St. Louis Public Radio News
6:18 pm
Wed September 23, 2009

U of I president resigns over admissions scandal

Urbana, Ill – University of Illinois president B. Joseph White has resigned from his position.

White, who has lead the system for nearly five years, submitted his letter of resignation to the university's Board of Trustees on Wednesday.

He's the latest member of the university's governing system to step down over an admissions scandal where politically connected applicants appeared to be admitted to the university's flagship campus in Urbana ahead of more qualified ones.

A university spokesman says White will continue to be involved in the university with fundraising and teaching.

Gov. Pat Quinn called White's resignation the right thing to do.

"President White is doing what is best for the university and the people of Illinois are grateful to him," Quinn said. "He loves the university. he talked to me the other day and told me what he planned to do. I commend him on taking steps to move the university forward."

White denied he knew anything about the clout list. But Quinn said his resignation will help mark a change in the university's policies.

"We're moving forward. We have a strong policy to make sure every admission is treated fairly. Everything is an open process. We've completely reformed the admissions process at Illinois, eliminated any abuse," Quinn said.

The Board of Trustees is expected to appoint an interim president while they search for a permanent replacement for White.