Southern Illinois University
5:35 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Abrupt Protest At SIU Trustees Meeting Leaves Group Without Chairperson

Reporting from WSIU's Jennifer Fuller.

Southern Illinois University's embattled Board of Trustees tried to meet again Wednesday, but the meeting ended abruptly when two members walked out - before a chairperson could be elected.

SIU Edwardsville student trustee David Hamilton made a motion to postpone the officer and committee chair nominations until a full board is seated.

"I cannot justify electing a Chairman when I'm the only representative from one of our major campuses," Hamilton said.

Three vacancies remain after the Illinois Senate rejected Governor Pat Quinn's nominations to the SIU Board back in February.

When Hamilton's motion failed, he and trustee Marquita Wiley walked out in protest. Their absence left the Board without a quorum, so no business could be conducted.

Trustee Don Lowery says this lack of action is in violation of board policy, which requires an election of a chair in January.

"The Board Policy is clear," Lowery said. "It's set in policy, and over the last year and a half or two years that I've been on the Board, the Board has chosen to either follow the policy -if it's convenient- or not follow the policy."

Student trustee Hamilton says he's holding out for new appointments from Governor Quinn on the issue.

Another meeting may be scheduled this month. The next regular meeting is set for next month in Carbondale.