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Professor alleges funding issues with SIU president
May 18

Editors Note Updates with Dunn and Finnie comments Friday.

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) _ Three lawmakers say Southern Illinois University's president should resign following allegations that he tried to move more than $5 million in state appropriations from Carbondale to Edwardsville campuses.

Carbondale professor Kathleen Chwalisz said in a Thursday column that documents obtained through public records requests show SIU President Randy Dunn hid the proposed transfer from Carbondale Chancellor Carlo Montemagno. Dunn used an expletive in an internal email last month that said he used certain funding distribution figures ``simply to shut up'' those against the reallocation.

The SIU Board of Trustees last month rejected the proposal made in response to projections that the enrollment at the Edwardsville campus will exceed Carbondale numbers in the fall. The proposal was made to benefit the system as a whole, Dunn said.

Dunn said in a statement Thursday that he never withheld details and that Chwalisz's statements are ``misleading and ... grossly misrepresenting the situation.'' He said his wording in the email was a ``mistake.''

``I apologize for how I characterized those who reflexively refused to discuss the issue or engage in a dialogue about it,'' Dunn wrote.

Republican Reps. Terri Bryant and Chad Hays are calling for his resignation.

Bryant said Dunn's email was unacceptable and that he should resign immediately ``because of his obvious and blatant disdain for constituents and for the SIU (Carbondale) campus.''

Hays, who graduated from Carbondale, said he was ``appalled'' by the email.

On Friday, Democratic Rep. Natalie Phelps Finnie of Elizabethtown also called for Dunn's resignation, saying his comments about the opinion and thoughts of the SIU-Carbondale community were ``appalling.''

During a news conference Friday, Dunn said he had no plans to resign, adding only time will tell if the controversy will interfere with his effectiveness with the Legislature.

``Obviously, there has to be a healing that comes from this,'' Dunn said. ``There has to be time to try to get the parties to come together and figure out how to move forward in a productive way.''

The SIU board announced Friday that a board meeting was called for May 30, which includes a closed session to discuss personnel issues. Dunn said he doesn't anticipate actions at the meeting to affect his employment.

Lawmakers have introduced proposals to separate the university system, giving each campus equal state funding and create a board of trustees with equal representation for the two campuses.

By The Associated Press, Copyright 2019