SIU President blasted by Board Trustees; emails reveal new outlook
A Freedom of Information Act request uncovered hundred of emails and documents about Southern Illinois University President Randy Dunn, and his plan to reshape the University system.
Two weeks ago, eight Southern Illinois University Board of Trustee members were split in deciding whether to place Dunn on administrative leave or not.
"I have been offended by the emails that I've read that are going to be released," said Trustee member J. Phil Gilbert. "President Dunn plotted to collude the SIU system that has been in existence for decades."
In one email obtained by NewsChannel20, President Dunn wrote to Edwardsville Chancellor Randall Pembrook, suggesting his support in re-directing $5.1 million state dollars between the Carbondale campus and Edwardsville campus. Email correspondence also suggests the push for state legislation to separate the two schools completely and dissolve the system.
"President Dunn's job is to advance SIU's system," said Board Trustee Joel Sambursky. "It is to advocate for the SIU system, not maneuver behind the scenes to stall, divide, and to ultimately try to work to dissolve it."
President Dunn declined to comment when the Board of Trustees narrowly voted to keep him. Chancellor Pembrook told NewsChannel20 that Dunn has positive intentions.
"I think that is what the leader of the system should do," Pembrook says. "He should consistently be looking at that allocation to see what's best for the overall entity. I think many of the legislators in this area decided it was time for them to act and to propose ways of addressing the reallocation if the board wasn't going to do it."
A consultant was hired to crunch the numbers to see if re-directing funds between campuses is a smart way to spend state tax dollars. Pembrook says it is a step in the right direction.
"I think it will indicate what we've been saying," Pembrook said. "We have run the formulas several different ways and we keep coming up with consistent numbers and I think that is what the consultant will find."
The next Board of Trustee meeting is scheduled in September.