Board of Trustees re-elects chairman

By Eric Heisig

University of Illinois Board of Trustees Chair Larry Eppley was appointed to another year in his position by a unanimous vote Thursday morning.

The vote, which took place at the board meeting at the University of Illinois at Chicago, came after Eppley was the only candidate nominated for the position. Eppley has been on the board since 2001, serving as chair since 2003.

“I’d like to dispel any characterization of your leadership as being just decent,” said Trustee Devon Bruce during the meeting. “I’d characterize your leadership as outstanding, far beyond decency.”

Trustee David Dorris said that Eppley was a great person and is able to take on the demanding job of chair.

“I am deeply committed to this university, and I will continue to be that way,” Eppley said after thanking the board. “I think we have a great team here.”

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A number of the resolutions passed on Thursday dealt with construction and renovation projects to be done around campus. One of the larger resolutions renamed the Peabody and Gregory Drive dining halls, currently under construction, after former University President Stanley O. Ikenberry, who served the University from 1979 to 1995.

“It is very important that the Ikenberry name be a part of the living legacy of campus,” said Chancellor Richard Herman. President B. Joseph White added that the former president was always very dedicated and showed a genuine affection for students.

Construction is under way for the new dining hall, which will serve more than 1,000 students, replacing the Peabody and Gregory Drive dining halls. In addition, a future residence hall complex will be named the Stanley O. Ikenberry Commons, which will be bordered by Gregory and Peabody drives on the north and south sides and by Fourth and First streets on the east and west sides. The entire complex will serve more than 3,000 students.

Ikenberry was told about the renaming via phone, and he said he was honored to have the dining hall and commons named after him. He jokingly added that he would have liked a clause in the agreement that allowed him and his wife to sneak into the dining hall at night to eat.

The board also unanimously passed an act establishing an African-American Studies major within the College of LAS. After the agenda was passed, Student Trustee Chime Asonye thanked the board for its decision, saying there had been requests for the major for some time.

Other topics discussed:

n The board passed a resolution raising the cost of housing to $4,099 a semester for the 2009 academic year, a $266 increase.

n The board passed a resolution giving 10 percent discounts to alumni and people in the Alumni Association who want to take a class on the University’s Global Campus.