John Marshall merging into UIC for city’s first public law school

The John Marshall Law School will fold into the University of Illinois at Chicago under a plan approved by trustees at both schools Thursday to create the city’s first public law school.

The first class at the UIC John Marshall Law School is expected to matriculate in the fall of 2019, school officials said.

“The decision to create a public law school marks a historic day for higher education in Chicago,” UIC Chancellor Michael Amiridis said in a statement. “It is also a historic day for UIC, which will fill a 50-year gap in its academic offerings as a comprehensive research university.”

UIC approached John Marshall about a merger in 2016 and both sides “determined that the transaction would be financially feasible without requiring any new state funds,” according to a UIC statement.

John Marshall will lease and transfer its four Loop buildings over the next five years “and will fully integrate the law school into UIC after the closing,” the statement said. UIC “will bear no financial obligation for the acquisition.”

John Marshall Dean Darby Dickerson will hold that role through the merger.

“Chicago is the largest city in the U.S. without a public law school. The UIC John Marshall Law School will fill that gap while also enhancing legal services available to the people of Chicago,” Dickerson said in a statement.

The merger still needs accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and the American Bar Association, as well as approval for a “change of control” from the U.S. Department of Education.

About 1,000 students are currently enrolled at John Marshall, with about 280 starting up this fall. They’ll be considered UIC students when the deal closes, with classes taught jointly by faculty from both schools — roughly 50 from John Marshall. More than 30,000 students are enrolled at UIC.

The new law school will still operate at John Marshall’s current location at State and Jackson.

UIC said the merger will create a more affordable legal education and touted it as a boon to interdisciplinary study in health sciences, engineering, urban planning and public administration.

“When you combine the strengths of the John Marshall Law School and UIC, one plus one is much greater than two,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. “The merger of these two bright lights on Chicago’s scholastic landscape will strengthen education and career opportunities for generations of Chicago students, and strengthen our city’s reputation for world-class academic excellence.”

John Marshall was founded in 1899 and has long held a reputation as the city’s more accessible, working-class law school. It has churned out numerous state and local lawmakers and also counts among its alumni former White House Chief of Staff William Daley and Cook County Circuit Court Chief Judge Timothy Evans.

“John Marshall has a long tradition of educating future lawyers who dedicate their careers to serving the public,” Evans said in a statement. “This partnership marks the beginning of a new generation of UIC John Marshall lawyers who will put their legal skills to work in all three branches of government and as public-interest lawyers advocating for policies that are fair and just for all.”

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July 19, 2018 at 05:29PM

John Marshall merging into UIC for city’s first public law school

COD Board Chairwoman to fill Bellock’s seat on legislature

College of DuPage Board Chairwoman Deanne Mazzochi has been appointed to fill a seat on the state legislature that recently became vacant after State Rep. Patti Bellock, R-Hinsdale, was appointed director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.
College of DuPage Board Chairwoman Deanne Mazzochi has been appointed to fill a seat on the state legislature that recently became vacant after State Rep. Patti Bellock, R-Hinsdale, was appointed director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

College of DuPage Board Chairwoman Deanne Mazzochi has been appointed to fill a seat on the state legislature that recently became vacant after State Rep. Patti Bellock, R-Hinsdale, was appointed director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

Bellock previously had announced she would not seek re-election. Mazzochi is running in November’s general election against Democrat James "Jim" Caffrey for the seat. She ran unopposed in March in the Republican primary.

The Republican 47th House District Selection Committee on July 16 announced Mazzochi’s appointment to the seat.

“Deanne Mazzochi is a fiscally-responsible reformer dedicated to taxpayers and we’re excited to send her to Springfield early,” said DuPage County GOP Chairman Brian Krajewski in a news release. “As COD chairman, she helped turn around the scandal-plagued community college. Thanks in large part to her leadership, it is now back on track as one of the best educational resources for our area.”

Mazzochi was elected board chairwoman for the third consecutive year at the board’s annual organizational meeting April 19. Mazzochi was elected to the board for a six-year term in April 2015 and served as vice chairwoman before being named acting chairwoman in December of that year. In April 2016, Mazzochi was elected for her first full-year term as chairwoman of the board.

She grew up in Villa Park and currently lives in Elmhurst with her husband and two children.

"I am grateful for this appointment to serve the people of the 47th District,” Mazzochi said in the release. “Our communities are accustomed to the excellent services that Representative Bellock provided, and we are committed to maintaining them. Residents already have reached out to me on issues ranging from O’Hare and Tollway expansion, redistricting, property taxes, budget, and social services. I’m excited to get started and direct my energy and experience learning and listening to find creative ways to help this district, and to advocate for good policy during the November legislative veto session.”

It is unclear how the appointment will affect her seat on the COD Board of Trustees. If she wins the election, she would not take her seat until January 2019, and the next COD board officer election would be in April or May 2019.

"I do not believe it would be in the best interests of the college under those circumstances for me to continue to serve in dual roles for a lengthy period of time," Mazzochi had previously said in an email prior to her appointment. "That said, I do not have at this time any details for the specific timing of a resignation and/or filling a seat…cross that bridge if and when we get to it. Ultimately, I’ll need to see where we are; my fundamental goal as to COD would be to ensure that there is a smooth transition so that the college does not experience a lag time in any business that needs to be accomplished."

Caffrey had previously said the best decision would be to appoint someone who is not running to replace Bellock.

“The process of one person retiring early from a seat so that the political parties’ preferred candidate can assume incumbency is not the right way to govern," he had said in a news release. "It simply validates our state’s reputation where political parties game the system for their own benefit instead of serving in the best interest of the public."

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July 16, 2018 at 08:28PM

COD Board Chairwoman to fill Bellock’s seat on legislature

SIU president at center of controversy is leaving

CARBONDALE, Ill. • Embattled Southern Illinois University President Randy Dunn is expected to step down early next week.

At a special meeting on Monday, the SIU Board of Trustees will consider a separation agreement for the president, according to a meeting notice posted late Friday.

The board will also consider the appointment of J. Kevin Dorsey, a retired SIU School of Medicine dean, as interim president. Dorsey’s compensation will be $430,000.

The separation agreement included with the agenda states that Dunn’s retirement will be effective July 30. He will be provided with a six-month severance payment of $215,000, and he will be rehired as a visiting professor at SIU Edwardsville for an annual salary of $100,000 beginning Jan. 1, 2019.

Dunn, who first began as president of SIU in 2014, has come under fire recently after nearly 1,900 pages of university documents showed that he colluded with officials on the Edwardsville campus to bolster a funding reallocation proposal between the two campuses in the system.

The internal emails and meeting notes showed that Dunn worked closely with SIUE Chancellor Randy Pembrook in developing the proposal, which would have shifted $5.1 million in state appropriation funding from SIU Carbondale to Edwardsville.

Dunn’s office also worked to support a piece of state legislation, introduced by State Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea, to dissolve the SIU System and create separate boards of trustees for SIUC and SIUE.

A number of downstate lawmakers have called for Dunn’s removal. Some members of the Board of Trustees attempted to oust him in June, but the vote was split 4-4, with trustees affiliated with the Edwardsville campus voting in Dunn’s favor.

On Tuesday, the SIUC Faculty Senate passed a no confidence resolution against Dunn.

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July 13, 2018 at 06:11PM

SIU president at center of controversy is leaving

IVCC President Makes Push For Shared Police Station

IVCC President Makes Push For Shared Police Station

IVCC – File Photo Studstill Media

OGLESBY – The President of Illinois Valley Community College laid out what they hoped would be the future plans for the shared police station on their grounds. At Thursday’s meeting, Jerry Corcoran said that partnering with local law enforcement on this venture makes great sense. The college said their preferred location for the new police station and call center would be just south of where the old barn is, which was a topic of debate last month about its proposed demolition. That demolition, proposed on June 14th, has been put on hold.

The Barn at IVCC – Studstill Media Photo


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July 13, 2018 at 04:37AM

IVCC President Makes Push For Shared Police Station

SIU researcher aims to maximize efficiency, minimize risks for canine first responders

CARBONDALE — In times of disaster, search and rescue (SAR) dogs are some of the first responders on the ground. But while other rescue members are surrounded by protocols to ensure their safety, canines are left vulnerable to a host of environmental dangers. For canine specialist and assistant professor Erin Perry, that is not acceptable.

From uncovering explosives to finding missing children, SAR dogs are being used more than ever to guide humans in their work. With the ability to run faster than the fittest human and their keen senses of smell, no technology or invention has been able to compare to the work of these canines.

Because of their incredible usefulness for military and domestic purposes, researchers are working to understand how the dogs perform when in the field, while also learning how to maximize those efforts to generate the most success.

Erin Perry, a canine specialist on the Missouri Task Force 1 Team and assistant professor in animal science food and nutrition at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, believes that while these dogs are impressive, more can be done to increase their efficiency.

“When the dogs deploy into the field, there are a lot of issues regarding deployment and management conditions in the field, things you just can’t fix,” Perry said. “The area they work in is dangerous; it’s unpredictable; it’s scary; it’s stressful; it’s dirty and it’s contaminated.

“While we can’t make the environment any better for them, maybe we can help protect them or help prepare them better to work in this type of dangerous environment.”

For Perry, this issue is deeply personal. When serving with the FEMA Missouri Task Force 1 team during the 2011 Joplin tornado, Perry almost lost her canine partner due to environmental hazards.

The team was working near a destroyed Home Depot for 26 hours straight, wading through a variety of chemicals and biohazards. When Perry and her canine finally had time for a break, they followed normal decontamination procedures. But for Perry’s canine partner, Pickles, the protocols were not enough to keep her from developing severe liver failure that was nearly fatal.

“She (the dog) had horrible exposure, and we didn’t know,” Perry stated. “We had decontaminated her and gave her a bath, and we thought we had her clean. But the cleansers weren’t effective and our procedures weren’t effective.”

Perry’s research is actively looking to find what cleaners are both effective in decontaminating, yet still safe for the dogs. She is testing a variety of cleansers and is hoping to implement stronger protocols in future deployment situations.

Perry is also examining other areas of risk and efficiency for these canine responders. SAR teams must be ready to deploy within a moment’s notice, and the dogs must be ready as well. But Perry found that this level of urgency can put a certain amount of stress on the canines.

“These dogs get woken up in the middle of the night and get thrown on an airplane, helicopter or a bus with 70 other people, and then travel half-way across the country. Their whole world is turned upside down. But then they have to walk off the helicopter, walk off the airplane, walk off the bus and go to work,” Perry said. “That is incredibly stressful for them.”

Motivated by this situation, Perry and her team of researchers are looking at how this stress affects the dogs and how it can be managed. She is examining a variety of nutritional elements, along with conditioning and training techniques, to build a strong solution for these valuable first responders.

The other part of Perry’s research is finding a solution to the heat stress that is placed on these dogs.

“When the dogs are working, there is an incredible amount of physical exertion put on them,” Perry explained. “When this is happening, the dog’s core temperature goes up. Dogs pant to reduce their temperature, but when they are panting, they are not sniffing.”

This heat stress can quickly reduce the efficiency of the dog’s work, hindering the canine from smelling at the highest capacity. To overcome this, Perry is working to find solutions such as cooling techniques and conditioning exercises.

Perry and her current canine partner, Zorro, are still members of the Missouri Task Force 1 team. They were recently deployed to assist after Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

Perry was also on the ground after Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Matthew, the Joplin Tornado and during severe Colorado flooding. She and Zorro, a 5-year-old Belgian Malinois, continue to train and remain ready to serve whenever they receive their next call.

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July 11, 2018 at 06:19AM

SIU researcher aims to maximize efficiency, minimize risks for canine first responders

Despite FOIA document dump, SIUE community still supports Dunn

In the wake of documents released last week by the Board of Trustees, multiple Illinois lawmakers and Board of Trustees members have asked SIU System President Randy Dunn to resign.

Despite that, it seems like the SIUE community is standing by him.

The nearly 1900-page document dump, which was released as after requests from multiple Trustees at the board meeting June 21, show Dunn working with SIUE Chancellor Randy Pembrook on the messaging around his response to the board deciding not to reallocate $5.125 million dollars of state funding from SIUC to SIUE for the 2018-2019 school year. 

The emails also show that Dunn had some knowledge of legislation, introduced by State Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea, that aimed to split the SIU System apart. 

According to The Southern, a newspaper based in Southern Illinois, five state legislators have asked for Dunn’s removal since the documents were released. 

State Reps. Terri Bryant, R-Murphysboro, Dave Severin, R-Benton, Paul Schimpf, R-Waterloo and State Sen. Dale Fowler, R-Harrisburg have all asked for his resignation.

Additionally, SIU System Trustee Marsha Ryan asked for Dunn’s resignation June 29.

The SIUC Faculty Senate also passed a “vote of no confidence” and called for Dunn’s removal Tuesday afternoon.

By all accounts, the SIUE community seems to be pleased with his work. 

All 14 of the SIUE-affiliated speakers at the last Board of Trustees meeting spoke in favor of Dunn — an important fact considering the board was voting on whether or not to remove Dunn from his position as president.

Those that spoke with The Alestle after the documents’ release have not wavered.

“President Dunn is under attack because he has advocated for a fair budget for SIUE. Clearly, some of you regard that as betrayal, but you cannot make the budget reallocation issue go away by trying to silence President Dunn,” University Archives and Special Collections Librarian Steve Kerber said at the June 21 Board of Trustees meeting.

However, at the same meeting, Trustees Ryan, Joel Sambursky and Phil Gilbert had a very different view.

“President Dunn’s job is to advance the SIU System, not maneuver behind the scenes to stall, divide, and work to dissolve it,” 

Sambursky said.

Honors Adviser Ian Toberman, who spoke at the June 21 board meeting, said he understands where the Carbondale community is coming from, but still says he stands by Dunn.

“I think any of us who are fair would say we would have similar concerns if we were in Carbondale’s shoes, so I’m not going to paint Carbondale people as overly reactionary. I understand their emotional response to this,” Toberman said.

Toberman also said that while he’d only gotten through a third of the documents, he had read an analysis of them in the Southern, but that his opinion of Dunn had not changed.

While Dunn previously told The Alestle his duties included “the responsibility to assist, support [and] provide guidance to the campuses, all campuses,” it’s clear that he was willing to stoke the flames of separation, even if as an empty threat, in order to put pressure on the Board of Trustees to push through a relocation proposal.

“It’s on now. Xoxo,” Dunn wrote in response to Pembrook’s email update on the April 12 board meeting, which doubled as the public first mention of Hoffman’s bill.

In the documents, Dunn made it clear neither he, nor Board of Trustees Chair Amy Sholar,  wanted to be publicly involved in the bill, despite their private support of it. 

“Don’t say that any of us (me, Amy, etc.) supports the bill yet,” Dunn said in an email April 11 — a day before the reallocation vote was taken.

At the June 21 meeting, Gilbert and Sambursky accused Dunn of hiding the details of the reallocation proposal from SIUC Chancellor Carlo Montemagno. 

However, Toberman said he saw Dunn’s actions differently.

“What I read in the release was a chief executive who was consulting and working with someone underneath him who was trying to advocate for his campus,” Toberman said.

Dunn previously denied purposefully keeping anything from Montemagno during a press conference where he apologized for his “bitchers” comments.

“Dunn was publicly neutral. There was nothing requiring him to be privately neutral, at least up until that point in time,” Toberman said. “What’s really interesting in the read, is that what you see is one part of the system who’s willing to consult with the president’s office, and another part of the system that’s been unwilling to consult.”

Dunn stood by his actions around the reallocation proposal in a statement released through legal counsel July 3, and maintained that his actions were not based in a bias for Edwardsville.

“I would likewise support an increase in the funding allocation to SIU Carbondale if the circumstances were the opposite and SIU Carbondale was growing and 64 percent of the funds were being allocated to SIU Edwardsville and only 36 percent of the funds were being allocated to SIU Carbondale. However, those are not the circumstances before us,” Dunn said.

Dunn also criticized the coverage from The Southern. 

“As SIU System President, a legitimate business decision must be made as to what is going to allow the SIU system as a whole to flourish and to ensure that both SIU educational institutions have the appropriate resources needed to operate into the future. Everything we do needs to be with our students in mind — those current and those future — if we are to have a viable and functioning SIU System,” Dunn said.

The documents show some SIUC members complaining about the way those the formula in the April reallocation proposal — most notably the way graduate programs were weighted — was decided.

While the number of doctoral programs offered through SIUC is much higher than at SIUE, Edwardsville currently offers doctoral programs through the School of Pharmacy, School of Dental Medicine, School of Nursing and School of Education, Health and Human Behavior. 

Edwardsville also has a partnership with SIUC for a Ph.D. in Environmental Resources and Policy.

Denise Cobb, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, said that while there are no current plans to introduce research-based doctoral programs, that doesn’t mean they are off the table for SIUE indefinitely.

“I don’t necessarily feel like doctoral education is absolutely 

necessary as an evolutionary step for this university to contribute at its potential,” Cobb said. “But, I think if we identify doctoral programs that we think we have the faculty, the resources and the potential to offer that in a way that will be meaningful to students, that will contribute to knowledge in that area in a way that is not being fulfilled right now or that it allowed us to contribute in a way that reflects the excellence that we expect … I’m open to that conversation.”

Cobb also said that there have not yet had been discussions between her and SIUC on what would happen to the joint doctoral if the universities ended up seperated.

Kerber said he hadn’t tried to go through the documents himself, but he had read news stories about them. 

“President Dunn shared the information, as he has explained. As far as [the reallocation announcement being] short notice, that simply is fantasy. The Board of Trustees has discussed Carbondale’s declining enrollment for many, many years, and they’ve never really done anything successfully about it,” Kerber said.

Kerber also said, as he did in the June board meeting, that the 

core issue is about enrollment at Carbondale, rather than Dunn’s actions.

“The core issue is that Carbondale has been losing enrolment since 1991 … They’re losing enrollment because all the conditions that allowed enrollment to explode there have all gone away with the passage of time, and they cannot and will not be able to restore their enrollment, and they refuse to accept that,” Kerber said.

While Kerber said that he hoped a neutral funding allocation formula could keep the two universities together, he also said he doubted the current system would hold.

“I would like to think [the system can stay together], but if the Carbondale trustees continue to get rid of president Dunn, then I honestly believe that the legislature will have to become involved and will split the system. If they will leave him in place and let the process of identifying and hiring and instructing a third party to come up with a neutral, dynamic formula, there’s a possibility. But, if they continue to go after him the way they are, then it won’t work — it can never work,” Kerber said.

Kerber also said he expected the board to take another vote on removing Dunn now that the student trustee vote has shifted from SIUE to Carbondale. 

However, Pembrook said he thinks there would need to be new information around the controversy to bring a new vote in front of the board.

“If they did, I think it would be interesteing to see what is the context for having that conversation again. Obviously the board met [and] they reflected for a number of hours. … If we have another review of this [issue], I think it should require a basis for that second review,” Pembrook said.

Pembrook said he was hopeful that hopefully the SIU System can put the events of the past few months behind us, at least until the next development in the reallocation formula planning.

“I would hope that we can come together around the idea of a consultant and we can channel our energy into that so that we get a good process and a good report. Depending on how that goes … the drama might be over for a while,” Pembrook said. 

Both Dunn and Sambursky did not respond to The Alestle’s interview request by the time of publication

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July 11, 2018 at 05:57AM

Despite FOIA document dump, SIUE community still supports Dunn

Dunn coordinates with legislators, SIU Edwardsville administration in attempt to dissolve system

SIU President Randy Dunn has coordinated with Edwardsville administration and Metro-East lawmakers to create legislation in order to dissolve the SIU system, according to documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

He took those steps while claiming publicly to be neutral on the issue.

The SIU Board of Trustees voted on June 21 to release nearly 1,900 pages of correspondence that led two trustees to call for Dunn to be removed from the presidency and placed on administrative leave.  

See more: Board fails to pass motion ousting Dunn, approve release of documents

The documents show Dunn assisted in the drafting of bills that would dissolve the SIU System and make Southern Illinois University and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville independent entities with separate boards.

“Staff will be working on the bill. We printed it off today. It is a 121 page technical mess of separating everything out,” John Charles, SIU’s executive director for governmental and public affairs, wrote in an April 10 email to Dunn. “Not a simple Carbondale you go your way, Edwardsville you go yours. The SIU System is very intertwined in state government.”

Charles said he wasn’t sure how quickly the bill could get done but said the “best bet” may be for Jay Hoffman (D-Swansea) to acknowledge he’s going to be advancing the bill.

Dunn declined to comment to the Daily Egyptian on the released documents after consultation with Charles and Amy Sholar, SIU Board of Trustees Chair.

Dunn later writes to SIUE Chancellor Randy Pembrook that he should say neither Dunn nor Scholar is supportive of the system dissolution bill 

“Rather, you can say the proposed dissolution takes it out of the BOT’s decision making hands and will now be dealt with fully as a function of the legislative process,” Dunn said.

On April 17, Dunn and Sholar released a statement stating that they would remain neutral on the legislation.

“Until directed otherwise by the governing body of SIU, the position that the SIU president’s office will take on these and any other proposals that could emerge is ‘neutral’ — restricted to providing data, background information and technical expertise as requested,” Dunn and Sholar said in their statement.

Nine days after the release of the neutrality statement, Dunn emailed retired SIUE Chancellor Stephen Hansen, regarding his offer to serve as a consultant to review the funding formula.

“I appreciate the offer and you would have done well with it, but this has moved to a new plane, unfortunately,” Dunn said in the email to Hansen. “We may have arrived at the time where the split just needs to take place because I don’t think it’s going back in the bottle after this.”

Adding the proposed $5.125 million shift to the April 12 board meeting agenda

Dunn had a confidential meeting with Vice President for Academic Affairs Brad Colwell and Vice President for Financial and Administrative affairs Duane Stucky on March 18. 

Pembrook and SIUE budget director Bill Winter were also at the meeting via phone, according to meeting notes.

Dunn said at the confidential meeting that a board matter was to be prepared by SlUE to shift State funds from Carbondale to Edwardsville and suggested the “transfer shouldn’t be so large as to be easily rejected yet so little as to have no meaning.”

Dunn said Sholar was in favor of the first phase of the funding shift.

After a board agenda sign-off meeting on March 21, Dunn instructed Matt Baughman, SIU Chief of Staff, and Judy Marshall, SIU Executive Director of Administration and Finance, to not inform SIU Chancellor Carlo Montemagno on the proposed allocation, according to documents and to SIU spokeswoman Rae Goldsmith. 

Duane Stucky meeting notes

“Upon returning to campus, in subsequent discussions with Matt, I learned that Dunn had called Matt Baughman and Judy Marshall aside after the 3/21/18 board sign off meeting and revealed that the matter was about reallocation,” according to Stucky’s meeting notes. “Matt and Judy felt compelled not to tell the Chancellor because the President had instructed confidentiality.”

Baughman declined to comment unless questions were directly emailed to him. Marshall did not respond for comment by publishing time.

Dunn also said this “will somehow put the ‘Carbondale trustees’ in a spot since voting against it will be used as ammunition by the group that is developing SlUE separation legislation.”

See more: Dunn responds to claims he holds Carbondale campus in “contempt”

In a presentation to the board Winter spoke on monetary contributions that SIUE had shifted to SIUC from 2000 to present day – citing an inter-campus loan of up to $35 million from the Edwardsville campus to the Carbondale campus in May 2017. He also planned a rebuttal if the numbers from 1957-2000 were brought up in the presentation.

Remaining neutral, Edwardsville campus-wide message and the 60/40 Split

Dunn said he was remaining neutral on the allocation shift during a May 18 press conference.

Despite his statement, Dunn knew that the matter would not pass, according to released documents.

“Will be a 4-4 I assume, which does not pass. But making a run at it,” Dunn said in an email to  Pembrook on April 9. “And let all the fires be lit…big time.”

Dunn and Pembrook were in contact with Representatives Jay Hoffman (D-Swansea), Katie Stuart (D-Edwardsville), Monica Bristow (D-Godfrey) and LaToya Greenwood (D- East St. Louis) regarding the legislation and the release sent to the Edwardsville community.

“I will talk with Representative Hoffman’s office today to make sure about an announcement and timing,” Dunn said. “I am attaching a draft of what could go out tomorrow afternoon assuming the reallocation proposal doesn’t pass.”

After revisions made by Dunn and Edwardsville administration, a note of approval was given to Pembrook by the president.

“Good to go and would push it out tomorrow to all SlUE users just as soon as the meeting concludes,” Dunn said to Pembrook in an April 11 email — the day before the meeting. “Strap in buddy!”

See more: SIUE Chancellor pushes back on SIU Board of Trustees vote

In the emails, Dunn spoke on the 60/40 state appropriation split between the campuses and said it was to “shut the bitchers up from Carbondale.”

In a May 10 meeting, Dunn asked Stucky to prepare the data behind the 60/40 state funding allocation split and present it to the board.

“I responded that I couldn’t… the first time that I had ever heard about a 60-40 split was when he mentioned it,” Stucky said in meeting notes.

Higher Education Committee hearing

Dunn, SIU School of Medicine Dean Jerry Kruse and Pembrook also attended a higher education committee meeting on April 19 in Springfield regarding a series of bills introduced by Metro-East legislators.

“[Charles] and I think we probably better have the both of you present for that hearing, so start looking at your calendars now to see if you will be able to get them cleared,” Dunn said to Kruse and Pembrook in an April 17 email.

“Just so you know… since neutral on bill, we would testify only if asked by committee or Carlo shows up and signs in to speak,” Dunn said to Kruse and Pembrook on April 19.

In an email the same day, Dunn advised Pembrook on presenting information regarding university research.

Montemagno was not informed of the meeting, according to university spokeswoman Rae Goldsmith.

“The chancellor relies on the system office to include him on legislative matters related to the university,” Goldsmith said. “He was not aware nor invited to that meeting and did not attend.”

Dunn’s attempt in removing Montemagno

Following the addition of the proposed $5.125 million shift in state funding from Carbondale to Edwardsville, Montemagno sent a memo to the Board of Trustees specifying what he believed would be the economic and community impact of the funding shift.

Dunn was CC’ed in the memo.

Montemagno said he believed the shift in funding would compromise the university’s financial recovery and stability, lead to as many as 110 layoffs in faculty and staff and take over $39 million from the local economy.

Dunn rebuked Montemagno’s memo and said “it is misleading at best and insubordinate at worst.”

“I do not fault my colleagues at SIU Edwardsville for making a case that they believe is in the interest of their institution,” Montemagno said in a response to the proposal on his blog on April 4. “However, I feel strongly that a sudden, unexplored plan to advance one institution while damaging another is not in the best interests of the SIU System, any institution that is a part of it, or the southern Illinois region.”

Dunn said he was disappointed in Montemagno for sending the memo without consulting him first, according to an April 3 email.

“Your memo intentionally misrepresents the situation… of your not being able to attend the Friday meeting but also not following up afterward, and then seeking to blame me for that,” Dunn said. “I have attempted these past eight months, within my own ethical considerations of your reorganization plan, to support your efforts to lead the SIUC campus, to the point of writing a joint statement of support with the Chair (cc’d here) for your leadership.”

Dunn told Montemagno it was now his decision to “ignore the chain of command as spelled out explicitly by board policy, or implicitly by any common understanding of organization structure, then so be it.”

“However, also understand that in doing so, you risk losing my support for your chancellorship… which at this juncture would be best served by a laser focus on direct outcomes driving enrollment and making the tough internal campus decisions you need to make to mitigate the fact that a $5 million allocation shift in a budget as large as Carbondale’s causes you to take this highly inappropriate action,” Dunn said.

Montemagno responded to Dunn’s email and said he was sorry that his memo had caused an issue between the two administrators.

“I felt strongly that I had a fiduciary responsibility to my campus to submit a detailed response to SIU Edwardsville’s request on the funding shift,” Montemagno said. “I sent it to you and to Misty at the same time so the two of you could coordinate the communication to the board as you best determined.”

Dunn forwarded his message to Montemagno to Charles who said Montemagno “was Rasputin” and that it would “make it harder to pick up the pieces no matter what happens.”

In an email to Sholar on April 4, Dunn said this would be enough to end [Montemagno’s] career as chancellor in some higher education systems.

“In some, if not most, of the 45 public HIED systems in the country — of which SIU is one of the smallest ones — this posting alone would be enough to end his career as a chancellor…let alone the memorandum to the BOT he sent without my review or approval,” Dunn said to Sholar.

“[Montemagno] is publicly dumping on the Trustees who will vote in support of the reallocation proposal, just as much if not more than he is me,” Dunn said to Sholar. “Continuation of this current status and behavior into next year is untenable from my view.”

He advised Sholar to share the information with “like-minded Trustees,” but only individually, in order to avoid violating the Open Meetings Act.

In a string of emails with Faith Miller, an associate professor of Dental Hygiene, Dunn said that Montemango’s contract is until 2021, but can be reassigned as long as they pay him his salary until the end of his contract.

“Please tell me we are not headed for another Cheng-o-Rama..,”  Miller says to Dunn in the April 11th email.

“We’re already in it, hate to tell you,” Dunn said.

Obtaining the correspondence

Sambursky said he asked the SIU General Counsel to provide all correspondence between Dunn, the Office of the President and executive leadership of the Edwardsville and Carbondale campuses regarding the proposal to shift $5.125 million from Carbondale to Edwardsville in April and legislation that was filed afterward aimed at dissolving the system.

“This request was intended to allow the board to gain a better understanding of the thinking of our executive leadership across the SIU System and the process they used during the reallocation discussion,” Sambursky said.

Sambursky said the documents suggest Dunn, Pembrook and his staff provided the board false information and withheld vital data when making a decision on a shift in state funding.

The documents show the factors Edwardsville leadership used for making the case on reallocation were created by Dunn, Sambursky said.

Sambursky said the board was eager to pursue an independent consultant to review the system funding model in order to ensure state resources are properly and fairly allocated among the campuses.

“I learned after the April agenda was released to the public that we would be doing the opposite of what we all agreed to in March by voting on this issue — with none of the research and data that we all agreed needed to be collected,” Sambursky said.

Sambursky said after the April meeting, documents showed not only was Carbondale leadership uninformed on the proposed $5.125 million shift but students, faculty and constituency heads were not informed either.

Calls for Action

In a 4-4 split vote, the SIU Board of Trustees failed to obtain the votes necessary in order to place SIU President Randy Dunn on administrative leave during a June 21 special board meeting.

At least one-half of the total membership of the Board is required for the initial selection of the President or the termination of the President’s services, according to board bylaws.

Following the analysis of the released documents published in the Southern Illinoisan, several legislators called for Dunn’s resignation.

“The president has lost my confidence and the confidence of at least four of the members of the Board of Trustees,” Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) said in an interview with the Southern Illinoisan. “It is time for Randy Dunn to be done as the SIU President. It is the Board’s duty to act in the best interest of the University system as a whole.

SIU Student Trustee Brione Lockett said that it was best to keep a clear headspace when making decisions and opinions on the board matters.

“[We] shouldn’t think with our emotions,” Lockett said. “There is a lot going on and emotions can get the best of us at times.”

Lockett said he believes that transparency is something that the system needs more of and that individuals named in the released documents need to be questioned.

“No one here is a victim,” Lockett said. “If I have something to hide, what am I really gaining from this — we need to do better.” 

Response from Dunn

Dunn has put out a public statement, through his attorney Shane Moskop and Jim Mendillo of Freeark, Harvey, & Mendillo, following the Southern Illinoisian’s analysis and reporting regarding the nearly 1,900 pages of correspondence released to the media.

The lawyers claimed that the statement is being released “as a result of The Southern’s erroneous interpretation and analysis of the FOIA’d communications regarding ongoing efforts to address the SIU System’s funding issues.”

“Its coverage on this issue provided only a partial narrative, while serving to even further distract those involved from finding a long-term funding allocation solution and providing the stability the SIU campuses deserve,” Moskop said. “Despite President Dunn’s desire not to engage in back and forth in the media it has become necessary to release the following Statement due to this imbalanced reporting.”

Dunn said the funding and allocation issues have been going on for multiple years but he will continue working to move forward and “ensure all of SIU is thriving and growing.”

“I support an increased allocation to make the allocation more fair and equitable as Edwardsville has grown and has increased its enrollment over the last decade plus,” Dunn said.

Dunn said, through the release,  a “legitimate business decision must be made as to what is going to allow the SIU system as a whole to flourish and to ensure that both SIU educational institutions have the appropriate resources needed to operate into the future.”

“There will be a time to provide the full narrative on these matters and I look forward to addressing those in greater detail soon,” Dunn said. “In the meantime, I would invite anyone to read through the full set of released documents.”

Staff reporter Brian Munoz can be reached at or on Twitter at @BrianMMunoz.

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July 10, 2018 at 04:36PM

Dunn coordinates with legislators, SIU Edwardsville administration in attempt to dissolve system