Murphysboro….State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) is once again calling for SIU President Randy Dunn to be fired or to resign immediately. Bryant took to the floor of the Illinois House back on Thursday, May 17 as the first sitting legislator to publicly call for Dunn’s resignation. Following her speech, at least 3 more legislators have also called for Dunn to resign.

Bryant’s original call for Dunn’s resignation came as a result of the release of information obtained through FOIA revealed that in emails to the SIU-E Chancellor, Dunn had referred profanely to individuals from Carbondale that opposed his plan to shift $5 million from SIU-C to SIU-E and that he was purposely misrepresenting the rules for shifting funding in order to quiet any dissenters.

The Friday, June 29 edition of the Southern Illinoisan has now revealed damning information that contradicts Dunn’s own public statements in regard to the proposed cost shift and in regard to proposed legislation that would have split up the 3-part Southern Illinois University system into separate pieces.

“When I called on the SIU Board of Trustees and Chair Amy Sholar to release all documents related to Randy Dunn’s collusion with officials from SIU-E, I did so knowing that what was found might be disturbing,” Bryant said. “I hate to say that my hunch was right. Evidence reveals that Randy Dunn has worked to undermine SIU-Carbondale and has lied to me and to the public about it. Working behind the scenes in a collusive manner with SIU-E officials is not the capacity that Randy Dunn was hired to serve in.”

Bryant then reiterated her call for Dunn to be removed or resign immediately and issued a challenge to the SIU Board of Trustees.

“The President has lost my confidence and the confidence of at least 4 of the members of the Board of Trustees,” Bryant said. “It is time for Randy Dunn to be done as the SIU President. It is the Board’s duty to act in the best interest of the University system as a whole. This is a time for leadership and I believe Chair Sholar must step up and lead. I believe the sooner Randy Dunn is removed and replaced, the better it will be for everyone involved.”

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Dear Friend,

During the last couple of weeks, I have been very busy traveling the 115th district for various events and meetings. This week’s e-news will focus on my travels as well as my thoughts on the ongoing saga surrounding SIU President Randy Dunn’s tenure and the future of the University.

I gave my thoughts to WSIL TV 3 and The Southern Illinoisan on this topic on Friday and links to those interviews will be available early next week. We have pictures and links and more below. Make sure to read all the way to the end for a special birthday announcement as well!

Thank you for reading!

John Croessman Square Dedication and Resolution Presentation

Last Friday June 15, I was honored to join folks from the city of DuQuoin for a special dedication ceremony. Once again, I was impressed with just how special the city of DuQuoin and its community members are. I joined Mayor Alongi and other guests in sharing a few words and a House Resolution that I passed in May to honor the work and life of John Croessman. You can view the full text of the resolution by clicking here. 


 

 
 
The city of DuQuoin dedicated a new outdoor gathering area in John’s name. John was unable to attend as he is still recovering from a stroke, but a multitude of friends and family were in attendance to celebrate his many contributions to DuQuoin. Thank you to John and to all of those in attendance and to those that made this special event possible. It was indeed my honor to be a part of it! You can read more about the ceremony and John Croessman’s contributions to the news industry in Southern Illinois and to the city of DuQuoin by clicking the link below.

SIU Board of Trustees Meet to Consider Dunn’s Future – Approves Release of 1000 Pages of Documentation
You may recall that a couple of weeks ago on June 8th, SIU Board of Trustees members Phil Gilbert and Joel Sambursky called for a special meeting of the executive committee of the board to consider whether to place SIU President Randy Dunn on administrative leave, pending an investigation into documents and emails related to a plan to shift funding from SIU-C to SIU-E and regarding legislation that would have split the SIU system into separate parts.

A Southern Illinoisan article explaining more on this aspect of the most recent news at SIU can be found by clicking here -  “Gilbert calls for release of additional documents involving SIU President.”

That executive committee meeting was eventually canceled and replaced by a full meeting of the Board of Trustees that took place this week on Thursday, June 21. The purpose of the meeting was two-fold. First, the trustees were to consider whether to place Dunn on leave and second whether to release documents and emails related to the aforementioned issues.

As for placing President Dunn on administrative leave, the Board was deadlocked at 4-4. The Board of Trustees did however vote to release documents related to these matters. I am looking forward to reviewing the documents and understanding just how much work was done behind the scenes to undermine SIU-Carbondale. Keep in mind, I called for Randy Dunn to resign his position back in April after a Southern Illinoisan op-ed revealed that Dunn had referred to representatives of the Carbondale campus as “bitchers” because they opposed his plan to shift funding away from SIU-C to SIU-E.

As a thorough review of the documents takes place over the next several days, I expect more news to be made on this subject. When news breaks, I will keep you up to date with analysis and reaction. I will never stop fighting for a healthy, in-tact SIU system!

HAPPY 60th BIRTHDAY TO MY HUSBAND RICK BRYANT!
This weekend, my loving and wonderful husband Rick will celebrate his 60th birthday! I am so proud to call him my husband and to call him the father of our two kids and four grandchildren.

Love you more every day, Rick and I’m looking forward to celebrating with the family this weekend, Southern Illinois style!

If you're in Murphysboro, give me a shout and maybe you can stop by to try out the 100 foot slip and slide!


Stay Connected!
My office in Mt. Vernon is open Monday through Friday and my office in Murphysboro is open Monday through Thursday, each from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM. You can also contact me directly through the Contact Form on my website at www.repbryant.com - Your opinions on important topics facing the State of Illinois are invaluable to me. Keep them coming!



Dear Friend,

This week’s e-news follows an incredibly fast-paced two weeks of action in Springfield and big news that will likely have long term effects on the power structure in State government. I want to thank you all for writing, calling, faxing, Facebook messaging and more during the last six months of the legislative Session. Your input on the important decisions facing the legislature is invaluable to me.

Throughout the Summer I will bring you updates on the myriad of legislation that has passed the House and Senate and awaits the Governor’s signature. As news breaks on bill signings or bill vetoes, Bryant E-news will keep you up to date. For the sake of keeping this newsletter focused on current events, I’m going to focus on two items this week.

1.       Governor signs balanced budget – I voted Yes. More $ for schools, SIU, and transportation
2.       Turmoil at SIU and my continued calls for Randy Dunn to resign

Casting a Yes Vote for a 2nd Straight Balanced Budget
Here is my press release from the day that the State budget passed for the FY 19 year.

Springfield….
State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) joined a super majority of Illinois House lawmakers on Thursday in voting yes for a full-year, balanced State budget for the 2019 fiscal year. Bryant says she is proud of the hard work and cooperation that went into negotiating the balanced budget and urged her colleagues to continue working together on other major issues facing the State.

The on-time, in-balance, full-year budget cleared the House on the last day of regularly scheduled Session. With Governor Rauner’s signature, the bipartisan budget agreement will represent a departure from prior years when partisan gridlock kept the State from having a budget for more than two and a half years.

“Chaos is not normal,” Bryant said. “What we had in years past with not having a budget or a plan was simply chaos. During last July’s budget action, I think it is safe to say that a lot of members, including myself, put their political careers on the line and did what was necessary to end the budget stalemate and save the State from junk bond status and a host of other major complications. This FY 19 budget agreement is a step in the right financial direction and will add much-needed stability to the State’s economic outlook.”

Bryant says the involvement of House and Senate Republicans played a significant role in helping to craft next fiscal year’s spending plan. Bryant has argued publicly for months that Illinois must stick to a strict fiscal diet in the coming years if the State is to ever eliminate its outstanding debt obligations.

“HB 109 cuts more than $1 billion in spending,” Bryant said. “These cuts, and this fiscally sound, balanced budget could not have been achieved without the participation of Republicans.”
In addition to the welcome, but somewhat surprising bipartisan agreement, Bryant says she believes the budget takes aim at the problem of dropping enrollment at Illinois’ public Universities by providing a 2% increase in funding for higher education and makes MAP grants available for four years at a time instead of just one.

“The budget impasse had a devastating and chilling effect on our State’s higher education institutions,” Bryant said. “Some stability has returned due to the fact that we have a budget now, but this year’s budget increase for higher education should signal to Illinois’ high school students that we are dedicated to improving our Universities and that we are going to continue to make investments in our future leaders and keep our kids going to schools closer to home.”                                                  

The Governor has now signed the FY 19 budget into law. To read more on this topic please follow the news links below.

More Controversy At Southern Illinois University – Board of Trustees Members Schedules, then Cancel Meeting to Take up Issue of Randy Dunn’s Employment as SIU President

By now, you are probably aware that controversy has been swirling around Southern Illinois University President Randy Dunn for several months. Shortly after Carlo Montemagno was hired as SIU-C Chancellor, news reports in Southern Illinois highlighted a rocky relationship, and it seemed the two men couldn’t get along while trying to implement Montemagno’s plan for reorganization at the campus.

That bad press was followed later by a revelation in an op-ed in the Southern Illinoisan in late May that revealed President Dunn had used the term “bitchers” in an official e-mail to SIU-E officials in reference to the Carbondale campus. That day, I took to the Illinois House Floor to call on Randy Dunn to resign in  part because he was working against SIU-C in favor of SIU-E.
In the past few days, a meeting of the Executive Committee of the SIU Board of Trustees was scheduled and then abruptly canceled.

Here are excerpts from SIU Trustee Joel Sambursky’s Facebook page:  

“Last week after the SIU Board meeting in Springfield all trustees received information that in my view warrants the calling of an urgent meeting to consider placing Randy Dunn on administrative leave while a thorough investigation into his behavior is conducted by external legal counsel. Should the executive committee decide to do so, an acting President would then need to be appointed to allow for the work of the campuses to continue while President Dunn is on leave.”

Adding…”With the next SIU Board meeting now more than three months away, it would be unconscionable for the executive committee to not meet to discuss and potentially take action on matters that are permitted under SIU Board policy, since they are “urgent and cannot be postponed to a regular meeting of the Board Apparently Chair Sholar not only disagrees with my view of the Bylaws, but also that of the General Council of the SIU System. This sets the wrong precedent for the Chair of the Board to claim the ability to override the majority of the executive committee and to ignore the legal opinion provided by the General Council of the SIU System.

I am glad to find out this afternoon, that now Chair Sholar is willing to convene the full board to discuss the items on the executive committee agenda that was planned for tomorrow. However, I am disappointed that she believes the meeting can be delayed another two weeks until June 21st.

Therefore, I am requesting tomorrow’s executive committee meeting to be cancelled and I am asking Chair Sholar to call a special meeting of the full Board to discuss and possibly take action on the same items listed for tomorrow’s executive committee meeting. I am also asking Chair Sholar to make every effort to convene the full Board as soon as possible.”

Ladies and gentlemen, I think it is clear to see that SIU is in turmoil under President Dunn’s leadership and has been for quite some time now. The only way to restore much needed stability is for President Dunn to either resign or be let go by the full SIU Board of Trustees. SIU deserves a leader that is working for the entire system, not someone that is working to undermine one of the most critical parts.

You can read more on this story by visiting the links below:


Stay Connected!

My office in Mt. Vernon is open Monday through Friday and my office in Murphysboro is open Monday through Thursday, each from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM. You can also contact me directly through the Contact Form on my website at www.repbryant.com - Your opinions on important topics facing the State of Illinois are invaluable to me. Keep them coming!