Gov. Pat Quinn gives Board of Trustees makeover

Gov. Pat Quinn’s Admissions Review Commission released its final report Aug. 6, recommending that all Board of Trustees members voluntarily submit their resignations.

If the commission’s recommendation is upheld, Quinn will appoint members to serve on the new board.

Of the nine Board of Trustees members, two — Lawrence Eppley and Niranjan Shah — resigned before the report was released, while Trustees Edward McMillan and David Dorris officially resigned following the commission’s suggestion.

Trustees Frances Carroll and James Montgomery have reportedly refused to resign.

In some cases, members who were not involved in the admissions controversy may be reappointed. McMillan, who was appointed in 2009, is one of these members, Quinn said.

“He in no way, shape or form was involved in any of the problems that were created at the University,” said Quinn, in a radio interview.

While the commission discussed changing the way board members are appointed, it did not include a specific recommendation for how this is to be done. Altering the board appointment processes is beyond the commission’s executive order, said Charles Scholz, member of the Admissions Review Commission.

“Our charge, our orders from the governor, we felt were limited to the powers the governor has,” Scholz said. “We could only recommend actions to Governor Quinn.”

The commission recommends that board members voluntarily resign because the governor has the power to reappoint the Board of Trustees, Scholz said.

The governor does not, however, have the power to remove trustees, he said.

“I think that a new model has to be constructed and the key, I think, is some kind of appointment process,” Scholz said.

The system would include some form of review process to screen candidates’ qualifications and integrity, he added.

The current new appointments or reappointments to the board will be made by Quinn.

According to a statement released by the governor’s office, Quinn is urging Illinois citizens to apply for a position on the board.

State Rep. Bill Black, R-104, has reportedly asked that Quinn appoint him to the board. Black has served in the General Assembly since 1986 and is a member of the Committee on Higher Education. If the request is granted, Black would be required to step down from his current position.

The governor’s office has not responded to the request.

“It is premature to address any one particular applicant,” said the statement.

Appointing a new board is the first step in repairing admissions, Scholz said.

Other changes, including a new system for appointments may be necessary in the future, he added.

“I’m confident we’ll have a good board to lead the University, but we can’t depend on that in the future,” Scholz added.