Dorsey in as interim SIU president after Dunn steps down

SIU interim president has a lot of work to do
Southern Illinois University System President Randy Dunn is expected to step down, according to the agenda for a special meeting of SIU Board of Trustees. (Source: KFVS)
Southern Illinois University System President Randy Dunn is expected to step down, according to the agenda for a special meeting of SIU Board of Trustees. (Source: KFVS)
SIU Board of Trustess voted in a new interim president. (Source: KFVS)
SIU Board of Trustess voted in a new interim president. (Source: KFVS)

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - The Southern Illinois Board of Trustees named J. Kevin Dorsey as the interim president of the university.

The Board voted unanimously at a special meeting on Monday, July 16.

According to the special meeting agenda, Southern Illinois University System President Randy Dunn agreed to part ways from the university.

Dunn voluntary stepped down from his position with the university. His official termination date is July 30, pending the SIU board's vote.

Dunn was named SIU president in 2014 as the eighth president. He replaced Dr. Glenn Poshard.

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He will be paid a six-month severance of $215,000 his paid leave starts on Monday, July 16.

According to the agenda, it is expected Dunn will be a visiting professor at SIU Edwardsville beginning January 1, 2019 paying $100,000 per year.

The meeting is set for Monday, July 16 at 10 a.m. at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

In June, the Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees held a special meeting to discuss placing President Randy Dunn on administrative leave and appointing an acting president.

The Board voted 4-4 and no action was taken.

A state lawmaker called for Dunn to resign.

Illinois State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) issued the following statement in light of the announcement that SIU President Randy Dunn stepped aside:

"This evening's breaking news that President Randy Dunn plans to step down as the head of the Southern Illinois University system is welcome news. It also signals and end of one era and the beginning of another. The next president of the Southern Illinois University system should remember that they are charged with protecting and preserving the health of the entire University system as a whole. I want to take this opportunity to wish Dr. Dorsey all the best as he begins this new chapter for himself and for the University. Although this action took much longer than I wish it would have, ultimately Mr Dunn took the appropriate action and stepped aside for the good of all of Southern Illinois University."
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Illinois State Senator Schimpf weighs in on Dunn resignation:

"I’m glad that Randy Dunn and the Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees have come to a resolution that will allow for new leadership to work toward a unified system,” said Senator Paul Schimpf. "I look forward to working with Interim President Dr. J. Kevin Dorsey during this challenging period for all of higher education in Illinois."?

Dr. Kevin Dorsey is the current dean and provost of the SIU School of Medicine in Springfield. The SIU Board of Trustees unanimously voted to appoint him as interim president for the next year in the meeting today.

He says he knows he has some work to do.

"For those of us who were in the room when we heard the public comments," he said, "the term 'healing' was used by multiple people. I think that's what I've got to work at coming right out of the box."

Dorsey says there's a lot of problems to look at with the University, but the way to start fixing them is to communicate better. Minutes into being appointed interim president, you can see his background in medicine shine into his early thoughts on the future.

"I'm glad that we've got health care campuses in Springfield, Carbondale, and Edwardsville," he said, "That's a common denominator that maybe we can use to our advantage."

Chelsea Blixt who is getting her masters at SIU says she see's Dunn's separation with the college as a good thing.

With college enrollment being down she says she was worried that Dunn would have been able to transfer a larger share of state funding to Edwardsville instead of to the Carbondale Campus.

"I think that it was a long time coming, said Blixt. "I think that it was needed. It didn't seem like he had Carbondale in the best interest or the entire SIU community in general."

To read the full agenda by the SIU board, read below.

Dunn was named SIU president in 2014 as the eighth president. He replaced Dr. Glenn Poshard.

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