Gov. Pat Quinn's recent decision to remove three members from the Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees is a cause of significant concern for the 150 members of the Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois, who believe that the continued strength of our university system is essential to meeting our region's future workforce needs.
It is a travesty that all three individuals removed were from the metro-east, and that all three were senior officers of the board. Their removal represents a tremendous loss of leadership and experience that has the potential to adversely affect the system and our region in the years to come. Fortunately, it's not too late to take a corrective course of action.
As the Senate has not confirmed the three newly appointed members, we urge our legislators to consider whether their appointment will maintain the vital balance on the board that has worked so effectively in the past to shepherd growth and foster excellence at both the Edwardsville and Carbondale campuses.
We can't comment on the experience or qualifications of the new appointees, but we can sound the alarm that individuals from Chicago and Springfield can't possibly be as in tune with the needs and opportunities at SIU Edwardsville as people in Southwestern Illinois.
It is essential that our legislators either reinstate the three ousted board members or step back and consider other candidates who would be equally well-suited to serve as the voice of the metro-east on the SIU board.
Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois