. You can also contact me directly through the Contact Form on my website at www.repbryant.com – Your opinions on important topics facing the State of Illinois are invaluable to me. Keep them coming!