Ill. House votes to change who chooses University trustees

By Amanda Graf

The State House of Representatives passed a bill by 113-1 votes that would affect the selection of Board of Trustee members for the University.

Currently the Board consists of nine members who are appointed by the governor and then approved by the Senate. Under the new bill, the Board would consist of seven trustees that are elected by the Senate rather than appointed.

The bill would also affect the student trustees. Currently only one student trustee (of the three that sit on the Board) has a legally binding vote-that student is selected by the governor. Under the new bill the three student trustees would select from among themselves the student who has the power of a legally binding vote.

The passage of this bill through the House comes on the heels of last week’s controversy over whether Board of Trustee candidates who are up for appointment or re-appointment should actually appear before the Senate Executive Appointment Committee. Traditionally, trustees (who serve without pay) do not attend the Senate committee hearing concerning their approval. Sen. Dale Righter, R-Mantoon, requested that the trustees be present for questioning, specifically in reference to the decisions made last February concerning the retirement of Chief Illiniwek. Righter’s request was denied by Sen. Rickey Hendon (D-Chicago).