Trustees ratify Feb. 16 decision to retire Chief Illiniwek

By Kathleen Foody

University Board of Trustees ratified the Feb. 16 decision to eliminate the Chief Illiniwek tradition Tuesday morning.

The amended resolution, a collaborative effort of President B. Joseph White and other University officials, was the first item to be voted on.

The items were considered outside the rest of the agenda.

Trustee David Dorris was the only trustee to vote against the resolution.

It eliminates the use of the regalia, logo and the names “Chief Illiniwek” and “Chief” in connection with the University and its athletic teams, in addition to confirming the retirement of the halftime performances.

The University’s chancellor is charged with the responsibility of finalizing the halt of the use of the regalia, logo and names. The resolution also ends the consensus process that began with a resolution adopted in June 2004 by the board.

The second resolution concerning the Chief was also voted on Tuesday morning, but was defeated.

The resolution called on the University to join a lawsuit to determine whether the NCAA’s actions were legal and enforceable. The suit was filed by current Chief portrayers Dan Maloney and Logan Ponce.

Dorris submitted the resolution and was the only trustee to vote in its favor.

The decision to hire outside counsel is questionable, he said.

The counsel’s argument was “180 degrees different” from the position the board as a whole had presented, Dorris said.

Passing the first resolution ratifying the retirement of the tradition was the right thing to do, trustee Robert Sperling said.

“But if you feel that outside counsel was misdirected maybe that’s something we should discuss,” he said.

Keep checking with the Daily Illini for more information and updates.