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Dunn Stays: Board Splits on Suspension Vote

Jennifer Fuller
SIU Trustees voted to not place SIU System President Randy Dunn on administrative leave at a board meeting on Thursday.

SIU President Randy Dunn avoided suspension Thursday, as trustees were split four-to-four on whether to place him on administrative leave.

Trustee Joel Sambursky said documents – which are being made public – show Dunn worked with administrators at SIU Edwardsville not just to craft a proposed funding reallocation, but also worked behind the scenes to boost legislation that would split the two campuses.

"President Dunn’s Job is to advance the SIU System. It’s to advocate for the SIU System, not maneuver behind the scenes to stall, divide, and ultimately try to work to dissolve it," Sambursky said. 

Sambursky joined Trustees Phil Gilbert, Marsha Ryan, and Tom Britton in the vote to suspend Dunn. Trustees Amy Sholar, Randal Thomas, Shirley Portwood, and Luke Jansen voted against the measure.

Before an hours-long closed session, more than a dozen faculty and staff members from SIUE urged trustees not to suspend Dunn. Professor Charles Berger said Dunn’s job is to advocate for the entire system, and thinks removing him would be a disaster.

“It’s hard for many of us to believe that the board is even discussing such a move. In effect, President Dunn appears to be in danger of losing his job because he did his job,” Berger said. 

Dunn was not available for comment after the meeting. The next scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees is in September.

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